Common or poet’s jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is the classic, sweet-smelling jasmine that blooms all summer. Its memorable, exotic scent accompanies a semi-vining shrub. Cultivate it as a fast-growing vine by encouraging young vines–tie them to a trellis or other support–or as a shrub by pruning and shaping the plant regularly, or by allowing it to develop naturally as a rounded mound. Other jasmines come in a variety of forms, and may or may not have scented flowers. Gardeners often are surprised to discover that dark-green star jasmine or confederate jasmine, with its sweet nutmeg-scented flowers, isn’t a true jasmine but instead is from the Trachelospermum jasminoides species.
Choose a suitable spot to plant jasmine, either in full or partial sun. Make sure a fence, porch post or trellis is available to support climbing vines.
Prepare the soil. Dig to a depth of at least 12 inches in the planting bed to turn over the soil. Break up any clods. Add 2 inches of compost to the entire area and thoroughly mix it with the soil.
Dig a planting hole in the prepared bed, approximately 1 1/2 times the width of the plant’s root area and to a depth equal to the root area’s height.
Remove the jasmine vine from its container, sliding it out gently, then place the root ball in the planting hole. Use a trowel to scoop and scrape soil around the roots and to firm the soil.
Water the root area, soaking it thoroughly. Provide regular water while jasmine plants are getting established, and throughout every summer for established plants.
Apply 2-to-3 inches of pine straw as mulch, grabbing pine needles by the handful then dropping the straw from several feet above the ground.
Tie jasmine plants loosely to the adjacent trellises or other supports, using flexible plant ties, when vines begin to grow noticeably.
In colder parts of the country yellow-flowered winter jasmine or Jasminum nudiflorum–known by the Chinese as welcoming spring flower–starts flowering on the first warm January day.
Plant jasmine near your house, patio or walkway to fully enjoy its intense perfume, and also to watch as hummingbirds and butterflies come to the flowers.