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Australian Grow Guide: Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

We explore the versatile uses of this enchanting vine, from adorning fences to creating a lush ground cover.

There’s nothing quite like the heady scent of star jasmine as it produces its pretty white star-shaped flowers in spring. 

This attractive vine is definitely one you want to consider growing if you have a fence or other structure that you want to pretty up.

Appearance and common uses

Star jasmine is a flowering vine with glossy green leaves and delicate star-shaped white flowers that have the most delicious scent. This vine usually blooms in spring and fills the air with its heady fragrance.

Trachelospermum jasminoides | Plant care

It’s most commonly used to grow over fences to provide some additional privacy and aesthetic value.

It can also be grown up a trellis that you position next to your garden shed or even as a stand-alone screen to partition off a part of your garden.

It’s also possible to grow star jasmine as a ground cover to form a nice dense mat or low-growing hedge. The vine will crowd out any weed growth.

Climate and location requirements

I remember growing this plant in Queensland but haven’t seen it around much in Victoria. It’s better suited to tropical and temperate climates as it doesn’t particularly like the cold.

However, if you live in a southern state, you might want to consider growing it in a sheltered spot that isn’t exposed to frost.

Star Jasmine grows best in a sunny position but will handle a partly-shaded spot. You’ll find that it will grow lusher and produce many more blooms when grown in full sun.

Star Jasmine 4 | Plant care

How to plant star jasmine

Although star jasmine has a fairly shallow root system, you do want to ensure that the soil is well-drained and enriched with some compost or other organic matter.

Before planting your star jasmine, ensure that you have some sort of climbing structure in place such as a trellis. But this is not necessary if you want to grow it as a ground cover.

After you’ve enriched the soil with some organic matter, dig a planting hole that is as deep and around twice as wide as the rootball of the plant. Take the plant out of the pot and gently tease out the roots a little.

Position your plant in the centre of the hole and then backfill this with the soil you’ve excavated. Gently firm down the soil and create a moat around the outer perimeter. Fill this with water. The moat will keep the water in place and allow it to drain down to where the roots of the plant are.

Place a layer of mulch around the base of the plant but keep it away a little from the main stem.

How to grow star jasmine on a fence

To grow your star jasmine along a fence, you want to give the vine something to cling to. Of course, this depends on what type of fence you have.

Star Jasmine 3 | Plant care

If you have a wire fence, it’s not necessary to add a trellis as you can train the plant to cling to the wire and cover the fence completely.

However, if you have a timber or colorbond fence, you’ll need to add some support for the tendrils of the vine to cling to. This could be as simple as stringing some wires horizontally along the fence at 30-cm intervals. These can be attached to the fence with screws, nails or even cup hooks.

Or, you could attach some chicken wire to the fence in a similar fashion.

Star Jasmine 6 1 | Plant care

If you want to get really fancy, you can position some decorative trellis just in front of the fence for the jasmine to grow up. Make sure that you attach this to the fence to stop it from toppling over when fully covered by the vine.

How to use star jasmine as ground cover

As mentioned, star jasmine can also be grown as a dense ground cover.

To do this, simply plant your star jasmine in the spot that you want it to grow and let the vines scramble over the ground. To cover an area quickly, you can plant more than one but space them around 1.5 metres apart.

You can train the vines to grow where you want them to and clip back any that are encroaching onto other garden areas. When fully grown, your star jasmine will form a nice low hedge if you prune it regularly.

How to grow star jasmine in pots

Star jasmine can also be grown quite successfully in pots as long as you give it a climbing structure. You want to choose a reasonably large pot that is around 60 cm in diameter. This is because the roots like to spread out.

Fill your pot with good quality potting mix and place your star jasmine in the centre. Make sure you’ve added a nice sturdy trellis to the pot as the plant will need this to scramble over.

Potted star jasmine will need to be kept well-watered and also supplied with a slow-release fertiliser in spring and autumn.

Alternatively, you can use a liquid feed that you water in every couple of weeks during the growing season in spring and summer.

How to care for star jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides 1 | Plant care

Your star jasmine will need regular watering after you’ve planted it in the garden. Make sure you water when the top 5 cm of soil is dry. Continue to water your plant during prolonged periods of dry weather.

Star jasmine will also benefit from some additional fertilise twice a year, in spring and autumn. Use an organic controlled-release fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter.

When the plant is young, you might need to train it over the trellis or support structure by tying the vine onto the support at regular intervals. 

Star jasmine also copes with being pruned regularly once it’s become fully established. This means that you can easily control its growth and stop it from taking over your garden.

Star jasmine problems, pests, and diseases

Star jasmine is mostly pest and disease free when given the right growing conditions.

As long as the soil is free-draining, you’ll easily avoid problems such as root rot which would mean the end of your plant.

How to propagate star jasmine

Star jasmine is fairly easy to propagate from stem cuttings. These should be taken in summer. Make your cuttings fairly short and no longer than around 7 cm. Use semi-hardwood stems for the best results.

Cut your stems just below a node and remove the bottom leaves, leaving only a couple at the top. From memory, I believe the stems will exude a milky sap when cut, so make sure that you wear gloves as this can be quite sticky.

Place your cuttings into a small pot or tray filled with seed-raising mix. For the best results, you might want to dip the base of the stem into some rooting hormone liquid or powder first.

Keep your cuttings in a warm and sheltered spot and make sure you keep the soil moist. You might also want to create a more humid environment by covering the pot with a plastic bag or cloche. 

Be prepared to wait as it might take around 3 to 4 months for roots to form.

FAQ

What is the growth rate of star jasmine?

Although growth might be slow in the beginning, once your star jasmine has become established, you can expect it to grow between 30 to 90 cm per year.

When does star jasmine flower?

Star jasmine flowers primarily in spring but you might get some spot flowering over summer as well.

What type of root system does star jasmine have?

Star jasmine has a shallow root system that spreads quite extensively.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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