How to Trim Asian Jasmine

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Asian jasmine is not a true jasmine, but the starry white flowers look very similar. The plant is a vine that is often used as a hardy ground cover, much like we use vinca. It forms an excellent tangle of growth that helps prevent weeds and erosion. The small leaves are thick and shiny, arranged in opposite pairs along the reddish stems. The white flowers have a yellow center and a fragrance reminiscent of a true jasmine. Asian jasmine takes extremely well to shearing, although annual shearing will prevent the flowers from forming. This ground cover can easily be pruned to keep it within boundaries.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruners
  • Electric or gas shears
  • Mower
  • Long-handled grass clippers
  • Trim Asian jasmine in the late winter before it begins to form flower buds. Where beds are well maintained or the jasmine is young, hand prune to prevent the vines from choking around trees and other plants. Cut it away in a circle, leaving at least 1/2 inch free of vegetation. Tip prune any vines that stray out into pathways or grass.

  • Create a smooth look effortlessly by shearing the ground cover with an electric or gas shear. Hold the shear low over the jasmine and sweep it evenly back and forth to smooth off rogue growth. This will likely prevent the plant from flowering much except for vines growing under the top layer where flower buds may still form.

  • Rejuvenate an old or badly neglected Asian jasmine bed by mowing. Set the mower on its highest setting and mow the bed. The result isn't pretty but the vines leaf out quickly and in a month you won't know that you just scalped your jasmine bed. This has the added benefit of dropping the profile in beds whose vines have grown over each other and become nearly foot high tangles.

  • Use long-handled grass clippers for small areas of Asian Jasmine. They are easy to handle and control and will be adequate for the slender stems of the jasmine. Cut the plants down to 4 or 6 inches in height.

  • Cut out dead or damaged sections at any time of the year. Asian jasmine is so vigorous it is difficult to injure. If there is a patch that has died, remove it and divide an existing plant for a filler. You can also bring vines from other plants over and cover them at growth nodes with dirt. The jasmine will root at these points and create another plant to fill in the hole.

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