Summer jasmine is prized for the wonderfully sweet fragrance given off by its star-shaped flowers in the summertime. Known scientifically as Jasminum officinale, it grows well outdoors when planted in the ground in regions with mild climates, and it can also be grown successfully in a pot, with some gardeners bringing their jasmine indoors as a houseplant. There are several different cultivars, some that produce yellow flowers and others that produce white flowers, and all of them give off an intense, memorable scent that might have inspired its common name, poet’s jasmine.
Gardeners who want to quickly cover a trellis or unsightly fence will be pleased with the growth of summer jasmine. The strong vine grows quickly and will flower during summer and into the fall, providing a scented screen of beauty. The twining nature of summer jasmine makes it a favorite choice for topiary training. The flowers, shaped like small stars, grow in clusters and each can reach 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) long.
Successfully planting jasmine calls for a well-drained and moist location situated to receive full sun. Jasmine also will do well with a minimum of four hours of sun when full sun is not available. The vine requires frequent watering during its heavy growth period in summer, a mild fertilizer and some lime added to the soil.
Pruning or trimming jasmine should be timed correctly. If the task is performed at the wrong time, summer jasmine will not bloom, but the poor timing will not irrevocably harm the vine. Summer jasmine should be pruned after it has completely finished flowering for the season, preferably in autumn. The timing will allow it to put out growth for the next season’s blooms. Jasmine blooms on old growth.
Summer jasmine can also be given a hard pruning to promote health and growth. This type of pruning will cut away a large portion of the climber, but the gardener will be rewarded with renewed growth. Flowering, however, will likely be postponed for a few years while the jasmine reinvigorates. Summer jasmine, when planted in a prime spot with enough sun and water, can grow as much as 2 feet a year (0.60 meters), to a full height of 15 feet (4.57 meters).
Summer jasmine’s oil and flowers are used to impart a sense of calm and beauty. The oil is used in aromatherapy products, and the flowers are sometimes worn as hair adornments and used as wedding decorations. A type of tea made from jasmine is used to ease sunstroke.