Star jasmine is a spectacular climbing shrub highly appreciated by gardening enthusiasts thanks to its unique ability to offer up to three different aspects per year, giving the possibility of adapting the garden to very different environments depending on the season.
If you want to learn how to take care of star jasmine so that it gives life and color to your home or garden, join us in this article where you will find a guide on the care of star jasmine.
Characteristics of star jasmine
Its scientific name is Trachelospermum jasminoides and in reality, it is not jasmine, because unlike these, it belongs to the Apocynaceae family, and not to the Oleaceae. Due to this it also receives the popular name of false jasmine, Trachelospermum or Chinese jasmine (in some places it is called that and in other places, this name is received by another species of jasmine that you can know in the link), among others, depending on the country.
It is a climbing plant that can reach up to 10 meters in height if it grows with the appropriate support, which will form a dense shrubby bush if not. This plant is native to Japan and China, although it is currently widespread throughout much of the world due to its ornamental value.
It stands out, above all, for the three markedly different aspects that it adopts throughout the year: with dark green leaves for much of the year, but bright light green when it gives new shoots and staining the white of its aromatic flowers of five petals when the warm months come, which is when the star jasmine blooms.
Climate for star jasmine
The jasmine starry can withstand temperatures up to -10 ° C, but this is only once the plant has grown and has enough strength and vitality. During the first years, this climbing plant does not tolerate intense cold and will need a warmer or protected location, being recommended for climates without very harsh winters.
Light and location
When it comes to light, star jasmine will prefer semi-shadow or full exposure locations depending on the strength of the sun in the area. In fact, if the rest of its care is taken care of well, it can develop perfectly in locations with up to two hours of direct light a day.
Regarding the location, it is recommended to plant it slightly less than 50 cm from the wall or surface through which the plant is expected to climb as it grows since at first, it will grow to form a bush of a certain size, which we will have to guide with tutors until that surface to be upholstered. Once the trunk lignifies and gains strength, the star jasmine will no longer need the stake to support itself. If you choose to plant it in a pot, prepare a good size one, at least 70 cm deep.
Compost and substrate
The plant is not overly demanding when it comes to the soil or substrate it needs. The most important thing here will be that it offers the best possible drainage, to avoid those puddles that cause so much damage to most plants.
Adding some organic matter such as worm castings or compost will also be very helpful for the growth of your plant. If in doubt, use a mixture with a part of peat, another of worm castings, and a third of coconut fiber. Adding some vermiculite and perlite to it will fully improve the water retention and absorption properties of the soil.
In spring and summer, it is advisable to apply liquid fertilizer every two weeks or organic fertilizer on a regular basis to support the growth of new shoots and flowering.
Watering the star jasmine
The Trachelospermum jasminoides need very regular waterings during all the warm months of spring and summer, being very important that the substrate never dries completely. Of course, this should never be confused with waterlogging the ground, which is one of the main reasons for finding withered star jasmine.
If, on the other hand, you have star jasmine with dry leaves, it may be due to a lack of watering or an excess of sun. In winter and autumn, the plant goes into vegetative rest and will need much less watering. Unless the winters are very dry where you live, you won’t need to water it during these months.
The usual thing is to prune the star jasmine every spring. The most vigorous branches are pruned to stimulate their growth and thus function better as a groundcover, which is why their tips are often blunted.
In addition, it will also be necessary to carry out maintenance pruning to control its growth and remove dry or damaged parts.
Reproduction of star jasmine
The easiest way to multiply this plant is through cuttings, which are taken between spring and summer. To make a star jasmine cutting , follow these steps:
- Sanitize tools. You will mainly need very sharp and disinfected pruning shears.
- Cut a half-ripe green to brown stem about 15 cm long, cutting close to the node.
- Remove all the leaves from the cutting except the greenest shoots at the end.
- Plant it in a small seedbed or container with a substrate mixture like the one described above.
- Water abundantly and keep the soil moist; in just over a month it will have rooted if it has gone well.