How to Grow Asiatic Jasmine

Asiatic jasmine, an almost ubiquitous ground cover in much of the American South, is not actually jasmine at all, despite its Asian origins in Korea and Japan.

Even in shaded regions, this fast-growing evergreen vine can swiftly blanket a plot of land with a dense carpet of twining tendrils. It is also praised for its resistance to both heat and cold.

It gets the second half of its name from its fragrant blossoms, which perfume the air in springtime under optimal conditions.

This plant is known as both “Asian jasmine” and “Asian jasmine.” In Florida, it’s known as “minima jasmine.” It’s also known as “dwarf jasmine.” In addition, for our Florida friends, this plant is salt tolerant.

Do you believe this plant could be the answer to your bare-earth problems? Continue reading to find out more!

What Is Asiatic Jasmine?

This deer-resistant plant’s thin, dark green leaves are glossy and grow from red-brown stalks that climb along the ground and up trees, fences, and possibly your leg if you linger there long enough…

Its little, white, five-petaled blossoms are delicate. However, if the weather is too hot, they will not appear.

We rarely see a bloom on our Asian jasmine in Austin.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7b-10 are suitable for T. asiaticum. You could certainly grow it in cooler climates, but winter would kill it, and I’m not sure why you’d plant a ground cover that dies in the winter… But, hey, do you!

In addition, you may learn on the internet that some native-plant purists avoid this vine because of its proclivity to take over the garden.

I see their point of view, but if you want to swiftly cover a large area, especially in a shaded place, Asian jasmine is unrivaled.

While T. asiaticum is a great ground cover, it is not resistant to foot traffic.

Consider these culinary herbs and blooming choices instead if you have an empty space that you want to fill with something aromatic that can withstand a little stomping.

We also want to warn you about another plant that is occasionally confused with Asian jasmine.

T. jasminoides, often known as a star or confederate jasmine, resembles T. asiaticum in appearance. However, it is clearly a climbing vine, and it is more likely to flower profusely in a range of situations.

The genus Jasminum, from which Asiatic jasmine gets its name, has roughly 200 shrubs and vines in the olive (Oleaceae) family native to Eurasia and Oceania.

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Jasminum officinale, or common jasmine, is native to Iran and is prized for its beautiful and fragrant blossoms.

History and Cultivation

T. asiaticum was described in Western literature for the first time in 1846 by German botanists Philipp Franz von Siebold and Joseph Gerhard Zuccarini, following von Siebold’s voyage to Japan in 1823-1829.

The plant was given the name Malouetia Asiatica by the researchers. Takenoshin Nakai, a Japanese botanist, later classed the species according to modern taxonomic classifications.

Propagation

You’ll need a lot of Asian jasmines because it’s a ground cover. It does not grow from seed, but continue reading to learn about other ways to propagate it.

From Cuttings

Begin by cutting a 6-inch piece from the tip of a vine shoot. Cut slightly below a leaf with a clean, sharp instrument.

Fill a tiny pot with moist sand that has good drainage. Insert a pencil into the sand to make a hole, and then remove it.

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting and immerse the tip in a rooting medium, such as a powdered rooting hormone.

Insert the cutting into the sand hole and moisten thoroughly. Cover the container with a plastic bag to keep moisture in, and water daily. Place it on a windowsill with indirect light or outside in a partially shady area.

Alternatively, after dipping your cutting in rooting hormone, immerse it in a glass of water.

After about a month, transplant the roots to small containers filled with potting soil. Peat pots are great since you can transplant the entire thing to the ground once the roots cuttings are ready, which will be in 3-4 weeks.

From Seedlings or Transplants

Flats of miniature jasmine plugs are available at many nurseries and online. Simply dig a hole of the same size as the pot from which you are transplanting and insert your plug. Backfill as needed, and water thoroughly.

If you reside in a hot climate, you should plant in the fall; otherwise, plant in the spring.

The distance between them is determined by your patience and the size of your budget. Buy a bunch of plants and space them eight to ten inches apart for an almost instant carpet. If money is an issue and you have patience, you can buy fewer plants and position them 18 inches apart.

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Water newly transplanted plants every three or four days for the first month, then once a week for the next couple of months.

You can “borrow” 1-foot-square chunks of jasmine carpet to transplant to another area of your yard if you already have a significant area of established Asiatic jasmine.

Cut out squares of the plant with a very pointed shovel, digging up at least 3 inches of the roots. Cut these portions so that the remaining jasmine can fill in the spaces where your squares were removed.

Transfer these portions to the new jasmine-ify area. Loosen the dirt at the planting spot and “settle” your squares into their new home for the greatest results. While the squares are established, water them generously and regularly.

Layering

Asiatic jasmine frequently forms small bunches of roots along the stem at leaf nodes, in areas where it senses a supply of nutrition. This might be anything from the ground to a tree trunk or a fence picket.

These new roots can grow naturally or be encouraged to grow by burying a segment of the vine.

In either case, after the roots develop, you can clip them off and plant the young plants wherever you want.

How to Grow

T. asiaticum will grow in a variety of soil types as long as they are well-drained and have a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. Mine grows beautifully in rocky clay soil. It will grow more quickly and aggressively in soils with a higher percentage of organic matter.

Plant in places that receive full sun, part sun, or full shade.

These vines are drought tolerant once planted. If you notice some drooping during a long dry spell – especially if the plants are in full sun – simply give them a thorough shower and they’ll perk back up with no long-term consequences.

I only water mine in July and August, when it’s extremely hot and dry.

If you want to fertilize, start the active growing season with an NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer. I’ve never fertilized mine, and they’ve thrived.

Growing Tips

  • Plant in the sun or the shade.
  • Irrigate mature plants when the leaves begin to wilt.
  • If you want, apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring.
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Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning is the only thing Asiatic jasmine requires. It can spread aggressively, and it may stray well beyond its designated borders.

It doesn’t matter. Simply take out your string trimmer and whack away. It is unconcerned.

Of course, pruners will suffice. However, if you have a wide area of this plant, this can become tedious.

To keep these vines in check, some gardeners use a lawn mower. Make sure your cutting tools are sharp so that the cut ends of the vines don’t seem ragged.

Whacking the ends causes the plant to branch out further from the truncated stems, resulting in a thicker carpet. Bonus!

Cultivars to Select

While most of the T. asiaticum I observe in Austin is the generic, open-pollinated indigenous kind, a few astute breeders have created some fascinating cultivars.

Monrovia, for example, created T. asiaticum ‘HOSNS,’ also known as ‘Snow-N-Summer.’

Its leaves begin pink, then turn white, and finally mature to variegated white and green. The plant produces fragrant tiny tubular creamy yellow blooms.

‘Snow-N-Summer’ is available in 1-gallon containers on Amazon.

T. asiaticum ‘Kiifu Chirimen,’ a dwarf variegated Asian jasmine from Japan, has little copper-bronze leaves that develop to pewter-silvery green.

T. asiaticum ‘Gold Brocade’ or ‘Ojon Nishiki’ is another Japanese cultivar. It has variegated foliage that starts off red and orange and matures to gold and deep green.

Managing Pests and Disease

The only disease that may affect Asian jasmine is leaf spot, which is caused by the fungus Cercospora and results in individual tan or light brown spots with red-purple borders.

If your plants have a severe infection, which is uncommon, you can treat them with a fungicide. Otherwise, don’t be concerned because the fungus is rarely a serious problem with Asiatic jasmine.

Best Uses

Although Asian jasmine is most commonly used as a ground cover, several of the cultivars available make excellent additions to hanging pots.

Quick Reference Growing Guide

Plant Type:Vine, perennialFlower / Foliage Color:White; dark green, variegated
Native to:Japan, KoreaWater Needs:Low
Hardiness (USDA Zone):7b-10Maintenance:Low
Season:Spring, summerTolerance:Drought, salt
Exposure:Full sun, part sun, full shadeSoil Type:Any, except waterlogged
Spacing:18 inchesSoil pH:5.5-7
Planting Depth:Same depth as the containerSoil Drainage:Well-draining
Height:18 inchesUses:Groundcover, hanging baskets
Spread:10 feetFamily:Apocynaceae
Growth Rate:FastGenus:Trachelospermum
Pests & Diseases:Leaf spotSpecies:asiaticum

A Japanese Import for the Garden

While not native to the United States and perhaps invasive, Asiatic jasmine is an excellent ground cover, especially in gloomy regions where e little else will grow.

It is drought tolerant, insect and beast resistant, and frost tolerant. It’s tiny, brightly colored leaves form a lovely carpet of green.

Have you ever cultivated Asian jasmine? Please share your knowledge in the comments area below.

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