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Star Jasmine Care

Trachelospermum jasminoides or star jasmine is a plant species from the Apocynaceae family that includes other flowering species like natal plum, oleander, and frangipani. It is indigenous to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China and is also called “confederate jasmine”. It is popularly grown in California and the Southeastern states of the US. There is also a variegated form of this plant.

This woody evergreen liana can reach 25-30 feet tall and it needs support like a trellis or another tree to attain that height or it will just flop back since it’s a vine, you should train and secure it properly when it starts growing. When grown for ground cover, it is easy to be kept at 2 feet. It can also grow as a hedge but this also takes training and regular pruning to keep growing to the necessary size. However, it spends most of its first year directing its energy towards establishing strong roots and might not seem to grow much after it has been established, it will grow rapidly, between 3 to 6 feet a year. 

The leaves are small oval to lanceolate and it blooms in spring and summer and produces pinwheel-shaped creamy white flowers an inch in width. They’re very fragrant and can bother people sensitive to perfumes or who have allergies. The foliage oozes a white latex if cut, like other plant species in the Apocynaceae family.

This plant is winter-hardy in zones 8 to 10. In much colder weather, it is often grown in containers that are brought inside in winter or it’s treated as an annual plant and replanted every spring. It is easy to maintain and can be forgotten about once it has established itself outdoors. It is frequently grown in gardens, landscapes, and parks. 

The flowers produce a valuable oil extracted by distillation or tinctured flowers that is popularly used in the perfumery industry. Tinctured flowers are diluted and used in Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese incense.

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Sunlight

This plant will thrive under full sun and partial or total shaded conditions, but grow it in a spot that can get plenty of sunlight (at least 8 hours) to produce more flowers to get the maximum benefit. If you elect to grow it as ground cover under the shade of large plants or trees, you will notice a reduction in the number of flowers the plant will produce.

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Water

This plant should be regularly watered for it to bloom successfully. This means once weekly for most growing conditions and locations, but you might have to increase the frequency if your climate is particularly hot or arid, or if you’re growing the plant in containers. A good rule to follow for watering is to water the plant when the soil has become dry. Always allow the soil to become dry before the next watering.

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Humidity

This plant loves humid conditions and will thrive better in reasonably moist environments. Mist the plant regularly or keep a humidifier near it to raise humidity levels in particularly arid conditions.

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Temperature

This plant is fairly cold-tolerant and can handle temperature lows up to 10°F although not for prolonged periods on average, this plant will grow and flower better in temperatures between 60-75°F. In colder conditions, it’s better grown in containers to bring indoors in winter.

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Soil

While this plant isn’t very selective about its soil, it will grow better in soil that is judiciously moist and well-drained. If you are planting multiple plants for ground cover, keep them at least 5 feet apart to prevent overcrowding conditions. Furthermore, this plant can tolerate a variety of pH conditions without problems.

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Repotting

This plant doesn’t need frequent repotting, however, to produce more flowers, repot it every 3 years when you notice roots appearing on top of the soil. This can be performed throughout the seasons (except winter) but to get it to bloom better, repot it in spring or summer. 

The first thing to consider is the container that you will use, it needs a good drainage capacity and should be 2 inches bigger than the current one. Fill it halfway with well-draining soil. Slowly remove the plant – if it’s difficult to do, gently tap the container sides to help free the plant. Inspect the roots for root rot or damage, untangle the roots and place the roots in the container at a depth of at least one inch under the rim and finish the process by topping up the soil.

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Propagation

Propagate this plant by taking healthy cuttings from an established parent plant. Start by cutting 6-inch portions of the stem just under a node and dust the cut-end with rooting powder, then place each cutting in small containers filled with sandy and moistened soil.

Keep the soil damp and roots will develop within a month. Transfer the new plants into larger containers or garden beds a few weeks after this.

Additional Care

You should wait for the plant to establish itself properly before fertilizing it. Feed the plant in spring and summer with slow-releasing balanced fertilizer specifically meant for shrubs or trees.

This is a fair maintenance-free plant and only needs pruning to control foliage growth, particularly if it infringes on nearby houses or it is growing as a hedge, or if stems get diseased or damaged.

Common Problems

This plant doesn’t attract many pests or infections although it is vulnerable to scale, which produces honeydew on the foliage which subsequently leads the plant to develop sooty mold. When you notice these pests on your plant, treat them with neem oil. In addition, Japanese beetles might be a problem sometimes and can also be treated with the same method.​

If the plant is growing on any trees in your garden, trim the plant down before it overwhelms the tree, as this can compromise the health of the tree. It could also invade nearby gardens or structures and foliage growth needs to be monitored.

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