Star Jasmine – the Stars of the Garden, the Plant of the Month.
Late October is the month when Star jasmine comes into flower, peaking to perfection during November. This beautiful vine is covered with small white star-shaped flowers that make your garden smell heavenly. The fragrance is very similar to those of jasmine shrubs and vines, but it’s in a different family. The Latin name for star jasmine is Trachelospermum jasminoides. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family. Other members include Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa), frangipani (Plumeria spp.) and oleander (Nerium oleander). Despite the fact that it belongs to a family that is notoriously poisonous, it is listed as non-toxic. It originally comes from China.
Size & Shape of Star Jasmine:
This is a liana that can grow from 3 – 15 m long
You can plant this in full sun to part shade. For maximum flowering potential, choose a spot with full sun.
Foliage/Flowers/Fruit of Star Jasmine:
The evergreen leaves are lanceolate to oval in shape with a lustrous green colour.
These flowers are amazingly, the white flowers are shaped like stars or pinwheels and are approximately 2cm across, they are intensely fragrant. The fruit is a brown follicle.
Design Tips For Star Jasmine:
This vine is versatile and can be trained onto a trellis, pergola or similar support. It can also be used as a groundcover or grown in containers, you can also train it into a pillar, globe or as a standard.
Growing Tips For Star Jasmine:
Star jasmine can handle most types of soil and once the roots have spread themselves, it can tolerate drought. Propagation can be carried out through cuttings or layering.
Star jasmine is pretty low maintenance, only needing pruning if it is escaping to somewhere that you do not want it to go.
Pests & Diseases of Star Jasmine:
This vine usually does not attract many pests or diseases. Sometimes scales will attack, which can be controlled with horticultural oils. Scales drop honeydew on the vines, which sometimes leads to the development of sooty mould. Yellowing of leaves, or prominent green veins against a yellow back ground indicates a nutrient deficiency: sulphur, iron, nitrogen or zinc. Get a soil sample tested through Agri.
Photographs: Esther Townsend