Summer jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is a highly fragrant vining plant that is often referred to as common jasmine, true jasmine, or poet's jasmine. In areas where summer jasmine grows, nothing says "summer is here" more than the sweet-smelling scent of its highly fragrant blooms. Summer jasmine blooms begin in early summer and keep going until early fall. They are around an inch wide and 2½ inches long. This plant's fragrant blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Growing Summer Jasmine in Your Garden
Summer jasmine is a woody climbing vine that is evergreen in mild climates and deciduous in colder areas. It is hardy in USDA Zones 7-10. It can also be grown in colder areas with special care, such as growing it in pots to bring inside for the winter.
Verify That You're Planting True Jasmine
Be sure you are planting Jasminum officinale when you are looking to grow summer jasmine. Not every plant that is called jasmine is actually Jasminium at all. For example, the plant called star jasmine is in a completely different genus (Trachelospermum). Further, many plants that are classified as Jasminium are not summer jasmine. For example, the Jasminium genus includes winter jasmine. To further complicate things, the common names associated with Jasminum officinale are often mistakenly used for other types of plants. This is why it's so important to verify the scientific name when you are purchasing a plant.
Where to Plant Summer Jasmine: Light and Soil Requirements
True jasmine, also known as summer jasmine, will thrive in full sun or partial shade. Avoid heavy shade; light or dappled shade will result in better flower production. Summer jasmine prefers light soil enriched with organic matter that is both moist and well-draining. It will also grow in loamy soil or clay as long as it drains well. It can grow to 40 feet long and spread up to 15 feet wide, so it needs something to climb and room to spread. It is often grown along a fence, up a wall, or on a pergola.
Watering and Fertilizing Summer Jasmine
Summer jasmine is a fairly low-maintenance plant. It is somewhat drought tolerant and has only minimal fertilization needs.
- Summer jasmine does generally need to be watered at least weekly during its blooming season unless it's getting plenty of water from rain.
- During periods that are particularly hot and dry, you will probably need to water it two or three times each week.
- If your soil is nutrient rich and you regularly work in manure or other organic matter, you may not need to fertilize your summer jasmine plants at all.
- If your plants aren't growing or flowering optimally, that is a sign that you may need to fertilize them. For in-ground plants, apply fertilizer made for jasmine plants or a balanced NPK fertilizer in late winter or early spring.
Pruning Summer Jasmine
Summer jasmine plants should be pruned once they stop blooming, so early fall is generally the best time to prune them. Start by pinching off spent flower blooms, then remove any plant stems that did not flower that season. You'll also want to remove stems that appear dead, diseased, or otherwise damaged. If your jasmine is trained to grow a certain way, you'll also want to snip off any stems that need to be removed in order to maintain the plant's desired shape and growing direction.
Summer Jasmine Pests and Diseases
Summer jasmine isn't likely to experience serious disease or pest problems. It can contract common plant fungi, such as blight, rust, or wilt. The best course of action is to remove and destroy the affected foliage and treat the plant with a fungicide. Common garden insects, such as aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites, may damage these plants. However, the birds that are attracted by the butterflies that flock to these plants feed on these pests. As a result, pests like these rarely become problematic. If needed, you can use an herbal insecticide.
Propagating Summer Jasmine
It's easy to propagate summer jasmine via cuttings. Start by snipping a tip cutting from a plant during its blooming season. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone, then stick it in a pot of soil, peat, or another growing medium. Water it as soon as you place it in the growing medium and continue to keep it fairly moist. They usually root within six weeks; they may even have roots within a month. You can even skip the rooting hormone if you don't mind waiting a bit longer for the cutting to root.
Beautiful Summer Jasmine to Grow in Your Garden
With its lovely pink buds, white flowers, and gorgeous green foliage, Jasminum officinale is a beautiful vine, but it's not the only summer jasmine option. There are a few other summer jasmine cultivars, each of which would make a wonderful addition to any garden.
Large Flowered Jasmine
The blooms on the large flowered jasmine (Jasminum officinale 'Affine') cultivar tend to be about 50% larger than those of common jasmine. The flowers are white with a bit of a pink tinge.
Variegated Jasmine (Jasminum Officinale 'Aureovariegatum') has white blooms that sometimes show a hint of pink paired with variegated leaves. Its leaves are green with splashes of yellow.
Fiona Sunrise Golden Jasmine
The most unique characteristic of Fiona sunrise golden jasmine (Jasminum officinalis 'Frojas') is the gold tone of its leaves. This plant's gold leaves make a striking background for its white flowers.
Good Companions for Summer Jasmine
Since Jasmine is a vine, it needs a lot of space. You don't have to plant it all alone, though. It is a great companion for a variety of other climbing vines, shrubs, and flowers that like the same growing conditions. A few options to consider include:
Many Reasons to Grow Summer Jasmine
Summer jasmine's beauty and fragrance are reason enough to grow this lovely vine in your yard, but these aren't the only benefits of growing this plant. It also attracts beneficial bugs and insects to your garden, which is something that every gardener wants to happen. Summer jasmine even has edible flowers that are often combined with tea leaves to make delicious and fragrant jasmine tea.