If you want a fragrant, delicate plant to bring a touch of exotic interest to your home then the vining jasmine plant is for you. There is a misconception that growing jasmine indoors is difficult. This could not be further from the truth. With a little patience and extra care even an inexperienced gardener can easily enjoy growing jasmine indoors.
Our guide to growing jasmine indoors takes you through everything you need to know from planting to flowering.
Growing jasmine indoors allows you to enjoy the delicate, fragrant blooms regardless of your USDA zone. It is also a pleasingly easy and enjoyable process.
Growing jasmine indoors means that during the dark, winter months you can enjoy the plants attractive foliage and decorative blooms. Additionally your home will be filled with the plant’s distinctively sweet fragrance from morning until late at night.
In addition to growing jasmine indoors in a container or flower pot you can also grow the plant in a hanging basket. This allows its vines to trail and drape attractively down.
While this guide is focusing on growing jasmine indoors, the plant is also hardy in USDA zones 9 and 10.
Varieiteis for Indoor Cultivation
Even though you are growing jasmine indoors you should still try to select a plant appropriate to your USDA growing zone. This is because factors such as the intensity of the sunlight, or how much daylight you get, affects houseplants just as much as plants growing outside.
Common jasmine (Jasminum Officinale), also known as True or Poet’s Jasmine, is the most commonly chosen variety amongst gardeners growing the plant outdoors. A woody vining plant, if allowed to, it can reach over 10 ft in height. When in full bloom the plant will attract scores of pollinators. However not everyone has the space to grow such a large plant.
There are a range of different varieties, all of which are appropriate for indoor cultivation. Take the time to explore the available plants and select a variety that appeals to you.
Jasmine polyanthum is one of the most popular choices for gardeners growing indoors. Also known as pink or winter jasmine it tolerates mild frosts, meaning it is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10. Originating in China this cultivar has a distinctive fragrance which, along with its dark foliage, helps to set it apart from other varieties.
Polyanthum is a winter growing variety that flowers until early summer. If allowed to vining cultivars can reach up to 15 ft. Pleasingly, for indoors gardeners, the plant can also be grown as a shrub. With a bit of support, such as trellising, the plant thrives as part of a container garden.
If you want a smaller variety, primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi), Italian jasmine (Jasminum humile) and showy jasmine (Jasminum floridum) are all suitable for growing indoors. Like their larger counterparts these cultivars all produce the plant’s fragrant trumpet-shaped blooms.
How to Grow Jasmine Indoors
Once you have purchased your selected variety your growing jasmine indoors journey can truly begin. Often after purchasing a plant it is a good idea to re-pot it as quickly as possible.
Jasmine plants are often sold on rings just as they are coming into flower. From here they can be re-potted into whatever sort of container you desire.
The plants are usually re-potted in late spring. At the same time cuttings can be taken and planted on separately from the main plant. Be warned cuttings can grow quickly in the spring and may require pruning to encourage the formation of strong root systems and sturdy branches.
As they are often sold in bud, once your plant becomes established in its new home it quickly flowers.
Regularly re-potting your plant is key to keeping it happy and healthy.
What Sort of Soil Should I use?
Whether you are growing jasmine indoors or outdoors the plants soil needs are the same. The soil should be well-draining.
Your ideal potting mix should be fresh and container perlite, vermiculite and peat moss. Working materials such as coir, bark or organic matter into general purpose soil helps to keep the mixture light and well-draining. If peat moss isn’t available, sphagnum moss, common in terrariums, can also be used to lighten the soil.
Whichever potting mix you choose to use, make sure it is fresh or sterile. This means that the potting mix won’t be harboring any pests or diseases that could harm your delicate plants.
How to Pot the Plant
After planting jasmines will happily remain in the container for an extended period. In fact jasmines thrive when they are in confined conditions. In this respect they differ from other container plants that require repotting every year to prevent them from becoming potbound.
Re-pot only when the plant’s roots are wrapping themselves around the inside of the container. If you are unsure whether the plant requires re-potting make a note of how often you are watering it. If your plant requires watering every few days it is probably time to re-pot.
Planting, or re-potting, jasmine is pleasingly simple. Your chosen container should be no more than 2 inches larger and deeper than the one currently holding the plant. The new container should also be clean and have drainage holes in the bottom.
Carefully remove the plant from the original container. Loosen the roots, removing as much old soil as possible. Be careful not to damage the plant’s root system.
If you are re-potting the plant, old or overly large root systems can be carefully pruned back. To do this cut away any overly long root strands.
Make four or five vertical slices in the remaining root ball. These should be spaced out around the root system. This encourages the plant to develop new roots, helping it to become established in its new home.
Fill the new container about a third of the way full with your fresh potting mix. Position the plant as centrally as possible, the top of the root system should sit about an inch below the top of the plant. When you are happy with the position of the plant, fill the container with more potting mix. Firm the soil down gently and water well.
Jasmines do best in well draining soil. Replicating the plant’s preferred growing conditions is key to successfully growing indoors.
Growing Jasmine Indoors Care Tips
Once planted, growing jasmine indoors is a largely trouble free process. Remember, also, to clean or dust the leaves of your plant on a regular basis. The foliage of plants growing indoors can accumulate dust and dirt. Dirty foliage can prevent plants from absorbing sunlight. Regularly cleaning the leaves helps the plants to absorb light and stay healthy.
Finding the Ideal Position
Growing jasmine indoors requires the plant to be placed in a specific position. The chosen position should be one that receives plenty of sunlight. Close to a south facing window is ideal. This position allows your plants to receive lots of natural light while they are actively growing.
If you don’t have an overly sunny room, a well-lit room is just as good. Alternatively grow lights are a great way to boost the amount of light your plant receives.
While your plant likes lots of light remember that these are delicate plants. Jasmine plants growing indoors can tolerate no more than four hours of direct sunlight in one day. During the winter months the plant’s require even less direct light.
To get around this don’t place the plant directly on a windowsill. Instead set it back from the window, so that it receives lots of indirect light. Alternatively placing a net curtain or blind in the window will help to protect the plant during the hottest parts of the day.
Drooping or wilting foliage can be a sign that the plant is receiving too much direct light. If this occurs, move the plant to a shadier position.
Your chosen position should also be one that has good air circulation.
During the summer months the plant can be placed outside on a patio or balcony. While this is not necessary exposing the plant to natural light helps to encourage flower production later in the year. This should only be done when the last chance of frost has passed.
Remember to bring the plant back inside at night and when the temperatures begin to fall.
Jasmines like lots of indirect light. Avoid placing the plant in a position where it will receive lots of direct light. This can cause the foliage to become sunburnt or scorched.
Successfully growing jasmine indoors requires regular watering. Water your plant once a week. Some growers may need to water twice a week.
Submerging the plants in water helps them to gather more moisture than simply pouring water directly onto the soil. Immersion may seem an intense way to water delicate plants. However, it is the most reliable way to make sure the plants are getting enough moisture into their root system. Remember, the soil should feel damp, never soggy.
While the plants are in flower they may require more water. In the period after flowering, before new growth begins to emerge again, plants require less water.
During the summer and early part of the fall you can reduce your watering further. Adjust your watering routine so that the soil is kept consistently moist.
If you fear you are unable to water you plant regularly enough, try a self-watering planter such as the Lechuza Self-Watering Garden Planter. Alternatively you can use a watering globe, such as the Evelots Plant Watering Globes. Both solutions are reliable and easy to use. Either of these options will help to keep the plant happy and hydrated.
If you are concerned about your water usage, why not try harvesting rainwater? This is both easy and cost-effective. The rainwater can then be used to keep your plants hydrated.
Temperature and Humidity
Growing jasmine indoors requires you to provide a steady, cool temperature. Remember these plants thrive during the winter months. They struggle when placed in overly warm positions.
Never place the plants near radiators, stoves or other heat sources. This can raise humidity levels, causing the soil to dry out and the plants to wilt. For similar reasons you should also never try growing jasmine indoors in a bathroom. If your home is too warm for these plants, there are plenty of easy ways to cool down a room.
As well as temperature, you also need to monitor humidity levels. Ideally, growing jasmine indoors will be done in a location that has a relative humidity level of at least 50%. The drier the air the more the plant will struggle to absorb enough moisture.
Misting can be an effective way of raising humidity levels. For this to be effective, some plants will require misting every few hours. This can be difficult to maintain.
Alternatively try placing a humidifier near the plant. Or, a more attractive solution, is to place the plants on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Remember to refill the tray regularly, the water level should be just below the top of the pebbles.
How to Feed
Growing jasmine indoors requires more fertilisation than outdoor cultivation. This is because container grown plants can struggle to get enough nutrients that are naturally present in raised beds or gardens.
Natural fertilizers such as compost provide a great additional boost to your plants. This should be applied alongside chemical or organic plant food.
Commercial fertilizers can be too strong for your plant unless they are diluted to half strength. Alternatively there are a number of plant feed recipes you can make at home.
There are a number of ways to feed plants growing indoors. Diluted or liquid houseplant feeds can be applied throughout the growing season. These are easily incorporated into a watering routine and can be applied once every two to four weeks.
When the plant is in flower apply a feed high in phosphorus. This helps to prolong the flowering period.
Don’t fertilize when the plant is dormant, the period after it has flowered.
Working organic matter such as homemade compost or leaf mold into the soil also helps to give the plants a nutrient boost.
If you are unsure how often to fertilize your plants, remember less is more. It is easier to correct underfeeding than overfeeding. A visible sign that your plants require more fertilizer is yellowing foliage.
Most varieties require some form of support. As the plant vines it will naturally find things to wrap itself around. If natural supports aren’t available a trellis or arch can be provided. This can also help to keep the appearance of the plant neat and controlled.
Growing jasmine indoors requires regular pruning. This keeps the plants growth neat and healthy as well as helping to control its spread. A garden scissors is a handy tool to have, just remember to clean it after use. This helps to prevent disease from spreading between your plants.
Prune the plant early in the year. Never prune after August, this is when the plant begins to set flower buds.
When the plant is young, in the first two years, pinch out the top of the stems when new growth emerges. This helps to encourage further growth.
When the plant finishes flowering prune as necessary, removing dead foliage and entangled stems or vines. Also remove any areas that appear dead or diseased.
Be careful not to remove too much of the plant. Prune away no more than about a third of the plant at any time.
How to Encourage Flowering
Depending on the variety, plants flower at different times of year. For example most varieties flower in the spring and early fall however winter jasmines flower during the winter months.
If your plants are failing to flower at the appropriate time it is probably because they are yet to experience cool enough temperatures. Despite its delicate appearance these plants are pleasingly cold tolerant.
Exposure to several weeks of cooler temperatures, usually at night, of around 40 ℉ is necessary to encourage flowering. This exposure can be naturally done in the fall.
Exposure to cooler temperatures is vital if you want your plants to flower. There are a number of ways this can be achieved.
Another way to encourage flowering, when the plant is dormant, is to make sure that it is completely covered in darkness during the night. To do this, remove the plant from the windowsill if a streetlight is nearby. Placing the plant in a cupboard or closet each night ensures that no artificial light can reach it.
Another reason that your plant may not be producing flower buds is that it is being over-fertilized with nitrogen. Nitrogen encourages plants to produce foliage. This is often done at the expense of flower production. This can be corrected by applying plant food rich in phosphorus.
If your plant is in a good position and seems to be receiving the right amounts of food, it may simply have become potbound. Re-potting your plant into a slightly larger container can encourage it to flower.
How to Propagate
If you want to replicate the success of your initial jasmine plant by growing more indoors, why not try propagation? Propagation is a great way to acquire more plants for little expense. The easiest way to propagate jasmine is through cuttings.
Always take cuttings from healthy, fresh stems. Each cutting should be around 4 inches long and have around 2 sets of leaves at the top. Lower leaves can be removed once the cutting has been made.
To encourage propagation and root growth you can dip the cutting in rooting hormone. However, this is not necessary for propagation to be successful.
Fill a small flower pot with damp, well-draining soil mixture. Plant the cutting in the soil and place it inside a propagator. Alternatively place the cutting in a plastic bag, ensuring that the plastic doesn’t touch the plant. Sheltering the plant in this way helps to maintain temperature and humidity levels. It also encourages growth.
Place the cutting in a bright location where the temperature averages 60 to 65℉. Keep the soil moist.
If your cutting is successful new growth will emerge within four weeks. As soon as new growth is visible remove the cutting from its cover and place in a light location. Allow the plant to grow on, caring for it as you would a larger plant. When its roots fill the container, transplant the plant into a larger container.
If you can find the ideal position growing jasmine indoors is a largely trouble free process. However, there are a few things you should look out for.
Winter jasmine can be affected by spider mite infestations. Insecticidal soap, easily made at home, can treat minor infestations.
If the infestation is too large cut the plant down to soil level after flowering. Discard the foliage in a bin or by burning. Don’t place the foliage in your compost heap. Placing diseased or infested plants in your compost heap can help to spread the problem around your garden. Fertilize the crowns of the plant to stimulate new growth.
Like other container garden and houseplants, jasmine can also be targeted by mealybugs. These little pests will leave white, cotton-like masses on the underside of foliage and stems. Wiping the foliage with cotton wool dipped in alcohol will remove most infestations. Alternatively, applying neem oil to the foliage will cure most infestations.
Growing jasmine indoors is a pleasingly easy process. An attractive plant, it is a great way to bring color and fragrance to your home.
Growing jasmine indoors may seem daunting but once you get a few basics, such as position right, your plants will quickly thrive. If correctly cared for, these plants live for several years, reliably filling your home with pretty flowers, lush foliage and a sweet aroma.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.