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Confederate Jasmine for a Fragrant Layer in the Garden

A beautiful garden is multidimensional, containing layers that cover the ground, mound and stretch, lean and weep, leap and reach heavenwards. This comes with age. A vine covered structure is an easy way to add dimension to a younger garden that still feels flat.

Trachelospermum jasminoides, also called Confederate jasmine as well as star jasmine, is a beautiful vine for the purpose. I have an old metal arch over the pathway that leads from the patio around the side of the house to the front. Over the years I have had several roses and a hyacinth bean growing on it. None have been as successful as the confederate jasmine I planted a couple years ago. A single plant has completely smothered the arch and hides its rickety, rusty imperfections.

This vine has lustrous, evergreen leaves, and in spring it produces myriads of highly fragrant white flowers. The flowers are less than an inch wide and are shaped like little pinwheels. I am not surprised that high end perfume is made from the blossoms. Every year I look forward to the olfactory experience of walking under the blooming arch.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is a relatively easy care vine. It grows in hardiness zones 8-10 and can handle heat, wind, and the occasional drought. It will bloom in sun to shade and likes rich, well draining soil high in organic matter. While it likes moisture, especially during the hottest part of summer, it may develop fungus in soil that stays soggy. It usually doesn't need a lot of fertilizer but may benefit from an application of a balanced fertilizer once or twice a year.

This vine grows on the previous years's growth, so it should be pruned after it has finished flowering. It will reach 10 to 20 feet and grows best when planted on a structure such as a fence, pergola or arbor, though it can also make a satisfactory ground cover. Pruning is beneficial to control its size and spread, and cuttings may be used to propagate more vines. Those who live outside its hardiness zone can grow confederate jasmine in a pot. Inside it does best in bright filtered light. 



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Reader Comments (26)

Wow! I can just imagine the scent, and the arbor is beautiful! Wow! The pathway leading to it, and the landscaping beyond are spectacular, too. Wow!

May 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

Hi Deb...this is so beautiful. I can just imagine the wonderful fragrance . I love shrubs, vines, etc that have a good fragrance. I think it adds to the garden.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristy

I can almost smell the scent of jasmine. What a stunning display the confederate jasmine makes on your metal arch Deb. That first image is a picture for a gardening magazine!

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

It is wonderful, we have one on our pergola and the perfume is divine! Yours looks really good on your archway. I keep meaning to take cuttings to spread it round the garden, but so far have neglected to do so, maybe this year......?

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

Beautiful post. Jasmine is probably my most favorite plant and I have several varieties. I too love the season of scent! Stephanotis is my favorite jasmine but I have more star jasmine than anything! Jeannine

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

Great tip! I just found out this weekend from Carolyn's blog that my american honeysuckle is actually a vine. I was considering attaching it to a trellis, but an arch would be even better.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

The confederate jasmine makes such a pretty flowering archway to walk under, and it's so thick you can't even see how it is supported.

I'm always trying to add more for that middle layer.I have the trees above, and the perennials and shrubs below, but I'd like more to bridge the two layers.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNorthern Shade

The jasmine looks great on that arch. Too bad we can't grow it here in zone 5. I like to grow trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), a native honeysuckle that is easy to grow here. It has beautiful flowers, but sadly is not fragrant.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Some handy tips there Debs. The scent of this plant is absolutely divine!

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

We have a pair of these waiting for us in the new garden. Our first visit there, there were blooming their socks off!

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I have one growing on an arbor, but it has not completely covered it like your has. Yours is great inspiration! And scent is such a wonderful added bonus to any plant, but the scent of jasmine is just heavenly. I would love to walk through that arbor and breathe in the fragrance.

May 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

The fragrance must be absolutely amazing. I do really like the path in your garden as well.

We are sharing the same experience, my Trachelospermum is also flowering, it's perfume is almost overwhelming, mine is hiding the large tank that holds our gas, I love the arch inviting you to explore the garden further. Christina

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Deb I'm stunned plants grow so fast and large where you live, it never ceases to amaze me what a big difference a clay soil (lots of food for plants) and heat can do, your jasmine is beautiful, when you say it dosen't need much fertalizer that's in a clay soil which you have, for people like me gardening on a nutrient deprived soil everything needs extra food/nutrients/fertilizer, it is this sort of miss information that held my garden back for so long and I can really see the difference since I have used a general purpurose fertilizer across the garden, it seems most gardeners seem to have a clay soil which is high in nutrients, so think plants don't need much fertilizer but for those of us on nutrient deprived soils our gardens need lots of feeding, a beautiful vine, Frances

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

Oh, that looks so wonderful, and I imagine the scent is glorious from all of those blooms. It's always great to find a plant that really earns it's keep too.

Lovely, and the smell must be overpowering under that arch. I love the smell of Jasmine, always reminds me of Spring when we were young and jasmine still grew in wild patches here and there on our way to school.

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGraziella

I love Confederate Jasmine though I don't have any. My Dad has it and i want some when i can provide it something to climb on. I just bought a metal 'fence' section from an antique shop in Camden, SC to provide a climbing structure for clematis. This is beautiful.

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJody Raines

Stunning! I have finally managed to keep one alive, on the south side of the house near the patio. It is actually in a lot of shade but is covered in blooms right now as well and the fragrance is super.

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhillip

It's so true - confederate jasmine may just have the best plant aroma ever. I am theoretically in zone 7b (acting like 8a) and mine has been hardy and evergreen. How great is that? Mine is in shade, and it still blooms like mad. If you can grow this plant, you should grow this plant!

I love plants with enthusiasm! It's not hardy to my zone, so no jasmine for me. But I sure do love the smell of jasmine, I can just imagine how lovely it is to have in your garden.

May 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

Deborah this plant is a secret passion of mine....I fell in love with jasmine when I travelled to Italy....I have tried to grow varieties that are cold hardy here with no luck...but I have not given up...I need to find the perfect spot....it is stunning in your garden.

hi deb, this vine works brilliantly as an arch. I've also seen it used as ground cover - it's obviously very versatile and easygoing. I've never heard it called Confederate Jasmine, must be a US moniker.

May 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

I can smell the jasmine, Deb. Your images bring back wonderful memories of such a delicious aroma.

May 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

I have never heard the name Confederate Jasmine before. I worked with it a lot out in San Fransisco.

May 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReed Pugh

You know, my Dad keeps trying to get me to take some Confederate Jasmine and I have had nothing for it to climb on. I am wondering how it would do climging on a crepe myrtle down along the creek where it would get partial shade? We have such an abuncance of Crepe Myrtles (some I need to dig up that are growing at the foundation of our porch. So, even if it managed to smother the tree (which I doubt) it could easily be replaced!

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJody Raines

Rats! Rats! Rats!! Zones 8-10???? But I WANT one…… :( I am Zone 5A.
(So beautiful and I can just imagine how heavenly it smells).

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid
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