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Growing Jasmine – Planting, general care, pruning and propagation
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Jasmine is a woody climber which produces flowers in the summer and the winter depending on the variety you choose, winter flowing jasmine such as Jasminum nudiflorum produce stunning yellow flowers through winter and spring while summer flowering varieties such as Jasminum officinale with its white flowers and beesianum with its red flowers produce stunning and often scented flowers in summer.
When planting it is best to do it in the spring or autumn if you have a summer jasmine the best time to plant is probably autumn and for a winter jasmine planting in spring would be ideal. At its full maturity, most hardy jasmine varieties will span between 3 and 5 meters for height and spread but if grown in containers this reduces its height but it’s worth noting that they do adapt very well when grown in pots and containers. This is an incredibly popular plant for the UK because of its hardiness to frost although they do prefer a more sheltered position.
How to grow jasmine plants
Winter jasmine is more tolerant of partial shade than summer varieties
When planting jasmine you need to provide fertile, well-drained soil with partial sun or full sun. If you are growing summer Jasmine it requires a slightly sheltered spot with full sun, preferably facing south or southwest. By comparison, if you are growing winter Jasmine it is more tolerant of partial shade and thrives with south-east or north-west direction.
Growing frost hardy varieties under glass over winter
The frost-hardy but more tender varieties such as Jasminum Trachelospermum in colder areas where they may not survive, they can also be kept in a cold greenhouse or an unheated conservatory over winter using nothing more than a small greenhouse heater over winter to keep the frost to a minimum.
Growing Jasmine in containers and pots
Jasmine makes for particularly lovely specimens in containers but if you do plant it in a container be sure to add extra drainage holes as they need well-drained soil. The holes should be covered with crockery or stone to prevent the compost from washing through it or worst the holes becoming blobked.
Be sure to leave space at the top so that you can water the plant and put it someplace where it has access to bright, filtered light. In terms of compost, we recommend John Innes potting compost which is soil-based with a little grit mixed in to improve drainage.
On-going Jasmine care
Once you have planted your Jasmine you should water it freely in the springtime and in the summer when the plant is most actively growing, this is especially important for container-grown Jasmine which can dry out quickly on warmer days.
Come winter you can reduce the amount of watering. As an outdoor plant, it won’t need a lot of watering in the winter unless it is a particularly dry season, you may not even need to water it at all as they usually cope quite well with very little care. If you bring your Jasmine indoors or you have it in a greenhouse it will only need sparse watering once the soil has become dry. Jasmine grown in containers outdoors can also be treated in the same way only watering when needed.
Feeding Jasmine plants
Growing Jasmine in a container requires monthly feeding with a liquid feed that has high potassium levels, usually, a tomato fertilizer is more than good enough and usually the most affordable way to go about it.
With Jasmine that is grown in the ground, you can add a balanced, granular fertilizer such as Growmore which is usually the cheapest option plus you can also use it on most other plants in your garden. You can also feed with something that is high potassium such as sulphate of potash. Alternatively, you can add seaweed feed if you have some laying around in your shed and if you have a wood-burning stove you can also use wood ash as an organic source of potassium.
Pruning and training
Pruning Jasmine by flowering time
Summer flowering jasmine
With a summer jasmine plant, you should prune it right after it flowers which is usually in late summer / early autumn. With most varieties of summer flowering Jasminum, the earliest flush of flowers will develop on the previous year’s growth but a later flush will develop just on the tips of the current growth from the current year. By pruning at the appropriate time you allow the opportunity for the new growth to mature and flower the following season.
Winter flowering jasmine
If you have a winter Jasmine such as Jasminium nudiflorum it is best to prune it in the springtime directly after it has finished flowering in the winter. On winter jasmine, the flowers develop on the previous year’s growth so pruning directly after flowering provides new growth over summer which will produce the yellow flowers in winter.
Both varieties of Jasmine, winter and summer flowering, will tolerate hard pruning on occasion and will generally respond very well. If your plant has outgrown its space you can cut it back to approximately 2ft (60cm) from the base. Remove any unwanted shoots and leave the strongest of shoots to be trained into the newest framework.
Given that Jasmine is a climbing plant you can train the branches as they grow to the shape and framework that you prefer. You can choose to prune away unwanted shoots to facilitate more vigorous strong shoots or simply leave the ones you have along with something such as a trellis or a fence in your garden.
Propagating by Taking Cutting
If you have a particularly successful plant and want to have a go at propagating some new plants this can be done by either layering or by taking hardwood cuttings which is probably the best way to go about it.
Your outdoor varieties are best propagated if you take a hardwood cutting during the winter, this is probably best done either just after leaf drop in late autumn or late winter just before it comes into bud. If you have a more tender variety you can take a semi-ripe or soft wood cutting in the springtime or summer but this is generally used for indoor varieties of Jasmine.
Taking the cutting
Once you have the cuttings in question, remove any extra leaves so that there is simply one pair at the top, and place the cutting directly into a container of compost or directly into the ground. If growing cutting in pots, cover the top of the container with a plastic bag, plastic cup, or plastic lid of sorts making sure that the cover does not touch the cutting directly. From there each of your containers will create small greenhouses and eventually your cutting will establish a root system and be ready for transplantation.
Taking hardwood cutting is usually an easy but long process but the most successful, usually if you take cutting in autumn, they would be ready the following autumn to transplant into another pot or into the ground.