False Jasmine or Trachelospermum
The false jasmine, botanically called Trachelospermum jasminoides and belonging to the Apocynaceae family, is a climbing plant native to the East, the Middle East and South America. This species shows up with stems that can reach up to six meters. The lower ones do not exceed three meters, but there are also varieties that easily reach ten meters. The same stems are thin, climbing and sometimes falling on the same plant. The false jasmine it also has oval and lanceolate flowers, dark green from adult and light green when young. The flowers, however, often white, sometimes yellow or pink depending on the species, are composed of five petals. The flower buds make their appearance between April and June. The flowering of the false jasmine it is therefore purely spring or summer. Unlike real jasmine, the fake one is much more resistant and with evergreen leaves
False jasmine variety
The best known varieties of false jasmine are the jamsminum officinale and the jasminum variegatum. The first, with a spring flowering, has very fragrant white-pink flowers. These appear from the racemes of the leaf axilla and are shaped like a star. The second one has instead green leaves mottled with a characteristic cream color. This latter variety is not suitable for the creation of roofs and pergolas, but only for the formation of vertical supports for gratings, walls and gates.
False jasmine cultivation
The false jasmine or Trachelospermum jasminoides is a rustic plant of easy cultivation and easy adaptability to any condition of climate and soil. This is why many people prefer it to real jasmine, much more delicate and with greater cultivation needs. Despite the name, in fact, the false jasmine is a plant with a high ornamental yield, but not only, this species lends itself to both potted and open field cultivation. In the container, the false jasmine is used to decorate terraces and balconies, in the open field, instead, to decorate any external or garden roof. In the planting of this plant it is necessary to respect the safety distances, distances that are thirty centimeters for the cultivation in pots and forty centimeters for the open field cultivation.
From a perfect rustic plant, the false jasmine adapts to any type of soil and substrate, even to the calcareous one. To guarantee a constant and regular flowering, it is advisable to choose a fertile and well-drained soil, preferably composed of half sand and half of universal peat. Alternatively you can choose soils rich in peat and humus, to be mixed with sand to help drainage.
Exposure and temperature
The false jasmine loves sunny exposures and at best those in partial shade. In fact, in full sun, the plant can bloom better and faster. Alternatively, half-shade exposure is also fine, to be avoided, however, totally in the shade, where the plant tends to slow down its vegetative functions. Growing the false jasmine in the shade also means causing the flowers to last less. The false jasmine resists well even at low temperatures, but to avoid suffering to the plant too windy positions are not recommended. Furthermore, in areas with harsh winters, the plant should never be exposed to temperatures below five degrees below zero. In autumn, to avoid frost damage, it is advisable to protect the base of the stem with dry leaves or a bridal veil. The fake jasmine grown inside must instead be exposed to a winter temperature of between ten and fourteen degrees and a temperature of twenty-two degrees in summer.
The false jasmine has no particular water requirements and can withstand even long periods of drought. In summer the soil should be kept humid, but not soaked, while in spring, especially in the absence of rain, it is advisable to stimulate flowering with occasional irrigations. Watering must be intensified in some specific moments of the plant's life, that is, after planting and after taking root.
The false jasmine should be fertilized every few days in spring and summer. Even with regard to fertilizer, the plant has no particular requirements. Usually, complex and ternary liquid or granular fertilizers are used, ie composed of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Until flowering it is better to use organic fertilizers, in other periods it is better to use mineral fertilizers. It is advisable not to exceed the doses in order not to cause an excessive development of the branches.
The false jasmine needs to be pruned to contain the growth of the branches. The operations are carried out in spring eliminating the withered parts and all the long, twisted or tangled branches that damage the shape of the plant. The growth of jasmine must also be accompanied by the use of tutors or bows. These interventions are part of the so-called training pruning. Another pruning operation is carried out during repotting. During the movement in another container the plant is slightly pruned to stimulate the emission of the side branches. In the first years of life of the plant it is also advisable to choose three or four branches which will constitute the supporting structure of the same. These branches will produce flowers every year and will allow for better plant growth. Annually, after the creeper has obtained its final shape, one of the supporting branches can be pruned to encourage the emission of new shoots and to increase flowering.
The false jasmine is a plant that does not need repotting. This should be done only in case of extreme necessity, excessive growth of the plant or damage to the previous container. In the absence of all these conditions, the plant can remain forever in the container of the first planting. The repottings, in fact, damage the growth of the plant. If there are no alternatives and if it is really necessary, the repotting of the false jasmine should be done between February and March.
The false jasmine is multiplied by cuttings or offshoots. The first method consists in taking small portions of the branch of the plant, the cuttings, to be buried in a vase filled with sand and peat. The cuttings are taken in summer from the branches of the previous year. The ideal would be small branches from seven to ten centimeters long and containing a small portion of the supporting ramp. To encourage rooting, the container should be kept at a temperature of about ten centimeters. Another multiplication method is the offshoot. The latter consists in bending and burying a part of the climbing branches that protrude towards the ground. The offshoot is also called "assisted cutting". In the false jasmine, however, the greatest probability of taking root is guaranteed by the cutting.
Pests and diseases
The false jasmine, or Trachelospermum jasminoides, is a plant quite resistant to pests and diseases. Many problems can be caused by cultivation errors, rarely by insects or other plant pathogens. Occasionally, the false jasmine can be attacked by aphids and scale insects. In the case of water stagnation during the growing season, fungal diseases can occur, such as gray mold. Also these, fortunately, are quite rare. On the other hand, the symptoms of crop errors are more frequent. If the plant turns yellow or loses its leaves it could be, for example, bad exposure or incorrect fertilization.
The false jasmine can be used in the garden to create espaliers, pergolas, hedges, to cover grids, gates and flowered walls. The plant is also excellent in pots, to decorate balconies and terraces. In cultivation to cover walls and sheds, supports must be used to regulate the growth of the creeper. If cultivated without supports, on the other hand, the plant tends to assume a shrubby bearing with hanging branches. To increase the ornamental yield, the false jasmine can also be combined with other plants, including clematis or other thin creepers with a poorly vigorous structure. To have the balcony flowered all year round, we recommend combining the false jasmine with Solanum Jasminoides, also called "night jasmine". This plant flowers from June to September and although it has less dense leaves than the false jasmine, it has white flowers that adapt perfectly to those of the Trachelospermum jasminoides.
Over the centuries the false jasmine has had different meanings. In the Middle Ages it was considered a symbol of immortality, in Spain it was even considered an emblem of sensuality. Many meanings are related to the color of the flowers. The false white jasmine expresses amiability, while the yellow one, happiness. In Arab culture, on the other hand, paradise would have the scent of jasmine, a flower which, according to the Arabs, symbolizes divine love and benevolence.
False jasmine - Trachelospermum jasminoides: Property
The flowers of the false jasmine seem to have sedative and relaxing properties. An ancient herbalist tradition suggests putting scented jasmine salts in the bath water. The particular fragrance released by these salts has the virtue of promoting mental and cerebral well-being. Furthermore, according to this tradition, a jasmine salt scented bath would make the character more stable and stronger.
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