How to keep this vigorous climbing summer jasmine plant tidy, under control and producing masses of highly-scented white flowers.
The main reasons to prune summer jasmine - Jasminum officinale is to keep it under control and more importantly, to generate new vines. Providing all other conditions of care are in place, this should ensure masses of the pure white, highly fragrant flowers which are the main attraction.
The foliage of Summer Jasmine is also attractive and benefits from the rejuvenating effects of the pruning - generally showing its best when on well grown plants.
The foliage is normally accepted as being ‘semi-deciduous’ – depending upon season type. It has better chance of retaining some foliage through late autumn and even winter if pruned correctly.
There is also good reason to grow one if the variegated forms. There are several to choose from; Jasminum officinale ’Argenteovariegatum’ has creamy white edges to the green leaves, whilst J. o. ‘Aureovariegatum has golden splashes. - You then have the double advantage of attractive foliage and the gorgeous fragrance of the white flowers.
Summer jasmine climbs by way of twining its slender stems around its mean of support. Annual pruning keeps the stems supple and allows for the removal of crowded growth. Without regular pruning and thinning out, the stems will become old, untidy and brittle – not good for training.
There is no mystique to pruning any jasmine. Summer flowering jasmine is no different. We have already covered ‘why prune summer jasmine’. You simply need to get the ‘how to prune’ and ‘when to prune’ parts right.
Jasminum officinale has a main flowering season of summer through until early autumn. As soon as the flowers have stopped is the best time to prune the Jasmine, as this will allow new grow to start before the onset of winter. Some may be damage later into the winter, but soon recovers when growth starts again in the spring.
This is the easy part, but may require a little patience! Simply cut out – and untwine the older of the flowered stems, leaving the new stems intact. New stems will have started growing earlier in the year – but not flowered yet. It is their turn next year to start producing flowers.
Completely take out all of the old stems, section by section up the stems, rather than trying to yank them out of the trellis or other support. This way you will cause less or no damage to the newer stems awaiting their turn to fill in the gaps and start flowering the following year.
Some of the stems can be cut back hard – near to the main stem at the base – to ensure a good cover – top to bottom – of the attractive foliage on Summer jasmines. This is particularly so on the variegated types.
The golden summer jasmine – Jasminum officinale ‘Aurea’ pruned in this way will be a very attractive sight – even without the flowers!
There are several other Jasmine climbers that flower in summer, but Jasminum officinale types are the common summer flowering jasmines.
The shrubby and species types of Jasmine rarely need other than a thinning out. Species Jasmines - Jasminum humile; J revolutum; are notable for other than climbing.
Jasminum beesianum tries to be evergreen and has small pink flowers. Pruning is similar to that described here.