Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a deciduous shrub that produces fragrant yellow flowers about an inch in length in late winter or early spring, depending on the location. It reaches a height and width of 6 to 10 feet, growing best in an area with part to full sun and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Winter jasmine develops in a vinelike growth habit, with arching, sprawling branches that root and spread if not trained. The green branches add year-round interest, but eventually fade to a brownish colour over three or more years. Proper training and pruning eliminate this minor problem, making winter jasmine an easily maintained landscape shrub.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Hand pruner
- Training structure
Plant winter jasmine in an appropriate area with at least a 10-foot space to provide adequate room for growth and minimise pruning requirements. Plant the shrub next to a wall or trellis to provide a place for long branches to climb and reduce the need for extensive pruning.
Prune winter jasmine with a pair of sharp hand pruners annually in the spring, after flowering. Avoid pruning before the shrub finishes blooming, because this cuts off much of the current year's flower buds. Prune as soon after flowering as possible, however, to provide ample time for the winter jasmine to develop next year's flower buds.
Remove dead and damaged branches, using a hand pruner. This improves the appearance of the shrub while reducing the chance of disease or pest infestation, though this is not a major concern with winter jasmine, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Cut these branches down to ground level or the first healthy lateral branch.
Make training cuts to encourage the shrub to grow in the desired shape or direction. Winter jasmine branches naturally trail over training structures or the ground. Avoid excessive pruning, allowing the plant to maintain this natural growth habit as much as possible. Make these cuts to the nearest lateral branch or bud, with a diagonal cut away from the bud. Avoid straight cuts that encourage water retention, increasing the chance of disease.
Cut the entire winter jasmine shrub down to a height of 3 to 4 inches every three to four years after blooming and before new growth begins. This removes the old, brown branches and encourages vigorous new growth.
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- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Winter Jasmine
- Fine Gardening: Jasminum Nudiflorum
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Vines and Climbers: Pruning Plants That Ascend
- Texas A&M University Extension: Proper Pruning Techniques
- Fine Gardening: Maintenance Pruning
- Fine Gardening: Some Trees Need Winter Pruning