The common name Jasmine covers a broad array of vines and shrubs that come from all corners of the temperate world.

Some of these are true Jasmines, from the Jasminum genus, but there many more Jasmines and Jessamines in different plant families that deserve attention. Most Jasmines that are commonly found in garden centers are covered in this article.

We are fortunate to live in a climate that can host at least some of the Jasmines outdoors through winter, but many of the most fragrant are not tough enough to survive outdoors year round, so should be treated like houseplants and brought indoors in winter.

Hardy Jasmine

j-stephanense

Jasminum 'Stephanese':
Stephan's Pink Jasmine

A naturally occurring hybrid between Jasminum beesianum and Jasminum officinale originating from China - Pink 1” flowers in summer with a light sweet scent attract hummingbirds. New leaves are creamy gold with pink edges and turn green when fully open. 

Grows to 12-15’, attaches by twining. Sun-pt shade. Hardy Zone one 7, 0-10f

jasminum-humile

Jasminum humile: Italian Jasmine

Native to western China - Fragrant yellow flowers in May-June with sporadic flowering thru summer attract bees and hummingbirds. Dark glossy green leaves may stay evergreen in mild winters, but fall off below 18f. Growth is more like a rangy shrub than a vine and is best trained like a vine or a climbing rose with long branches tied up to a trellis. Grows to 12-15’ tall, faster with regular water in summer. Sun-pt shade. Hardy Zone 7, 0-10f.

j-nudiflorum2-osu

Jasminum nudiflorum: Winter Jasmine

Yellow flowers have no scent, but BLOOM IN WINTER! Glossy green leaves fall off in autumn leaving bright green branches that burst into bloom in January. Growth is more like a rangy shrub than a vine, but is best treated like a vine with long canes tied to a trellis or obelisk. The variety ‘Mystique’ has variegated cream and green leaves. Grows 10’ x 10’. Sun-pt shade, Hardy Zone 6, -10-0f.

Jasminum-officinale-Flore-pleno

Jasminum officinale: Poet's Jasmine, Common Jasmine

Native from Iran to western China and the national flower of Pakistan – Lovely white flowers have a sweet scent that is more intense in evening. Blooms summer through frost. Green feathery leaves fall off in winter.

Grows fast to 12-15’ in 5 years. Likes regular water in summer. Sun to shade, more flowers in sun – Hardy Zone 7, 0-10f

We carry the following cultivars:

‘Fiona’s Sunrise’ – Pink flower buds, white flowers and bright gold leaves that maintain brightness in shady spots. Protect from hot sun and water regularly.



Tender Jasmine

These Jasmines are sadly not hardy enough to live outside year round in Portland. They are hardy to around 20-30f, but don’t look good unless they’re kept above 40f. They are easy to grow in containers though, living outdoors in summer and indoors as house plants in the winter. Check them thoroughly for insects, harmful or otherwise before bringing them indoors in October and treat if necessary. Place them in the brightest spot you have and be careful to keep soil evenly moist – not too much water – over winter.

angelwing

Jasminum nitidum: Angelwing Jasmine

Native to the Admiralty Islands near New Guinea – Flower buds are dark pink, opening to white heavily scented star-shaped flowers with very slender petals. Dark green evergreen leaves on a twining vine.

Grows 10-15’ x 3-4’, needs sun, neutral to alkaline soil & regular water during summer. Zone 10

Jasminum_polyanthum

Jasminum polyanthum:
Pink Jasmine

Native to China – This is the Jasmine that has both delighted and disappointed so many people. It’s powerfully fragrant pink flowers fill nurseries and Fred Meyers alike in early spring, luring unwitting garden dreamers to make the purchase and pop it in the ground. Disappointment comes when the plant does not survive winter, or when having survived winter and having lost most leaves and many branches, flowers appear sporadically or not at all.

This is not a bad plant. It just should be treated like other tender Jasmines; kept in a pot and wintered indoors, or planted every spring for benefit of glorious flowers. While it is more cold tolerant than other tropical Jasmines (Zone 9, 20-30f) and may survive a ‘warm’ Portland winter, it is not reliable if left outdoors.

Flowers form on old wood (last year’s growth) so prune after bloom, and expect flowers to appear late in spring.

Grows fast to 12-15’, sun, Zone 9.

jasmine sambac

Jasminum sambac: Arabian Jasmine

Native to India – Jasmine tea comes from these flowers as does the oil used in perfumes. White star shape flowers emit amaze ing fragrance in summer. Leaves are larger and rounder than other Jasmine leaves, but are dark, glossy and evergreen. Grows 6-8’, attaches by twining, Zone 9.


Trachelospermum: Star Jasmine

t-asiaticum

Trachelospermum asiaticum:
Asian Star Jasmine

Native to Japan and Korea – Small, creamy yellow star flowers appear in spring and sporadically through summer. Leaves are dark, glossy and evergreen. Growth is slow and works better as a ground cover than a vine.

Grows to 12” tall, 3-4’ wide if allowed to trail along the ground. Sun, Zone 7.

jasminoides

Trachelospermum jasminoides: Star Jasmine

Native to Japan & China – Sweetly fragrant white star flowers cover the plant in June and appear sporadically thru summer into fall. Leaves are glossy dark and evergreen and sometimes turn dark red in winter. Twining growth attaches to trellises and arbors to form a very nice evergreen screen. If allowed to lie on the ground instead of climbing, the plant forms a dense ground cover.

Star Jasmine grows at a moderate pace, 12-18”/year which makes it easy to care for once it has filled the required space. Grown as a vine it can reach 10-12’ tall x 4’ wide. Treated as a ground cover it will grow 18” tall x 5’ wide.

Full sun to bright shade (the north side of a house for example is ok, but not stuck under a dark tunnel of holly trees). Looks fine when exposed to temperatures of 20-25f, may lose leaves at 15f and die if exposed to cooler temperatures. It is usually just fine in Portland.


Other plants commonly called Jasmine

cestrum-nocturnum

Cestrum nocturnum: Night blooming Jasmine or Jessamine

Native to the West Indies, from the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family. Long narrow tubular yellow-green flowers have a sweet scent that is most powerful on warm summer evenings. This is a tropical evergreen shrub, so keep it in a container and move it indoors in winter. Grown in a pot it will reach 3-4’ tall. Sun, Zone 10.

gelsemium

Gelsemium rankinii: Swamp Jasmine or Jessamine

Native to wet habitats of SE United States, from the Gelsemiaceae family. Bright yellow flowers in April-May and again in fall have no scent, but attract hummingbirds. Plants are usually marked as evergreen, but in Portland winters that is not always the case, and if leaves stay on the plant the may look a tad unsightly in winter.

Fast-growing vine to 10-20’ x 8’, sun, Zone 7 0-10f.

Mandevilla laxa (15010367158)

Mandevilla laxa: Chilean Jasmine

Native to Argentina, Apocynaceae (Dogbane) family. White 2” trumpet flowers with lovely fragrance bloom all summer. Leaves are 2-6” long and deciduous (fall off in winter).

Fast-growing vine to 15’. Best in full sun and well-drained soil with neutral pH. Hardy Zone 7. Temperatures down to 10f will likely kill the woody stems above ground, but roots will survive and the plant will grow again.

stephanotis-floribunda

Stephanotis floribunda: Madagascar Jasmine, Bridal Wreath

Native to Madagascar, Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) family. Stephanotis flowers are often part of bridal bouquets, chosen for their tropical trumpet shape waxy flowers that smell delicious and hold up well in arrangements. They grow on an evergreen vine with thick leathery leaves that reaches up to 6’ if kept in a container. Sun, Zone 10

Vines for year-round interest.

Vines have an essential role in creating the look and feel you want in your yard and often have the added benefit of easy care.