The aromatic scents of a Star Jasmine in bloom make this plant oh so special. You’ve probably seen this plant growing in various forms; over an arbor, on a trellis, in a pot, or even as a hedge. We get questions about Star Jasmine regularly so we have compiled the 10 most frequent ones and will be providing answers based on our experience of growing and caring for this plant in 2 different climate zones.
Our Q & A series is a monthly installment where we answer your most common questions on caring for specific plants. Our previous posts cover Fertilizing & Feeding Roses, Snake Plants, Aloe Vera, and Bougainvillea.
To start off, Star Jasmine is not actually a true jasmine. The botanic name is Trachelospermum jasminoides and other common names are Confederate Jasmine and Southern Jasmine. The reason it is commonly called to as Star Jasmine is that the white flowers resemble that of jasmine.
Star Jasmine is in the Apocynaceae family which includes Plumeria, Oleander, and Adenium just to name a few. Pink Jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum, is a true Jasmine and another popular fragrant blooming vine.
Common Questions About Star Jasmine
1.) Is Star Jasmine an evergreen? How quickly does Star Jasmine Grow?
Yes, Star Jasmine is an evergreen woody vine. It is hardy in USDA zones 8 – 10.
In my experience growing and caring for Star Jasmine, it is a moderate to fast grower. Star Jasmine can grow up to 25-30 feet in height. To reach this height it will need some method of support.
Related: Star Jasmine Care & Growing Tips
2.) Does Star Jasmine need full sun? Will Star Jasmine survive in the shade?
It depends on your location. In San Francisco and California coastal cities where I was a professional gardener, it can take full sun. However, in a climate like Tucson where I now live, it needs protection from the full, hot sun. In general, the more sun this plant gets the more water it will need.
Star Jasmine can be grown in bright shade in a climate like Tucson. If grown in the deep shade there may be no growth or stunted growth and definitely little or no flowering.
3.) How do you keep Star Jasmine flowering? What is the blooming season for Star Jasmine?
Star Jasmine needs light to flower. How much depends on the environmental conditions.
The blooming season will vary by where you live and the climate zone. It’s a spring to early summer bloomer, usually mid-April and into June.
4.) Does Star Jasmine need a trellis? How do you encourage Star Jasmine to climb?
You have options when growing a Star Jasmine. There are multiple methods of support that you can utilize. You are not limited to a trellis, as we’ve seen it growing on chain link fences, over arbors, and on wire supports.
Star Jasmine is a twining vine and needs to be trained. To encourage the plant to climb you will want to train it (especially when it first starts to grow) using the method of your choice. You can see this in the photo on the left below.
5.) How often do you water Star Jasmine?
It depends on your climate but they’re fairly drought tolerant once established. It doesn’t need watering in coastal California as often as it does here in Tucson. They look better with regular watering.
In general, I would say once a week, but in the intense summer heat, I would increase it to twice a week.
Here are some of our gardening guides you may find helpful:
- 7 Things To Think About When Planning A Garden
- How To Successfully Plant Shrubs In The Garden
- How To Successfully Plant Perennials
- How To Prepare and Plant A Flower Bed
- How to Feed Camellias With Great Success
- Clean And Sharpen Your Pruning Tools
6.) Does Star Jasmine have to climb? Can Star Jasmine be a shrub? Will Star Jasmine climb a fence?
Star Jasmine is technically a vine. It doesn’t have to climb but it wants to climb. It’ll climb a fence, trellis, over an arbor or pergola all with training.
It can be grown as a shrub, however, the repeated pruning to keep it in shrub form is a lot of work and can lessen the amounts of blooms you will get. Given this, it’s better suited to grow like a vine. Besides, there are lots of attractive shrub options out there in all climate zones that don’t require the amount of pruning and training that Star Jasmine does.
I’ve also seen Star Jasmine ground as a ground cover.
Yes, Star Jasmine will climb a fence. It’ll wrap itself around a chain-link fence with initial training. On a wooden or masonry fence, you’ll need to provide climbing plant support like this, or this, or this.
7.) Does Star Jasmine do well in pots? Can I grow Star Jasmine in a container?
Yes, as long as the pot is big enough. For instance, if you have three plants in a 16″ container they’ll fast outgrow this pot. You can always start out with a 1 gallon Star Jasmine in a 14″ pot or similar, and repot it to a larger sized pot as it grows.
Yes, you can grow star Jasmine in a container as long as it’s size appropriate. I included this question along with the one above because some people call them pots, some containers, and other planters.
8.) Can Star Jasmine be cut back hard? What time of the year can you cut back Star Jasmine?
I’ve never cut back a Star Jasmine hard and by that I mean 6″ from the ground. The furthest down I went on my former client’s Star Jasmine hedge was 18″. On an established plant, I wouldn’t cut back below the point where you see the foliage. For instance, if the stems closest to the ground are woody and there’s no foliage below 20″, then I would prune it down to anywhere between 24″-36″.
The best time of year to cut back a star Jasmine is after flowering. So, that’s anywhere from late spring through summer depending on your climate zone. When I had my large Star Jasmine vine at my previous home, I would do a more extensive pruning in late spring after the bloom and an additional lighter trim in the fall just to shape a bit of the summer growth.
9.) How do you take care of Star Jasmine in winter? Will Star Jasmine survive winter?
When it comes to winter care for Star Jasmine, I would just leave it alone until late winter or early spring. I believe this is the time to let the plant rest and leave it be.
It depends on how cold your winters are. This plant is hardy from zones 8-11 and you can use this link to find out your plant hardiness zone. If the temps dip below 20F, your plant could be damaged.
I’ve grown Star Jasmine in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Tucson where winters are milder and the plant does fine. A harsh winter or repetitive nights below 20F puts your Star Jasmine at risk.
10.) Why are Star Jasmine leaves turning red?
This usually happens in fall and winter. This is a reaction to temperatures getting colder. Generally, these reddish leaves will drop in spring as the temps warm and new growth forms.
Bonus: What is the difference between Star Jasmine and Confederate Jasmine?
There is no difference. They’re the same plant with different common names. In the western US where I’ve lived for 36 years, I’ve always seen and heard it called Star Jasmine.
I hope we’ve answered your commonly asked questions about caring for Star Jasmine. We’ll see you next month for questions on growing lavender.