Jasminum Polyanthum “Pink Jasmine”
The jasmine family covers a wide range of varieties including evergreen and deciduous climbers and shrubs. For the purpose of this article I am concentrating on the tender variety Jasminum Polyanthum. This type would probably grow outdoors in the southern counties of Britain but this far north it needs the protection of a greenhouse or conservatory to thrive.
The common name “Pink Jasmine” is an apt description when you see the buds of this climber, however when they open up the blooms themselves are white, star-shaped and are also very highly scented. It is generally the perfume that attracts people to this plant in the first place but you need to bear in mind that it will require some space to grow.
Indoor Jasmines are generally sold as quite small plants with the foliage trained around a hoop. Larger specimens are occasionally available trained up canes or wigwam-style structures. The flowers will appear from late October until around April time. After flowering cut the plant back to encourage lots of new growth which in turn will give you a better display of blooms. To keep the plant small, for growing on a windowsill for example, pruning will have to be quite vigorous to enable you to keep training the stems around a small frame. I would say that this method may only be suitable for a couple of years or so as jasmines naturally want to climb and giving them the space to do so is the better option.
To grow as a climber place your jasmine in a cool conservatory or greenhouse providing a suitable structure like a trellis for it to scramble up. Provide shading from strong sun during summer and also make sure that there is a good flow of fresh air.
Water freely as jasmines hate dry roots and mist-spray the foliage frequently to increase air humidity.