One of the joys of gardening is growing fragrant plants. While it will be a while still before any plants in the garden begin blooming and scenting the air, there is one indoor plant that is in full, fragrant bloom right now, scenting the air indoors. That plant is winter-blooming jasmine and it's a real treat.
Winter-blooming jasmine is known and prized for its wonderful fragrance and its flowers are used extensively in the perfume industry. The fragrance of winter-blooming jasmine is one of the joys of wintertime indoor gardening.
Winter-blooming jasmine begins blooming in mid winter and continues to bloom right into mid spring, providing a very long season of bloom. The fragrance is spicy, but sweet, and easily perfumes any-sized room. It's one of my favorite indoor plants I grow and I always look forward to its bloom season each winter.
The flowers of winter-blooming jasmine are borne in large clusters and there can be hundreds in bloom at one time, especially on mature plants. The flowers appear in the leaf axils all along the stems. Each flower has a long, tubular base that opens into a five-petaled, single flower. The flowers are pink in bud and open pure white. As the flowers fade, they change back to pink. One nice attribute of winter-blooming jasmine is even very young plants bloom, so there's no waiting for the plant to mature to enjoy its delightful flowers.
Even when it's not in bloom, winter-blooming jasmine is an attractive plant. Its leaves are composed of five to seven smaller leaflets and it has bright-green stems. It's a vining type of jasmine and its thin stems twine around their support. I've seen old, mature plants growing in the ground in conservatories that are easily 20 feet high or more, but when grown in a pot as a house plant, it doesn't reach those heights. What I do with my plants is insert a bent wire into the pot to form a hoop above the plant. As it grows, I wrap the new stems around the wire. When it comes into full bloom in midwinter, the flowers completely cover the plant and all that's visible is the flowers.
Winter-blooming jasmine grows well in bright light and it tolerates cool temperatures. Nighttime temperature of 60 degrees or lower is ideal. Cool temperatures in early fall encourage it to set flower buds for its winter bloom. I set my winter-blooming jasmine plants outside in a shady spot in the garden during summer and bring them back indoors just before the first autumn frost. This period of cool, nighttime temperatures ensures I'll be enjoying its fragrant flowers come mid winter. Keep the soil moist at all times during its active growth period from spring to fall, then allow the top half inch of potting soil dry between watering in winter.
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