Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 28, 2014
Tags: Edible, Fragrant, Pink Flowers, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Jasminum Polyanthum is among my favorite Jasmine! It is an evergreen twining vine that can reach more than 25ft tall. In areas like San Francisco it can bloom through out the year, Spring and Summer in most other areas. Covered in pink-white flowers that you can smell from a distance, the mouth watering fragrance is very enticing. The flowers are in fact edible! This is one of the easiest plants to maintain with occasional pruning. It may become invasive, it’s best grown in pots or containers.
Jasminum Polyanthum is a vine that climbs by twining, meaning that it kind of wraps around itself or other objects to grow taller. This plant in the forests grows tall up and over trees and other plants until it can reach sun light, and once it reaches sunlight it stops growing so rapidly. If you want your Jasminum Polyanthum to grow rapidly during the spring keep it in a warm area but not directly in the sun. This should promote it’s natural desire to grow above the forest canopy to find sunlight – a green house might be a perfect place! Make sure it can still get some sunlight though – especially if it starts looking unhealthy you might try putting it outside in partial shade.
My Jasminum Polyanthum at home is growing on a trellis, every year in early Spring it grows large bunches of flower buds! The flower buds start out very small, a dark red color. As Spring comes into play the buds will start to flower. The Jasminum Polyanthum is also called Winter Jasmine by some, probably because it does well outside through the Winter. There are many other Jasminum variety’s known by this name as well, namely Jasminum Nudiflorum.
Though I have not witnessed this yet, Jasminum Polyanthum is supposed to grow as much as 6 inches per day in the Spring. The issue many people have with Jasminum Polyanthum is that because of it’s aggressive growth habits, even a small clipping of a branch thrown in the compost pile might take root and grow rapidly. Many reviews of this plant have at least a few people who can’t get rid of it – they cut it down every year. Jasminum Polyanthum also sends out runners that can take root pretty easily potentially making it hard to get rid of. I recommend growing it in a pot, or in a place where it can roam free and not disturb anything else you may have growing.
The Jasminum Polyanthum plants at my local nursery are grown in 1 gallon pots with a 1 x 1 inch stake in the middle. When the plant grows out too much they just get another tie and secure the hanging branches loosely to the stake and the plant continues to grow upwards. The amazing thing is that even tied to the stake, their over fertilized Jasminum Polyanthum plants flower so much you can hardly see the green foliage behind the flowers!
If you are looking to propagate this plant you have many choices. The easiest is probably layering, but you can also take cuttings, or grow from seed. Since this plant grows so aggressively in the Spring, around March to April you should start your cuttings if you plan to propagate this way. Alternatively, Air Layer your new starts and forget about unreliable cuttings!
If you are looking for a vine to cover a wall or fence Jasminum Polyanthum may be the best choice because of it’s aggressive growth habit. I suggest buying this plant before they flower as heavy rains around their bloom season can wash away much of the scent (That is, store bought plants usually come from down south where it’s warmer so they are in bloom a month or two ahead of where we are, and when they come to us the rain washes the scent away. Plants that are grown at home don’t usually have this issue!). Placing this plant indoors near a window after the buds develop may cause it to flower faster (because of the warmth) and the scent would probably fill a good portion of your home! This is by far one of my favorite Jasmine because A) it’s a vine that can grow over just about anything in your yard B) their growth rate is incredible and C) most true jasmine flowers are white while the flowers of Jasminum Polyanthum have a pink hue to them making them quite a unique variation!
If you plant in a pot, be sure it has an adequate draining medium. If it sits in water too long it can rot the roots. I don’t fertilize my plant because I have good soil! If your soil is not the best I’d recommend giving your Jasminum Polyanthum some fertilizer in the middle of Winter when it’s developing it’s buds and though it’s blooming season. This will promote better flowering, stronger scent and longer flower life. I’m still against fertilizer…
Jasminum Polyanthum is a must have for Jasmine lovers and fragrance farmers!