Star jasmine is a fantastic trailing vine that produces a wealth of beautiful, fragrant blooms throughout the spring and summer. This woody, evergreen has a fantastic trailing habit making it a great choice to grow on a trellis, doorways or posts, adding height and aesthetic to your outdoor space.
Follow our growing Guide for everything you need to know to cultivate, care for and grow star jasmine.
What is Star Jasmine?
Star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, is a scented, evergreen climber belonging to the Apocynaceae family, which includes other trailing bloomers like the frangipani and oleander.
(Don't miss our Frangipani Australian Ultimate Growing Guide)
Native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, such as China and Japan, star jasmine has long trailing stems with rich, dark green foliage and white, fragrant pin-wheel shaped blooms. In the winter, the clusters of leaves are known to turn into a glossy, bronze-red colour.
Star jasmine has become a very popular decorative plant, adaptable to indoor and outdoor spaces. However, it may need protection from extreme cold.
The fragrant blooms fill summer nights with a beautifully distinct scent, which attracts local nectar feeders during the day.
Other common names for star jasmine include:
- Confederate jasmine
- Southern jasmine
It is important to note that star jasmine isn’t true jasmine.
Star Jasmine Varieties
Although Trachelospermum jasminoides is one of the most popular jasmine cultivars, there are some other great varieties that may offer a different aesthetic appeal you’re looking for. These include:
- Trachelospermum asiaticum. This is a Chinese native jasmine, with equally deep green foliage and small white flowers. This variety isn’t known to be particularly hardy. However, it’s the perfect choice for growing indoors.
- Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Ogon Nishiki'. This is a variegated cultivar of the above plant. It has an intricate foliage with yellow gold veins on the leaves. It’s an avid climber but can also be grown as a ground cover.
- Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Variegatum'. This is a variegated variety of star jasmine, with deep green foliage and pale green veins.
How to Grow Star Jasmine
Star jasmine is suitable for growth in most soils and in pots. However, you will need to pick a slightly more sheltered spot where it is protected from cold, dry winds. A south-facing wall or terrace is a great choice.
Plant your star jasmine somewhere with full sun for ideal growth. Although these plants can adapt to part shade, for a bountiful bloom, they require as much as 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
These plants don’t need particularly deep soil, as they have very shallow roots. However, they do require rich, well-draining soil.
Although these plants are most often self-clinging, young shoots may need to be tied to a trellis with some twine. This will help to train stems into the desired direction. This is also known as training and will help to avoid your vines falling back on themselves when they become too heavy.
If you’re looking at growing star jasmine as a ground cover, which is also a possibility, simply plant root balls closer together and keep up with regular pruning to keep it as a shorter hedge.
Planting Star Jasmine
Star jasmine should be planted during the spring for the best results. This will allow roots to establish themselves before the cold of winter.
When planting, you will need to:
- Dig a generous hole for your jasmine plant.
- Mix in some compost or mycorrhizal fungus into the soil before placing the root ball into the hole.
- Backfill with the rest of the soil and gently pat down to remove any air pockets.
If growing more than one-star jasmine plant, be sure to space them at least 1.5 metres apart, which will give the shallow roots plenty of time to spread.
Propagating Star Jasmine
The most common method of Star jasmine propagation is by means of stem cutting which is best taken in summer. Although, if kept indoors, cuttings can also be taken during the winter, allowing them to establish before planting in spring.
Here is what you’ll need to do:
- Remove a semi-hardwood stem cutting, cutting just before the node.
- In general, smaller cutting has a better success rate. So, take a cutting around 7 cm in length.
- Prepare a small pot or tray with a propagation mix. We recommend a perlite, peat moss mixture. A 90:10 ratio of perlite to peat makes for the most ideal conditions.
- Stick the cutting straight into the mixture and keep your cutting in a warm and sunny spot that is sheltered from any heavy drafts.
- Regularly mist soil to keep it as moist as possible.
For greater success, cuttings can also be dipped into a rooting hormone. Some growers also recommend placing a plastic dome or bag around your cutting, which will help to retain warmth and moisture.
Trays can also be placed onto a heating mat if being propagated in winter. Cuttings generally take around 3 to 4 months to strike. Once new roots have developed, plants can be repotted into a larger pot or container.
It is recommended to replant cutting into a smaller pot for 3 to 4 weeks before planting into the ground. Follow planting instructions as above.
Cuttings can also be rooted in water. However, this can sometimes take longer. Simply remove a cutting and place it into a glass of water. Keep the glass in a sunny spot, changing out the water regularly.
Caring for Star Jasmine
Although they take a little while to establish, star jasmine plants, once established, need minimal care at best. They will require a general watering routine and occasional fertiliser from time to time.
During spring, summer and autumn, star jasmine can be watered every now and then. Depending on rainfall, plants should be watered every 10-21 days. Ensure that the top layer of soil has dried out before watering again. Avoid watering in winter, as this can often lead to root rot.
Keep in mind that the more sun your star jasmine is getting, the faster the soil will dry out. If growing in a full sun spot, regularly check your soil to avoid having wrinkled, curled foliage.
During the growing season, star jasmine can be fertilised monthly. A general-purpose fertiliser should do the trick. An organic compost can also be mixed into the top layers of soil.
Make your own compost using only the best compost bins available in Australia.
Although these plants are slow growers to start, as they expend much of their energy on establishing their strong root system, they can grow as much as 1 to 2 metres too tall. Pruning can be done to cut back reaching shoots and maintain a consistent height and shape. Shears will need to be properly cleaned after pruning, as the vines are filled with sticky sap.
In regions that experience an extremely cold winter, it may be necessary to overwinter your star jasmine indoors to protect the foliage from wind and frost.
Using Jasmine in Your Garden
As mentioned, the trailing habit of this plant makes it perfect for any kind of trellis or wall. Here are some styling ideas to help you pick where you want to grow your jasmine.
- Plant your jasmine along the poles of your porch, around a pergola or add this beautiful plant in your balcony gardening.
- Allow your jasmine to twine up trees for a wonderful effect in both summer and winter.
- Use jasmine to cover up an eyesore such as a damaged wall, old fence or even a shed.
- Allow your jasmine to tumble down walls or balconies for a stunning visual effect.
In certain Asian cultures star jasmine is also used for medicinal uses. When turned into a tonic, it is believed to be incredibly useful for the aged as an anti-bacterial, analgesic and antispasmodic treatment.
Star Jasmine Common Pests & Problems
When grown outdoors, star jasmine seems to be relatively problem-free. The most concerns arise when grown indoors. In particular, dense and heavy soils star jasmine can develop Phytophthora root rot, which is why it’s essential to keep a regular watering routine that avoids waterlogging the roots.
Mealybugs, scale insects and spider mites may also target your star jasmine – particularly when indoors. These can be controlled by removing them with a cotton bud, a strong gust of water, or regularly treated leaves with neem oil.
In certain regions, Japanese beetles can also become a problem. These can be treated relatively easily with neem oil or a pyrethrin-based insecticide.
Grow Star Jasmine in Your Trellis Today!
If you’re looking to add an exciting element to your garden, star jasmine is absolutely the way to go. You’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous, evergreen foliage year-round and the sweet scent of star jasmine throughout the summer and spring.