Star jasmine is an intoxicatingly fragrant vine that is grown widely in the Southeast. Its versatile nature makes it a great plant for many settings.
Star jasmine has an old common name, Confederate jasmine, but this plant is not native to the Southeast, nor is it a true jasmine. It is actually native to China and is known scientifically as Trachelospermum jasminoides.
In early spring and summer, star jasmine produces clusters of small, white flowers that look like tiny pinwheels (or stars). Despite their diminutive size, the flowers pack a huge punch of sweet fragrance and can easily perfume an entire yard.
Star jasmine is a fast-growing, twining vine that can be grown on lamp posts, trellises, or arbors. It will easily twine through chain link fences and makes a great, evergreen screen. It will not climb on masonry walls unless a support structure is added.
Take care if planting star jasmine near trees, as its energetic tendrils can quickly reach heights where they may be difficult to prune.
Some sources recommend star jasmine as a ground cover, but keep in mind that it’s a vigorous grower and may not work well in all situations. A great alternative groundcover is Asiatic jasmine (T. asiaticum), though it rarely blooms.
Planting and Care
Star jasmine can be planted throughout Florida and prefers well-drained locations that receive full or partial sun. Plants grown in full sun will produce the most flowers.
Be sure to provide plants with adequate space, since vines can grow twenty feet or more if left unpruned. Pinching back the tips of the vines will encourage branching and produce fuller plants.
Star jasmine does respond well to pruning and can even be shaped as a small hedge or espalier. The sap of the plant is quite sticky and can stain clothing, so be sure to clean tools and any soiled clothing promptly after pruning.
Star jasmine is relatively pest free and drought resistant, making it a great plant for many Southern landscapes.
For more information on star jasmine, contact your county Extension office.