Jasmine

Jasmine is one of the oldest & best fragrant flowers grown. The Jasmine flower is used for many purposes such as in bouquets, adorning the hair of women, making garlands, religious offerings etc. It is also used in making perfumes and cosmetics and makes for an excellent aromatherapy agent. More than 50 types of Jasmine specias is grown in India, out of which only three species are used for commercial farming:

1. Jasminum Sambac (Madurai Malli/Gundumalli)

2. Grandiflorum (Jathimalli/Pitchi)

3. Auriculatum (Mullai)

Caring for jasmine

1. Provide stakes for climbing jasmine. Many varieties of jasmine require stakes to climb in order to grow strong and healthy. Place a tall stake or a trellis a few inches from the base of the jasmine, and gently wrap it around the stake as it grows. Eventually it will begin growing up the stake on its own. If you planted the jasmine next to a wall or fence, train it to grow upward until it begins growing on its own.

  • To ensure that the jasmine establishes itself on the trellis or stake, you can use string or twine to loosely tie the talks to the support. Remove the ties when the vine is established.

2. Keep the environment moist. Water the soil around the jasmine throughout the growing season to keep it moist, but not soggy. A good rule of thumb for determining when the water jasmine is to water when the soil begins to look and feel a little dry. If your jasmine is in a pot, be sure it’s draining adequately and water once a day.

  • Water jasmine from the bottom to keep from getting the leaves wet. The sun will burn the leaves if water droplets remain on them during the sunniest hours.
  • For jasmine you’re growing indoors, be mindful of the humidity level of the air as well as the moisture of the soil. Tender varieties of jasmine need a humidity level of between 30 and 45. Use a humidifier or mist spray the plant with mist frequently.

3. Fertilize the jasmine once a month. During the growing season, fertilizing the jasmine once a month will keep it blooming. Sprinkle a balanced fertilizer that is water soluble around the base of the jasmine. Alternatively, you can side-dress the jasmine with compost by working an inch of compost into the soil around the base of the jasmine plant. Be careful not to disturb the roots.

4. Prune the jasmine. Throughout the growing season, remove dead leaves, flowers and stems by pinching them off or using hand pruners to make a cut flush with the main stem of the plant. Tidy the plants by pruning stray stems. By strategically removing stems here and here, you can control the shape of the vine. Shrub jasmine and varieties grown indoors will need less pruning to maintain their shape.

  • Don’t prune before or during the blooming period, as this can inhibit blooming. Wait until the plant has finished blooming for the season.
  • To improve the shape of shrub like jasmine, you can cut the stems back by a third after blooming. The shrub will come back next season with a fuller shape.

5. Mulch the jasmine in the winter. In order to protect the jasmine plants over the winter, add a few inches of pine straw, manure or garden compost around their bases. This will ensure that the root systems don’t freeze completely, and your jasmine should begin growing again when the weather warms.

  • If you have been growing your jasmine in a pot outside, you can bring it indoors for the winter rather than adding mulch.
  • Jasmine grown indoors year-round does not require mulching. However, it’s important to keep them in a sunny room with a constant temperature of between 60 and 75 degrees.

6. Watch for pests. While jasmine generally isn’t bothered by pests, it’s still a good idea to watch out for certain insects that might affect its growth. If you see the following insects on your jasmine, pick them off by hand and place them in a jar of soapy water, or wash the leaves of the jasmine with a soapy water solution or a solution of water and neem oil:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Red spider mite
  • Soft scales

Harvesting jasmine

1. Cut jasmine to put on display. A jasmine vine or shrub will produce many flowers throughout the season, and you may want to bring some indoors to display as part of an arrangement. Use a sharp pair of pruners to cut branches loaded with flowers and leaves. Place the stems in water right away to preserve their freshness.

2. Harvest jasmine buds to make tea. When your jasmine produces flowers in the spring and summer, you can make your very own jasmine tea from the flower buds. Jasmine tea is said to have restorative properties, especially when mixed with green tea leaves.

Additional Tips:

  • Jasmine plants can be propagated during the summer from tip cuttings.
  • Not all jasmine varieties produce fragrance. If the scent is important to you, be sure to select a fragrant variety.
  • Plant jasmine close to your home, patio, or walkway in order to enjoy its intense fragrance and to get a good view of the hummingbirds and butterflies that your jasmine will attract.
  • Jasmine can grow vigorously under the right growing conditions. To control growth, the jasmine plants need frequent pinching. Cut back the jasmine plant after it has finished blooming and during the summer to control growth and prevent long vines from tangling if they are not being trained to climb a trellis or other support structure.

For further info on organic gardening, or should you need any help in starting or maintaining your home garden, get in touch with Vandana at 9535025938 or send in a mail at vandana@artyplantz.com.

Happy Gardening!!

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