Plant of the Week
Star jasmine is a beautiful, easy-to-grow, trouble free vine. It isn't a true jasmine, but it does resemble a jasmine, which is how it got its common name. Its deep evergreen leaves are thick and glossy. New growth in spring is light green.
The height depends on the support that you might have for it. It can get up to 40' tall in ideal conditions, but normally you wouldn't want it to be quite that tall.
They like full sun, but can also take partial shade. It does climb and clamber very easily, so it's a great plant for first- timers. They grow very quickly, so they're perfect for a trellis in a narrow space to hide your neighbor's new hot tub, for example! Trellis them to create a nook, let them climb over an arbor, or use them to hide a chain link fence. It may also be used as a groundcover if you want it to ramble along the ground.
Like all vines, though, the first year they establish their roots and take off after that.
It has star-shaped white flowers that have a wonderful jasmine-like scent that fills the air when it's in bloom, so do plant it near a window or a pathway so you can enjoy that. It blooms from mid-spring to early summer.
It's mostly hardy to zone 8, which is our zone, but when shopping you can also look for cultivars that are listed down to zone 7, which is a little colder than us, and so when we have a colder winter that might be better. These can be killed in our area during hard freezes. (Producer note: the 2010 14° in east Austin burned mine a little. I simply pruned them back that March. They rebounded immediately and even bloomed).
They're not particular about soil, but do prefer good drainage and a little organic matter. They're also very drought tolerant. Water to establish. After that, water when the soil is very dry, but avoid over-watering.
This vine doesn't need much water or maintenance. Prune to shape or encourage new growth. Pests are not a problem.