Jasmine plants are renowned for their heady fragrance and beautiful glossy foliage. Whether from cuttings or from seed, you can plant and grow jasmine from seeds relatively easily both indoors and outdoors, making them popular with gardeners. If you do it right, your jasmine plant can grow 8-10 feet high, though it is most hardy in USDA zones 6-10.
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Step 1 - Choose a Type of Jasmine
There are over 300 different jasmine plants, and getting the right one for your garden or home is vital. Some types of jasmine are shrubs and some are climbing vines. Some have evergreen leaves, some deciduous.
Some gardeners even prefer the Confederate jasmine, which is not a real jasmine at all but has similar small white flowers that produce a heavy perfume. Watering regularly and placing it in a cool, partially shaded area will keep this plant happy.
As a safety measure, do your homework on the type of jasmine you want before you begin cultivation. Many types of false jasmine are highly poisonous. If you have pets or children, make sure to only buy a non-toxic variety. Jasmine makes a beautiful indoor plant but will shed leaves that could be consumed by a dog or other pet.
The Carolina Jasmine, or Jessamine, is a good wall climber and displays yellow fragrant bells. This is a showy and strongly perfumed plant. It is not a true jasmine, and it is a poisonous plant and should be kept away from children. The Carolina is drought-tolerant and is able to handle the cold.
Jasminum officinale or grandiflorum are both non-toxic varieties. If you plan to use your jasmine flowers to make tea Jasminums sambac or Jasminums tisane are the best varieties. Cestrum nocturnum, or night-blooming jasmine, has clusters of fragrant white flowers that release their scent as the sun goes down and can be smelled up to 300 feet away.
Step 2 - Obtain Your Jasmine Seeds
Jasmine flowers can be pollinated by either insects or by the gardener (using a cotton swab or small paint brush and taking care not to damage the flower stems).
In the late summer, jasmine plants produce seeds within bean-like seed pods, which need to be watched carefully if you intend to plant them in order to produce seedlings. These jasmine seed pods can break open suddenly once the pod is ripe and spill the seeds everywhere. Catching the ripe pods before they open means that you can save the seeds. Look for the pod turning brown, as this is the sign that it has ripened and is about to burst.
Tip: If your jasmine seed pods are ripening, but you cannot check them frequently enough to ensure they will not explode, wrap sandwich baggies around the pods and secure them with twist ties gently and without damaging the stems. This way, when the pods do expel their seeds, you will catch them all.
If you do not already own a jasmine plant, you can buy jasmine seeds online or at a garden supply store. If you have a neighbor or friend with a jasmine plant, ask for some of the seed pods in the late summer.
Step 3 - Start the Seeds
To start the seeds inside to eventually plant your jasmine in the garden, start your seeds about 6 weeks before your last hard frost. If you plan to keep the jasmine as an indoor plant, start seeds at any time.
In order to make them slightly softer, soak the jasmine seeds in warm water overnight prior to planting.
Plant them into a starting seed mix and cover lightly with soil. Starting mix can be bought at a garden supply store or handmade by combining 2 parts peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 1 part potting mix.
Ideally, seeds should be started in a seed-starting tray, which is shallow enough to keep properly heated and watered. Keep the seeds at 70°F to encourage germination, with 8 to 10 hours of indirect sunlight a day. If you cannot maintain this temperature, use a heating pad underneath the starter tray.
Fill a clean spray bottle with water and mist the seeds daily. Never allow them to dry out, but never soak.
Seeds may be slow to germinate and can take up to one month.
Step 4 - Transplant the Seeds
Once a jasmine seedling has reached 3 inches in height, the plant should be moved to a planter or 1 gallon flower pot using either a mixture of soil and fertilizer or a combination of moss, bark, and fertilizer. 1 part potting soil, 1 part chipped bark, and 1.5 parts perlite or garden compost is a great permanent mix.
Bed the plant down in this and water heavily. Once the jasmine has settled into the pot, ensure that it is watered regularly and does not dry out.
Step 5 - Protect from Mold
Jasmine grown from seedlings should be examined closely to ensure that they do not develop white rot and mold; seedlings grown in this way are vulnerable to a mold that causes the plant to develop black spots and rot away.
To prevent molds and mildews, plant the jasmine in the full sun.
Step 6 - Maintain Your Plants
Start placing the potted jasmine outside when temperatures reach 70°F during the day and 50°F at night. At this time, you can either transplant the jasmine directly into the garden or keep it in a pot.
Jasmine will flower in the mid-summer, roughly six months after germination. Water your jasmine two to three times per week in the hot summer months, making sure to give it a thorough soak. If it is in the ground, it will likely not need to be watered for the rest of the year.
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