Few things are lovelier than the scent of jasmine on a warm summer night. Long known as a hardy flowering vine, it can be cultivated almost anywhere it can receive full sun, warm daytime temperatures, cool nights and plenty of moist, well-drained soil. Alone in a large pot, covering a trellis or chain-link fence, twining around a lamp post or covering the ground, jasmine is a vine best enjoyed outdoors, unless you can duplicate greenhouse conditions in your home. Once planted, it needs very little maintenance.
Buy jasmine varieties that appeal to you. Choose common jasmine if you want a fast-growing vine that blooms all summer with tiny, fragrant, white blossoms. Buy royal jasmine if you want big, showy flowers. Try primrose jasmine for yellow flowers that have no scent.
Plant flowering jasmine in well-drained soil, away from trees, in a spot where it will receive at least six hours of full sun per day. Amend the soil with 1 part sand or peat to 1 part topsoil if it does not drain quickly when water is poured. This rule is the same, whether you plant jasmine in a pot or in the ground.
Once planted, jasmine is fairly easy to maintain. Spade the soil around the roots periodically to keep it aerated. Water frequently in the first year to ensure good root growth while the plant is establishing itself. Water more often in summer or during dry spells to keep the soil uniformly moist.
Train flowering jasmine on a trellis by tying it firmly but not tightly with plant ties. Flowering jasmine can grow as much as 6 m (20 feet) in a season, so train the plants up, down and across the trellis to cover it completely. Weave vines gently through chain-link fences to add a natural screen for your property.
Leave it alone and see where it goes, or fold it back on itself to create a heavenly-smelling, 90 cm to 1.5 m (3 to 5 foot) mound of flowering vines. Let it spill over the top of a stone wall and grow all the way to the ground on the other side.
Pinch off dying blossoms as they fade to promote more blossoms. Pinch back the tips of vines, and the remainder will branch out in all directions for a fuller plant. Prune it back more sharply if it starts to overcome other plantings in your garden.
Pick jasmine flowers in the early morning, when they are the most fragrant.
Don't plant jasmine vines near trees, as they will climb the trees and become very difficult to prune in a short period of time.