How to grow Winter flowering Jasmine

Winter flowering Jasmine is a popular climbing plant which is easy to grow and flowers from November to March. This yellow variety illustrated is Jasminum  nudiflorum, commonly sold online and in garden centres. It is fully hardy to H5 and matures to grow 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 arch upwards and over a fence or wall and can easily be trained  or tied to cover a structure.  If growing Jasmine vertically up a wall or fence, it 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. On Jasmine nudiflorum, as it's name indicates, the flowers appear ahead of any leaves on bare branches. In common with many climbing plants, Winter flowering Jasmine is vigorous and grows relatively quickly.

Winter flowering Jasmine will grow on any soil, acid or alkaline,  and will grow in semishade, although it flowers best in sun.  It is tolerant of any soil including dry sites and poor soils. Winter flowering Jasmine needs very little attention which means it is easy to grow. It does not demand pruning, although as the plant matures pruning is helpful to tidy it up a bit and to contain the plant within its allotted space.

Given that its leaves are fairly sparse it look a bit untidy when not in flower. To improve on this problem it is often planted 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 a bit vigorous to grow in a container, but given its tolerance of poor conditions it could be grown in a largish container. 

Winter flowering Jasmine can get a bit messy so that the stems are a tangle, as shown in the image above right. This can be tidied up by pruning.

How to prune Winter flowering Jasmine

To overcome its untidy habit,  pruning will help to keep it in shape. Jasmine is group 2 for pruning; this means  prune after flowering which ill be 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 would be flowers. This variety of Jasmine is always pruned in the spring. 

Take out any diseased or spindly branches and thin out if it is becoming too large, and 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, it will become untidy but carry on growing well and cut back periodically if it is becoming over grown; it is really very easy to grow. It tends to look 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 result in 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 in any event and it tends to look better combined with an evergreen climber which covers it's 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 12.01.2020