How to Prune Jasmine Plants

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Jasmine plants are characterized by small white or yellow flowers; many varieties are intensely fragrant. Jasmines flower in the spring or summer in mild climates. They will grow without pruning but produce more blooms if cut back regularly. Pruning also keeps them from forming dense masses that block air and sunlight.

Difficulty: Moderate


Things You’ll Need:

  • Pruning shears
  1. Prune after the flowers have faded in the spring. Jasmines flower on the previous year’s growth; that includes the shoots that form after flowering. Pinch back their tips to encourage lateral growth and get more buds.

  2. Cut back any vertical shoots in ground covers; this encourages horizontal growth for greater spread. Cut vines before they grow too heavy for their supports; remove 1/3 of vine stems at the base or cut all vines back 1/3 for optimal growth. Use the same 1/3 rule of thumb for jasmine shrubs.

  3. Cut back to live growth when pruning dead wood–insects feed on dead wood. Cut just above a growing bud and angle downward, away from the top of the bud.

  4. Leave container-grown vines unpruned for their first year to get them established, but cut the primary stems back to encourage lateral branching.

  5. Cut back bare-root plants no more than 1/4 before they are planted. This gives the new jasmine vine balance between below- and above-ground growth. Trim off damaged or dead stems or roots before planting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prune on a bright day with no rain.

  • Use sharp shears or a pruner to make clean cuts. Don’t leave stubs, which invite insects.

  • Sealer paints are not recommended. They can seal in insects or disease and cause more damage.

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