Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is widely used in landscapes for its highly fragrant flowers. However, the plant is not a member of the real jasmine family but belongs to another plant genus. The vine is a native of China and is used extensively in Europe and the United States. Also referred to as star jasmine, confederate jasmine has specific growth traits, including growth speed.
Younger confederate jasmine plants grow at a moderate rate. Once established, the vine grows rapidly with its creeping growth habit and holdfast roots, achieving a mature height of up to 40 feet when provided vertical support. The plant creates a dense ground cover if not provided vertical support, with a mature spread of more than 10 feet. The mature height of confederate jasmine grown as ground cover ranges between 10 and 16 inches.
Confederate jasmine has slender, wiry stems and 1 1/2- to 4-inch-long, glossy, dark-green foliage with dark veins. The evergreen foliage width is 1/2 to 1 inch. The plant gives a two-toned look in early spring when the light-green new leaves start to appear and blend with the darker, older ones. The fragrant, five-petaled white flowers measure about an inch wide and bloom in early spring.
Plant the vine in fertile, moist and well-drained, preferably acidic, loam. Amend the planting site with leaf mold prior to planting. Confederate jasmine adapts well to areas of full to partial sun. Fertilize the plant during spring and watch for yellowing foliage as this often indicates nutritional deficiency. Prune the vine to keep to a desired height. The plant is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 8 through 10 and is easy to propagate with softwood cuttings taken in spring.
The vine performs well when used to cover fences and pergolas. Planted near tall trees, the vine covers the trunk adding interest to the landscape. Use as a fragrant, low-growing ground cover. Let the vine cover brick and concrete structure to keep structures cool during summer. The confederate jasmine vine works well as an indoor plant when grown in a bright spot and gives good effect in hanging baskets.
Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.