We talk here of Jasmine – the plants; not of singers by that name, nor companies, tea, beauty preparations or branded clothes. This is essentially about the plant genus Jasminum - commonly known as Jasmines. Summer Jasmine and Winter Jasmine are the two best known common names.
The popularity of the common name Jasmine has been usurped by some other plants other than true Jasminum. Who can blame them for wanting such a strong brand name? Trachelospermum jasminoides hails commonly as Confederate or Star Jasmine; Gardenia as Cape Jasmine. Gorgeous plants are both, with fragrance as strong as Jasminum. The plants are not to blame of course for this misuse of name. It is a name that sells well!
The Jasminum family of plants is diverse and most originated in the tropics of South East and other Asian areas. Now they are to be found in Europe and other temperate areas.
Several are surprisingly hardy, given their preferred abode is tropical. They all belong to the higher family group of Oleaceae - the olives. Most (after flowering) develop small black fruits - olives in miniature.
Jasmines are generally thought of as climbing plants. Most are true climbers, but some are sprawling or lax shrubs which lend themselves to being trained unnaturally up trellis and other supports. A few are happy to be self supporting shrubs - quite unlike climbers.
There are a few hundred Jasmines from which to choose - not all are readily available, or desirable for growing outdoors. Some are cultivated as houseplants, some are good garden plants.
We list the most popular and reliable Jasmine varieties for garden use. Many are borderline cases insofar as hardiness is concerned. Those are not in this recommended list of reliably hardy Jasmines. I have first-hand experience of my chosen list.
Most of these are best in well drained soil that does not become waterlogged in the winter. A wide range of soil is acceptable, but heavy clay soils will need to be lightened in the immediate area of the plant.
Full sun or the lightest of shade is ideal. Other than that, the climbers need support and tying in, with whatever pruning is required carried out right after flowering.
This list - which are suitable for growing outdoors have few problems. Aphids being the normal insect pest – though rarely troublesome.
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