The legendary fragrance of jasmine flowers scents the spring and early-summer air, especially in the evenings. Jasmine is trained on trellises near outdoor seating areas to enhance the pleasure of the season. A jasmine plant near a window carries the fragrance indoors. Some varieties of jasmine are unscented, yet their showy flowers and attractive foliage make them worthwhile additions to the home garden.
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Pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) is a tropical vine for U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. In spring through early summer, masses of pink and white flowers cover the plant, producing a showy, fragrant display. Pink jasmine readily scrambles over trellises, arbors or fences on vigorous growth to 20 feet long. Grow a potted specimen for a temporary but spectacular patio feature in cold-winter regions.
Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is also called Poet's jasmine. Rich green foliage provides a striking contrast with the heavily scented, bright white, 1-inch flowers. The plant climbs to as much as 30 feet, thriving in zones 7 to 10. Variegated varieties are available with white-edged leaves or golden yellow foliage. Spanish Jasmine climbs to 15 feet with flowers up to 2 inches across.
Showy Jasmine is a vining shrub that sends long slender stems as long as 10 feet. It must be tied to a trellis support to be grown as a climber. It is adapted to zones 7 to 10. It is an easy-to-grow plant for full sun or shaded areas. Striking sunshine-yellow flowers are displayed against dark green foliage from spring through the fall. The small flowers are unscented. Left unsupported, it will grow into a large shrub.
Jasminum nudiflorum is known as winter jasmine. The slender arching stems support bright yellow flowers in winter. It grows naturally into a shrubby plant 4 feet high and 7 feet wide, but on a trellis it can be trained as a climber to 15 feet. The unscented flowers are bright yellow, covering the nude stems before the foliage emerges in spring. Train winter jasmine to grow up a vertical support, allowing its flexible branches to spill over in a waterfall fashion.
Star jasmine is also known as Confederate jasmine, and it is not a true jasmine. Trachelospermum jasminoides is found growing in the Southern United States. It is adapted in zones 8 to 10. Star jasmine blooms in spring through early summer with intensely fragrant, pure white flowers. Provide well-drained soil for these evergreen plants. Fertilise before the spring growth begins and again after flowering to promote lush growth. Star jasmine requires support to retain its climbing habit. Its twining vines reach 30 feet long on a supportive structure such as a sturdy trellis.
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