Winter Jasmine Care: How To Grow Winter Jasmine Plants
Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is one of the earliest flowering plants to bloom, often in January. It has none of the characteristic scents of the family, but the cheery buttery blooms help dispel winter gloom and bring encouragement to the cabin fevered gardener. This decorative plant is quick to establish and winter jasmine care is a breeze. Learn how to grow winter jasmine and perk up your cold season garden.
Winter Jasmine Information
Any type of flower in winter seems like a major miracle. Cold season blooms are rare but winter jasmine is a scrabbly shrub that will start the gardener thinking of spring sunshine and summer heat. Jasmine has a deeply sweet scent but an interesting piece of winter jasmine information is its lack of scent. Still, these starry little blooms are magical surprises in a cold season landscape and caring for winter jasmine is a low maintenance chore that makes the plant a lazy gardener’s favorite.
Winter jasmine is not a true climbing plant, but it does tend to
scramble over structures and hold itself up with the assistance of other plants or support structures. The glossy green leaves are deciduous and attached to deeply green stems. In early January, small buttery yellow 5-petaled flowers appear. Each is ½- to 1-inch wide and scentless.
Winter jasmine information should include its family, which is the Olive family, and the fact that it is the most winter hardy of the jasmine species. It was introduced in 1844 through a plant collector that had purchased it in Shanghai, China.
Winter Jasmine Growing Tips
Winter jasmine prefers well drained soil in full sun. Remarkably, it does not seem fussy about the quality of the soil but the addition of some compost may be beneficial.
Use winter jasmine to obstruct ugly walls and fences, as a ground cover or grown over a trellis with training. Winter jasmine may actually get a bit weedy as its stems root at the internodes and start new plants. Plants can achieve 4 to 15 feet in height, but they are easy to keep in habit with a bit of trimming.
Winter Jasmine Care
Plants need regular moisture, especially in summer. Place mulch around the root zone to conserve moisture and prevent weeds.
Fertilize winter jasmine in spring after the blooms have faded.
An important part of caring for winter jasmine if you wish to have it grow vertically is training. Establish a trellis or other structure at planting and tie up stems as they get longer.
For vertical growth, remove the side shoots when the plant is young. Every few years as the stems turn brown and flower production declines, trim after blooming to just a few inches above the ground. The stems will quickly reestablish themselves and growth will be tighter and less leggy with more blooms.
Now that you know how to grow winter jasmine, you can use this pretty, easy to grow plant to spice up your winter landscape.
Peter Cundall: Hardy winter blooms to warm the soul
I ONCE had a highly embarrassing experience in Whitby, North Yorkshire, and it served me right.
Driving through with my family late one evening, we sighted a cute little bed and breakfast cottage at the top of a hill. On the front door hung a vacancy sign.
It was the middle of winter and a sleet-laden, icy wind was blowing, so we decided to stop for the night.
Despite the cold, a large winter jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum) was in full, glorious display. The long, leafless, bright green, arching branches were festooned with hundreds of small golden flowers.
After checking in, I decided to find somewhere nearby to park the car. That’s when my nightmare began.
I recall driving past a prominent statue and then, after turning a corner, found myself driving downhill along a one-way street, crammed with parked cars.
Unfortunately, every side street had a “no entry” sign so I was forced to keep driving.
Soon, I passed through the centre of town, constantly trying to seek some way back. That was when I realised I had no idea of the address or even the name of our accommodation.
I was hopelessly lost.
I drove around aimlessly for about two hours, unable to ask for directions and increasingly anxious about my family. It was long past midnight as I finally drove along a deserted street, still desperately searching for something at least partly recognisable.
Then, I saw something yellow glowing from a darkened garden at the side of the road. A closer examination revealed the glorious winter jasmine and, to my relief, the entrance to the bed and breakfast cottage.
As we left the following day, I glanced briefly at the nearby statue — Captain James Cook — one of the world’s greatest navigators.
So, to my eternal shame, I am probably the only person in the world who became hopelessly lost in Captain Cook’s home town.
Naturally, one of the first plants to furnish our Tasmanian garden was a winter jasmine, which still blooms defiantly through the winter months.
At the moment, many parts of cool Australia are experiencing heavy, night-time frosts. Despite cold conditions and long periods of darkness, the number of plants in full bloom is amazing.
Among the most enchanting of all winter-flowering shrubs is the Chinese winter sweet (chimonanthus praecox).
In midwinter, even in extremely cold districts, this remarkable shrub is in full bloom with dozens of semitransparent, yellow flowers studded along naked branches.
They produce a powerful, spicy-sweet fragrance that can fill the air for metres around. Luckily, they grow strongly to 3m in most soils, although it helps if a bucket or two of mushroom compost is dug in before planting. Just remember to keep it well watered during summer dry periods.
Bergenia cordifolia, or Elephant’s ears, is an easily grown, clump-forming perennial that flowers through the coldest winter months.
The thick, leathery leaves are large — hence the common name — and in cold districts they turn a distinct bronze in early winter.
However, the bright pink flowers open in tight, cone-shaped clusters, sometimes up to half a metre tall and present a splendid sight, even in a partly shaded spot, despite heavy frosts.
Cultivated varieties of bergenia include some with deep purple, red or white flowers. They are easily grown and thrive in most soils including light clay.
Perhaps the most spectacular of all winter flowering shrubs is pink spice (luculia pinceana). From early June to the end of July, this 3m tall and wide shrub is covered with heavily scented pink-tinted, hydrangea-like flowers.
This incredible evergreen prefers full sun, perfectly drained soil and plenty of moisture during summer. Unfortunately, it is also susceptible to frost, so although it can be grown where frosts strike, it needs some form of overhead protection.
However, pink spice can also be grown in a large tub on protected, sunny verandas, or out in the open where it can be dragged to safety whenever frosts threaten.