Origin and growth
The star jasmine (bot. Trachelospermum jasminoides), which we like to use as an ornamental plant, belongs to the genus star jasmine (bot. Trachelospermum) that is widespread in Asia and, from a botanical point of view, belongs to the family of dog poison plants (Apocynaceae). Of the 20 or so species, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Trachelospermum asiaticum are used worldwide as an ornamental plant.
Trachelospermum jasminoides is at home in the forests of Japan and Vietnam, where the plant climbs trees and forms long, woody lianas.
- Star jasmine - poisonous in all parts
- Star jasmine: is it sufficiently hardy?
- Propagate star jasmine: sowing and cuttings
Leaves, flowers and flowering period
Characteristic are the bright white, five-fold star blossoms that appear in large numbers between April and August. The oval, shiny green leaves turn reddish in autumn and form a striking contrast to the sea of flowers. The flowering plant also exudes a strong vanilla-like scent reminiscent of real jasmine, especially in warm, humid weather.
As a typical dog poison plant, the star jasmine is unfortunately poisonous. Families with small children and curious pets in particular should refrain from planting them, as the strong scent tempts them to try - all parts of the plant contain toxins that can cause unpleasant or dangerous symptoms of poisoning. In the event of poisoning, a doctor or veterinarian should therefore be consulted. The several meters long, woody shoots also contain a toxic latex, which can cause swelling, redness and even eczema on contact with the skin.
Which location is suitable?
The star jasmine is not sufficiently hardy in this country and should therefore not be planted in the garden. However, the species is ideally suited for a container culture, for example on the terrace, the balcony, in the winter garden or in the apartment - the last two possibilities are even preferable, as the plant can stay in the same location all year round . Otherwise, the climbing plant feels particularly comfortable in a location with these characteristics:
- slightly sunny to partially shaded
- no direct midday sun
- airy, but not drafty, sheltered from the wind
- ideal for west or east balconies
- perfect for house wall or pergola
When looking for a location, keep in mind that the star jasmine can very quickly grow to be several meters long and always look for its way upwards - therefore a stable climbing aid is essential.
So that the star jasmine can flourish and bloom well in the tub, it needs high-quality, nutrient-rich potting soil. Be sure to purchase a peat-free substrate and use one that is humus-based instead. This contains all the nutrients that are important for flower formation. Alternatively, good garden soil can also be used, provided that you make it germ-free in the oven or microwave before planting - otherwise there might be unpleasant surprises with weeds or pests.
Mix the chosen substrate with sand or gravel to increase the permeability and thus reduce the risk of waterlogging. Clay balls (€ 20.95 at Amazon *) or expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) are also suitable for this purpose. When using soil from the garden, you should also add ripe compost or compost soil to increase the nutrient content.
Plant star jasmine properly
If possible, cultivate the star jasmine in the tub, as the plant is not winter hard in this country. If the plant cannot stay in its location all year round, you should plan the possibilities of moving it into the winter quarters - this should be light and cool, but absolutely frost-free. The easiest way to move the plant pot is with a base with wheels, which you can place under the tub when planting. Wintering at the location can take place, provided that it has winter protection and does not fall below five degrees Celsius even in very frosty outside temperatures.
Put in the star jasmine as follows:
- spring is ideal for planting
- Use a plant pot with a drain hole at the bottom of the pot
- cover it with potsherds or stones
- these prevent silting up and thus clogging
- The pot should be twice as wide and deep as the root ball
- Mix the plant substrate with drainage material
- Pour about a third into the plant pot
- Carefully hold the star jasmine in
- Fill empty spaces with substrate
- Include climbing aid
- Press the earth lightly
- Pour vigorously
Pour star jasmine
The star jasmine does not need a lot of water - on the contrary, because the climbing plant needs only little moisture even during the flowering period. Therefore, you should be very careful when watering the specimens that are in partial shade or in the shade - an excess of water leads to disease and ultimately to death. Waterlogging in particular is harmful. Excess irrigation water must be removed from the planter or saucer no later than half an hour after watering.
Fertilize star jasmine properly
The star jasmine only shows its long-lasting bloom when it is adequately supplied with the nutrients necessary for blooming. Therefore, between April and November you should fertilize about every two weeks with a high-quality container or flowering plant fertilizer, which you should give together with the irrigation water. A long-term fertilizer - for example in the form of sticks or cones that you stick into the substrate in spring - are also suitable for sufficient supply. During the winter months, however, stop fertilizing completely.
Cut the star jasmine correctly
A pruning of the attractive climbing plant is not absolutely necessary, but is recommended before moving it to the winter quarters. Regular thinning of shoots that have grown too densely is also useful so that the plant does not burn off from the inside - especially since the flowers cannot develop properly if they are too dense. Sufficient air and light is extremely important for the healthy growth of star jasmin. Therefore apply the scissors according to the following scheme:
- Cut back in autumn after flowering
- Thinning in spring and, if necessary, in summer
- thin out densely grown areas
- remove individual, very long tendrils especially from the inside
- remove old inflorescences
When cutting, it is essential to use sharp scissors that have been disinfected with a suitable agent, in order not to unnecessarily squeeze the star jasmine and to reduce the risk of the transmission of pathogens. You should also wear protective gloves to avoid contact with the toxic milky juice. Under no circumstances should it get in the eyes!
Once a year you should repot the star jasmine so that the plant can sprout better in fresh substrate and with more space and produce numerous new flowers. Therefore, the ideal time for such a measure is early spring. If the old planter still offers enough space for the roots, you do not have to replace it with a larger one - but renewing the used substrate makes sense. When repotting, be sure to completely remove the old soil.
Propagate star jasmine
You can easily propagate the star jasmine yourself both by seeds and vegetatively by cuttings.
You can get germinable seeds of the star jasmine either from your own plant or from specialist shops. Sow them in late summer (from around the beginning of September) in nutrient-poor sowing soil and press them in only lightly. Cover the seed pot with a translucent lid or foil to keep the humidity high (the gardener calls it “tight air”). This measure increases the germination rate and allows the young plants to grow faster. The plant pot also belongs in a bright - but not directly sunny - place that is around 20 to 22 degrees Celsius warm. Keep the substrate only slightly moist and use lukewarm water if possible. Finally, in spring, move the young plants to a larger pot with a nutrient-rich substrate.
To propagate cuttings, cut about ten centimeters long shoots from the main shoots in August - and thus after flowering. Put this in a container with growing substrate (9.05 € at Amazon *) which you cover with foil or a cut off PET bottle. Like the seedlings, the cuttings are cared for in a warm and slightly humid place in a light spot during the winter and then transferred to a larger container with fresh, nutrient-rich substrate in spring. However, give only a little water during the period of rooting and let the substrate dry off a little in between.
Basically, star jasmine is not hardy and should therefore be moved in autumn to a light winter quarters that are around eight to ten degrees Celsius cool. Avoid completely drying out the root ball even in winter, which is why you should keep the substrate slightly moist. However, water just enough that the soil is slightly moistened. After the ice saints in May, the climbing plant can go outside again. Since the plant can withstand low frosts of up to minus five degrees Celsius for a short time, you can also plant it out in regions with mild winter - for example in the wine-growing areas. But then the star jasmine needs light winter protection.
Diseases and pests
Unfortunately, the star jasmine is quite susceptible to typical pests such as aphids, spider mites or mealybugs and mealybugs. Care mistakes - especially too frequent watering, but also excessive dryness - lead to problems.
If you do not have a balcony or terrace, you can also cultivate the magical star jasmine in your apartment if there is enough space. Place the pot with the plant in a light and airy place, which, however, must not be directly next to a heater - the climbing plant does not like dry heating air in winter. You should also avoid direct sunlight. However, refrain from indoor culture if you have small children or pets (e.g. cats!).
Species and varieties
The white flowering species Trachelospermum jasminoides is confusingly similar to the related but yellow flowering Asian star jasmine (bot. Trachelospermum asiaticum). The species also has very similar needs in terms of care and location.
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