See that beautiful little white flower? It is a confederate jasmine plant, and the smell is nothing short of heavenly! It grows by vine, and when I say "grows" I do not use the term lightly - this baby will take over if you let it! It is an evergreen and blooms in late spring/early summer.
On our recent trip to New Orleans, we rode the streetcar down the entire length of St. Charles Avenue, one of the loveliest streets in the New Orleans area. The street is lined with huge mossy oak trees and mansions with incredible variety of architecture and stunning gardens. I kept seeing this vine that also bushed out with these pretty white flowers. It smelled so sweet and so strong, and I thought (from a distance) that maybe it was honeysuckle.
When we returned home I called my mother right away to find out what these plants were and where I could get some for the yard! Turns out, it is confederate jasmine. The sad news is that they don't like temperatures colder than 40 degrees and we usually get winter temps in the teens. But I was determined so I started researching and found the Madison confederate jasmine. It comes from Georgia and is a confederate jasmine version that can be grown in colder winter temps. Yippee!
I have a trellis in my front garden just waiting for something to be planted under it, and I think I have finally chosen what I will put there!
A few notes on confederate jasmines:
- Also known as the star jasmine, the confederate jasmine can grow to 20 feet! It is an invasive plant and needs to be trimmed and trained. It does not have grabbers, so you need to train it around a trellis or fence yourself.
- Trim leggy, sparse branches to create plants with thicker greenery. You can trim after blooming or after winter, but keep in mind that blossoms grow on old growth.
- You can propagate new plants by dipping cuttings in rooting hormone. Cuttings release a milky white substance that can be an irritant, so you may want to wear gloves.
- Some say the entire plant is poisonous if eaten, others such as the University of California say it is not. So I am not sure at this point.
- It likes full sun to part shade, moderate water with good drainage. It can be trained up trellises and fences, in hanging baskets, and even as a tight ground cover that will smother out weeds.
- Now I am off to search for some at my local nursery! If nothing else, you can buy a gallon-sized plant from Amazon for $24.