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Trachelospermum - Growing Guide
Commonly known as ‘Chinese Jasmine’
The two main species of trachelospermum which are frost hardy in the UK have many similarities.
T. asiaticum and T. jasminoides are both woody evergreen twining climbers which originate from woodland in China, Korea and Japan. Both have opposite lance or ovate shaped leaves and stems which have a milky sap. Both need some support to get established on a wall or trellis although they will, in time, develop some aerial roots. Both produce long pendant pea like seed pods after warm summers.
T. asiaticum has smaller dark green leaves (2in) than T. jasminoides (4in) ones which readily turn bronze red in the winter cold. T. asiaticum flowers are fragrant and creamy white at first ageing to yellow. T. jasminoides flowers are pure white.
Of the two, asiaticum may achieve an ultimate height of 15 or so feet while jasminoides is more vigorous and can reach perhaps 25ft when mature.
Both are from that select band of hardy evergreen climbers which will grow in sun or shade on any sort of pergola, archway or metal support.
However, clearly some of these plants have been grown from seed over many generations from gardens in which both species have cross pollenated each other. T. jasminoides, in particular, is often found with creamy yellow rather than white flowers. Similarly you see plants with leaves which are half way between the size of the two species. This slight genetic muddle need not cause gardeners to shy away from these plants but you should perhaps buy them in flower which is not difficult as they flower away from June to September as the phases of new growth develop additional flowers.
There is no need to prune your trachelospermum except perhaps to shape it in place over a doorway or arch. A hefty trim will not hurt the plant.
In very cold areas these plants also make excellent greenhouse climbers. Cuttings of fresher new growth in mid summer are easy to root.