Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum Jasminoides) is an attractive flowering plant. The star-shaped white flowers contrast nicely with the plant’s rich green leaves. When fully open the flowers of this fast growing climber emit a pleasing vanilla-fragrance which is reminiscent of a real jasmine plant.
Also known as Confederate Jasmine, these plants are ideal for providing floral ground cover. The twining vines do require some training if you want them to grow upwards. To control the spread, Trachelospermum Jasminoides can also be planted in pots. Not only does this keep the plants in check, it also enables gardeners in a range of different climates to enjoy these attractive specimens.
If you want to learn more about growing Star Jasmine in pots, this guide is designed to take you through everything that you need to know.
These are reliable white flowering, fragrant plants that thrive in containers.
What is Trachelospermum Jasminoides?
Despite the name this is not a true Jasminum plant nor does it belong to the Jasminum genus.
An ornamental plant, part of the Trachelospermum genus, these plants are common in Asia. Belonging to the Apocynaceae plant family, along with Vinca, Plumeria, Oleander and Adenium, there are around 20 different members of the Trachelospermum genus of which Trachelospermum Jasminoiders and T. Asiaticum are both commonly grown as ornamental plants.
Reaching a height of 25 to 30 inches these are quick growing evergreen plants, particularly when exposed to lots of light and watered regularly. Capable of tolerating temperatures down to 10 to 15 ℉ most varieties of Trachelospermum Jasminoides are hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11. Some cultivars, such as Madison, are more cold tolerant. Madison is considered hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10.
At home in the forests of Japan and Vietnam, in its native conditions these plants climb trees, forming long, woody lianas.
Star Jasmine in pots are attractive specimens. In addition to the five pointed star shaped, fragrant flowers, there are rich green glossy oval leaves. These turn red in the fall, providing further interest.
White flowers contrast nicely with glossy, green foliage.
Warning, while not considered a poisonous or toxic plant, the sap can irritate sensitive skin. When handling Star Jasmine in pots or the ground, wear work gloves and long sleeves. Handle the plants carefully and wash your hands afterwards.
The leaves, if consumed, can cause a mild stomach ache. Be careful where you place these plants if you have young children or pets.
Where to Place Trachelospermum Jasminoides Plants
Like many plants, placing Star Jasmine in pots in a favorable location encourages the development of healthy, productive plants. While they can tolerate cooler temperatures, in cold areas, these plants struggle if the temperature regularly falls below 20 ℉.
For growers in cooler climates, planting Star Jasmine in pots is a great solution. The ideal temperature will average between 60 and 70 ℉.
In a container garden these plants are ideal for placing on a terrace, patio or balcony garden. They can also be placed in a conservatory or sunny part of the home. If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots undercover, the plants can remain in position throughout the year.
Star Jasmine in pots is best placed in a partial sun position where the leaves are protected from the intense heat of the midday sun. Ideally, while they like lots of sun, the plants should be provided with 2 to 3 hours of shade every day. They also appreciate a little shelter from the wind.
While these plants like sun, they do appreciate protection from the intense heat of the midday sun.
Growing Star Jasmine in pots is ideal for positioning the plants in either a west or east facing position. The plants can also be placed alongside the wall of a house or trained to scale a pergola.
Remember, these are large, sprawling plants. They are always looking for something to climb up. A stable support, such as a trellis, is vital if you want to control their growth.
If you are growing indoors, close to a south facing windowsill is an ideal position.
How to Plant Trachelospermum Jasminoides
The best time to plant Star Jasmine in pots is in the spring.
Your chosen pot should be large enough to hold the plant with a little room to grow into, clean and have a drainage hole in the bottom. If you are unsure, a pot measuring 14 inches by 14 inches or 1 gallon in size is ideal for a young plant.
Larger, mature specimens may require planting in a 5 gallon pot. In general the pot should be twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. This gives your plants lots of room to grow into.
Like many other plants, Trachelospermum Jasminoides specimens growing in containers require high quality, nutrient rich soil. A good quality peat free or loam based compost contains all the nutrients necessary to promote flowering. You can also mix compost with drainage material, such as horticultural sand, gravel or vermiculite and substrate, or combine good quality, sterilized garden soil with fertilizer, to make a fertile growing medium.
Your potting medium should be well draining. This helps to reduce the risk of the soil becoming waterlogged and the plants developing root rot. To check how well your soil drains, make a 12 inch deep hole in the center of the soil and fill with water. Well draining soil drains in around 10 minutes.
Add the potting material to your pot until the lower third is full. Center the plant in the pot before continuing to add more potting material. Carefully loosening the roots with your hand before you place the plant in position helps it to adapt and settle more quickly in its new home.
Gently press the growing medium down as you add it to the pot, filling any air pockets that may form.
Cover the roots lightly and water well. The soil should be damp but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle or watering can to water your plants. Watering soon after planting helps the plants to settle more quickly.
After planting you will need to install a trellis or other form of support to control the plant’s sprawling growth habit.
How Often Do I Need to Repot?
Plants growing in pots require regular repotting. This helps to keep them healthy and productive.
Many people like to repot Star Jasmine in pots every year. This gives the plant more space to spread into as well as lots of fresh soil. While this can promote heavier flowering it isn’t strictly necessary.
If the pot still has enough room for the roots to grow into there is no need to increase the pot size every year. Instead apply a good, balanced fertilizer and water regularly. As long as it is healthy and productive it is only necessary to repot Star Jasmine when the plant becomes too large for its container.
Regularly repotting plants promotes healthy growth and flowering.
While you do not need to repot these reliable specimens each year, you will need to do so on a fairly regular basis. This helps to keep the plants healthy and productive.
If you aren’t sure whether you need to repot your Star Jasmine in pots, one of the best indications that a plant requires repotting is if you notice the soil drying out after watering more quickly than usual. If the soil dries out within 3 days of watering, it is a sure sign that the plants require repotting. A decrease in flowering is also an indication that the roots are crowded.
How to Care for Star Jasmine in Pots
A low maintenance plant, Star Jasmine in pots requires minimal regular attention to thrive.
If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots indoors in a low humidity environment, place the plants near a humidifier or a pebble tray. These plants thrive in humid areas. If your indoor growing position is too humid, place the plants near an open window.
You will also need to support growing plants.
When to Water
One of the most important care needs for Star Jasmine in pots is not to overwater the specimens. These plants dislike having wet feet. Even when in flower, Star Jasmine in pots do not require lots of water. In fact too much water can cause disease to form. If consistently over-watered the plants die.
In general you will need to water the plants once a week. If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots outside you may not need to water the plants if it has recently rained.
Before watering, check how wet the soil is by poking your finger into the soil. Water only when the top 1 to 2 inches feel dry. For a more scientific measure, a soil moisture sensor can be used.
If your pot is sitting on a saucer, do not allow the pot to sit in water for more than 30 minutes after watering.
How to Fertilize
One of the main attractions of growing Star Jasmine in pots is the plant’s long lasting blooms. A regular supply of nutrients helps to prolong flowering. Apply a high quality pot fertilizer in early spring.
Alternatively, you can apply a slow release plant fertilizer in the spring. This can be repeated in midsummer. How much you need to apply varies depending on the size of your plant and the product you are using. Consult the information on the product label for exact dosage amounts.
Specimens growing outside can also be given a monthly dose of potassium rich fertilizer, such as a tomato fertilizer once a month during the growing season. A liquid plant fertilizer is easily incorporated into your watering routine.
If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots outside, you can also mulch the soil with an organic compost or mulch made from garden material. As this breaks down it restores nutrients to the soil, stimulating growth and deterring weeds.
When to Prune
While pruning Star Jasmine in pots is not strictly necessary it can be beneficial.
Thinning out shoots helps to prevent the plants from becoming dense or thick with growth. If air and light can’t penetrate the center of the plant, healthy growth struggles to form. Dense specimens are often bare at the center, creating a visually unattractive plant. If growth becomes too dense, Star Jasmine in pots may also struggle to flower.
The best time to cut back Star Jasmine in pots is in the fall after flowering has finished for the year. Not only is this a good time to remove old, damaged or unwanted growth but it also makes overwintering easier.
You can also thin out excess growth in the spring and summer if necessary. In ideal conditions, Star Jasmine in pots are quick growing specimens.
Use sharp, clean garden scissors to prune and thin out the plants. As you thin out, remove long individual tendrils. Particularly focus your attention on those that form inside the plant.
You can remove spent flowers as they fade. Allowing spent flowers to go to seed is a waste of energy. Removing the faded flowers encourages the plant to focus its energy on producing fresh growth and new flowers.
Pruning away dead leaves and flowers helps to keep Star Jasmine in pots healthy and tidy. While heavy pruning is best done in early spring or late fall, you can pinch out dead leaves, stems and flowers with shears at any time.
Remove flowers as they fade to keep plants neat and tidy.
When pruning, never remove more than one third of the foliage at any one time. Over pruning can leave the plants stark and struggling to recover.
How to Overwinter
Plants growing in mild regions can stay outside during the winter months, but may benefit from a light covering of mulch. An organic mulch has further benefits. Over time it breaks down, restoring nutrients to the soil and boosting spring growth.
You can also cover plants with a horticultural fleece such as a Sunpro Plant Cover. These keep the plants warm and insulated whilst still allowing moisture and light to penetrate.
If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots in an area that experiences heavy frosts or cold winters, move your plants inside to a bright, cool location. Placing the containers on a Heavy Duty Planter Caddy makes this an easy task, particularly if you are moving large specimens. The indoor temperature should average 46 to 50 ℉.
When overwintering Star Jasmine in pots it is important that you keep the soil slightly moist. Water sparingly. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out.
Once the last frost date has passed, harden off the plants before returning them to their usual position.
How to Propagate Trachelospermum Jasminoides
You can propagate Star Jasmine in pots either from seed or cuttings.
How to Propagate via Seed
You can either harvest your own seeds or purchase a packet from the garden store. To harvest your own seeds, allow the flowers on your Star Jasmine in pots to fade on the plant and go to seed. Harvest the seeds when they ripen.
Sow the seeds in late summer or early September. Seeds can be started in small containers or modular trays filled with fresh potting soil. Moisten the potting soil and sow the seeds as thinly as possible. Cover with a light layer of potting soil and place in a propagator.
Seeds need to be placed in a warm, bright place to germinate. A temperature of 68 to 71 ℉ is optimal. Using a Propagator with Humidity Vents not only enables you to maintain a constant temperature around your germinating seeds, it also enables you to better control humidity levels.
During this period it is important that you keep the potting soil moist. When it starts to dry out, moisten with lukewarm water.
Following germination, continue to protect the seedlings, watering the soil regularly.
If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots outside, shelter the seedlings during the winter. In the spring, once all danger of frost has passed, harden off the seedlings before transplanting into their final growing position.
Taking and Rooting Cuttings
Cuttings are best taken from healthy, young stems in late summer after flowering has finished. Use sharp scissors to remove cuttings roughly 4 inches long. Remove the lower leaves of the stem before dipping the cut end in a rooting compound.
Plant each cutting in a small pot filled with fresh, moist potting soil and place in a propagator.
Keep the cuttings in a warm, bright location. During the rooting period, allow the potting medium to dry out slightly between waterings, applying as little water as possible. Overwatering can cause the cuttings to fail.
Once new roots have developed, continue to carefully care for the cuttings applying a little more water as they develop.
Grow the cuttings on undercover during the winter months before transplanting to larger pots in the spring.
It can take around 1 year for a cutting to develop into a mature plant.
Common Star Jasmine in Pots Problems
If properly cared for, these are largely problem free plants.
Overwatering can leave the plants susceptible to infestation from pests such as mealybugs, spider mites and aphids. Should an infestation develop, wash the pests from the leaves with a blast from a garden hose. If you are growing Star Jasmine in pots undercover you can use a homemade insecticidal soap to clean the infected leaves.
Water the plants sparingly to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. Wet soil not only causes issues such as root rot, it also draws pests such as aphids to your plants.
Growing Star Jasmine in pots is a low maintenance, problem free process.
How to Harvest the Buds for A Herbal Tea
An ornamentally attractive plant, growing Star Jasmine in pots is also useful if you want to harvest the buds for a fragrant, herbal tea.
Pluck the green, unopened buds from the stem of the plant. The buds should be green and not yet open. You can either pick the buds by hand or use a pruning shears.
Try to use the buds as soon after harvest as possible. They quickly lose their freshness.
To preserve the buds for long term storage, you can dry the buds in the oven. Spread the buds out evenly on a baking sheet and place in an oven at 200 ℉ or 90 ℃ for 2 to 3 hours, until they are dry to the touch.
Once dry the buds can be stored in an airtight jar such as a Kilner Jar.
To make your herbal tea, steep the dried buds in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes.
A versatile plant, growing Star Jasmine in pots is an easy, low maintenance way to enjoy these attractive, aromatic specimens.