Fragrantly pleasing and with blossoms ranging from creamy white to having just a hint of pink, jasmine is a winner. Three varieties of white jasmine, all natives of Southeast Asia or India, thrive in the warmer parts of the U.S. and as houseplants. Depending on the type, jasmine blooms at different times throughout the year.
Common jasmine, also called white jasmine (Jasminum officinale), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10, typically blooms from spring until fall. The white flowers can have a pink tinge and are extremely fragrant. This is a vine that, when left on its own can grow to between 20 and 30 feet tall and have a spread of between 7 and 15 feet. It has a slightly deciduous habit. Pruning after the flowering season, using sterilized pruners, keeps the plant manageable and more shrubby. With proper trimming, common jasmine also does well in containers. High humidity and plenty of sun encourage more vigorous flowering. Jasmine prefers moderately moist, regular garden soil.
To sterilize cutting tools, spray them with an aerosol household disinfectant, then wipe them off with a clean cloth or rinse them.
Winter jasmine, also known as white or pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum), grows in USDA zones 8 through 11. Its flowers tend to be white or pinkish-white, blossoming from late winter through early spring. It is a prolific bloomer that is very fragrant. This vine, which can grow up to 20 feet, grows up arbors, fences or any suitable vertical surface it can climb on. You can also use it as a ground cover. Winter jasmine prefers sun to partial shade and soil with average moisture. Control its growth by pruning, using sterilized shears, after the blooming season. Winter jasmine also does well in greenhouses and indoors, as long as the plant gets enough sun and water. When grown in climates that are frost-free, the jasmine performs as an evergreen.
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac), which grows in USDA zones 9 through 11, is another fragrant white flower that generally blooms from late spring into summer and performs as an evergreen. This jasmine does best in organically rich, loose, evenly moist, well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. A native of tropical Asia, the plant will bloom year-round in warm, humid climates. In Hawaii the flowers, known as pikake, are so prevalent they are used to make leis. In moderate climates the plant grows from 4 to 5 feet tall with a spread of between 4 and 5 feet. In tropical climates, Arabian jasmine can reach 25 feet. Pruning with sterilized shears helps control growth and maintain the desired shape.
Arabian jasmine also thrives in Florida and is considered invasive in the southern part of the state because it is so prolific.