An evergreen, twining vine native to eastern Asia, confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) develops woody stems that mature up to 20 to 30 feet long. Gardeners enjoy this plant, as it bears fragrant white star-like blossoms in the warmth of spring or early summer. An easy way to propagate this vine is to anchor the sprawling stems across a layer of moist soil in spring. By early summer, little roots grow deep from nodes.
Things You'll Need
Hand pruners (secateurs)
Seedling potting mix
Spray water bottle
Trim the confederate jasmine plant in spring or early summer to shape and tidy the plant as you desire. Pull out and save clippings that contain stem that is semiripe -- somewhat rigid and intermediate in color between green and light brown -- to use for propagation. Strip the foliage from the semiripe wood on the saved vine clippings.
Cut semiripe portions of the clippings with a sharp hand pruners into lengths 3 to 6 inches long. Ideally, make cuttings so that each 3- to 6-inch segment has a leaf node, or bump, about 1/2 inch from the bottom end of the segment.
Air-dry the confederate jasmine cuttings on a flat surface until the cut wounds have callused and are dry to the touch. The actual time varies based on temperature and humidity, but avoid placing the cuttings in direct hot sunlight as they dry.
Fill a seed tray with damp seedling potting mix. A shallow tray, no more than 4 inches deep, is ideal because it drains evenly and retains water evenly to help prevent cutting rot. The sterile seedling potting mix needs to be composed of some organic matter like peat as well as sand, perlite and other coarse items. This potting mix is a perfect balance between a moist medium and one that dries out too quickly.
Dip the dry bottom tips, about 1 inch, of the confederate jasmine cuttings in rooting hormone powder. Tap off excess powder on the rim of the bottle of rooting hormone. The cutting tips only need a dusting and should not have clumps of powder stuck to them. Try to get some hormone powder onto the bumpy leaf node to encourage faster development of roots.
Insert a narrow pencil into the seed tray soil to create a slender planting pocket hole for the cutting. Gently slide the cutting into the hole so that 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the hormone-covered bottom is in the hole. Keep the cutting upright or at a slight angle as you gently nudge the soil around the cutting to remove air pockets. Continue to place cuttings into the tray, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Moisten the seed tray soil with a spray bottle filled with nonchlorinated, air-temperature water. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times, never dry and especially not soggy, which promotes fungal rot of the cuttings. Monitor the tray daily to keep the soil evenly moist for the next four to 12 weeks.
Move the tray of cuttings to a warm location with bright but indirect light. Temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit hasten development of roots.
Gently nudge or lift a cutting in the tray after 4 weeks to determine if any roots grew. You will feel resistance when roots have developed, whereas cutting without any roots tend to pull or slide easily from the soil. Continue to test pull a cutting every 7 to 10 days across the summer.
Allow the cuttings to root substantially and even begin to sprout green leaves in the seed tray, which will take 3 to 6 months. Transplant only the most robust, vigorous cuttings into separate containers or into the garden soil. Keep the plants in very bright indirect light and in a warm location. Planting young root cuttings outdoors, exposed to the natural elements, is best done in spring, not during fall or winter months.
If test-pulling a cutting reveals a moldy, wet orblackened stem, chances are fungal rot is affecting the seed tray. Do not throw out cuttings too soon, as some viable cuttings turn dark in color but still form roots weeks later.
Cut leaves and stems of confederate jasmine exude a sticky milky sap. Put on thin latex gloves to reduce cleanup or prevent any skin rashes from contact with the sap as you work.