How to grow Winter flowering Jasmine

Winter flowering Jasmine is a tough, grow anywhere winter flowering climbing plant. It is perennial,decidous and flowers from November to March. It will climb and also tumble down over a wall.

This winter form of Jasmine always flowers yellow. Its Latin name is Jasminum nudiflorum, which means naked flowers. The Latin name is describing the flowers on bare branches which appear ahead of the foliage. Winter flowering Jasmine is fully hardy to H5 and when mature grows up to 3m tall and similar in width, with arching branches which will create a mound. Although commonly described as a climbing plant, it has no tendrils and is not very self supporting; it is more of shrubby scrambler than a climber. It has long, arching branches which will go over a fence or wall, it can also be trained or tied to cover a structure. Jasmine growing vertically up a wall or fence will need to be tied in to train the growth.  

Winter flowering Jasmine is deciduous with dark green leaves, which appear after flowering in April lasting to around October, and the leaves tend to be sparse. Unlike other Jasmines, (which tend not to be fully hardy) it is not scented. In common with many climbing plants, Winter flowering Jasmine is vigorous and grows relatively quickly.

One advantage of growing Winter flowering Jasmine is its tolerance of a wide range of growing conditions, which makes it useful to grow in a tough spot. Winter flowering Jasmine will grow in any soil, acid or alkaline, poor soil, cold areas and in semishade, although it flowers best in the sun, which means it will grow pretty well anywhere. Winter flowering Jasmine needs little attention, and it does not demand pruning. However, it is improved by pruning, see below.

Because the leaves are sparse, it can look a bit untidy when not in flower. To improve this problem, plant with an evergreen shrub or an evergreen climber such as Ivy. As a combination, Ivy and Jasmine are tough and tolerant of soil types, and semi shade and would be ideal for a difficult spot in the garden, such as a north-facing wall. It is also suitable for growing in a coastal garden. Generally, it is trouble and pest free,

How to prune Winter flowering Jasmine

Winter flowering Jasmine can get messy so that the stems are a tangle, as shown in the image below. To overcome its untidy habit,  pruning will help to keep it in shape. Jasmine is group 2 for pruning, which means prune after flowering in early spring. It flowers on the previous year's wood, which means you cannot prune it ahead of flowering or you will remove the wood (stems) and the embryo.This variety of Jasmine is always pruned in the spring immediately after flowering.

When pruning, take out any diseased or spindly branches and thin out the whole plant if it is becoming too large. You can safely take out up to 20% of the plant growth annually.  You can leave winter flowering Jasmine to its own devices to ramble, and although it will carry on growing well and flowering, it will become untidy. It looks better if given an annual prune, cut back to required size or a pair of buds and take out some old growth from the base.

If Jasmine has become overgrown or exceeded its allotted space, winter flowering Jasmine will tolerate renovating pruning and can be cut back hard to 60 cms. This may cause little or no flowers for the first year or so until it re grows.

Winter Jasmine will brighten up gloomy corners of the garden in winter

Unpruned Jasmine

This image shows the difficulty growing Jasmine if it is not pruned at all. It will become spindly and some areas are bare, without flowers.

Jasmine has a tendency to grow straggly and it looks better combined with an evergreen climber which covers its spindly habit and barer patches. Pruning will also help.

Given that Jasmine only needs a light prune, and is otherwise completely unfussy, it is classified as a green wheelbarrow plant. 

Last updated 13.11.021