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. It will climb and it can also tumble down bridges or over a wall.

This winter form of Jasmine always flowers yellow, Latin name is Jasminum  nudiflorum which means naked flowers. The latin name is describing the flowers on bare branches 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 arch upwards and over a fence or wall and can 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 of the advantages of growing Winter flowering Jasmine is its tolerance to a wide range of growing conditions which makes it useful to grow in a difficult spot. Winter flowering Jasmine will grow in any soil, acid or alkaline, poor soil, cold areas and in semishade, although it flowers best in 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. 

How to prune Winter flowering Jasmine

Winter flowering Jasmine can get a bit 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 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 07.01.2021