A Star Shaped Flower That Blooms In The Fall Star Jasmine – A Different Type Of Climbing Plant

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Star Jasmine – A Different Type Of Climbing Plant

Most climbing plants are prostrate and aggressive in their growth habit. They must be in the forests where they grow naturally to fight the light of the forest canopy. This trait is welcome in many garden situations, but becomes problematic in small spaces. The temptation to plant the likes of Bougainvillea, Thunbergia or Campis with their fast cover and spectacular blooms can be great, but many small plots have been taken over or become an unbearable tangle as a result.

In contrast is the star jasmine, (Trachelospermum jasminoides) which is fairly slow growing and not as attractive as the usual climbers. Often considered a drawback, its laziness makes it easier to control when starting out and is therefore more suitable for a small private garden or backyard.

In its own way, star jasmine is really a very beautiful decoration. Reaching about 2-3 meters (9 feet) it has small, dark green, glossy leaves, giving the garden a refined, woody feel. In spring and early summer the plant is dusted with delicate, but very fragrant white flowers. It looks good in close quarters, maintaining a decent appearance throughout the year. Star Jasmine is therefore suitable for small, intimate spaces such as entryways and narrow passages.

An ornamental plant, like an ingredient in a recipe, has its place in the general scheme of things as well. In terms of design, the pattern should be appropriately related to other plants. In this regard, Trachelospermum combines well with wall-climbing low-growing shrubs of medium texture, such as Pittosporum “Wheeler’s Dwarf”, Coprosma repens and Green Island Ficus. It also goes well with shrubs such as carissa, viburnum, duranta and raphiolepis.

For those who like the natural feel of a plant, star jasmine is a much smarter choice than vigorous climbers like ivy. The latter, although not biologically parasitic, can literally strangle the tree, causing the branches to collapse under its weight and severely shortening the life of the tree. Trachelospermum has no such belligerent qualities!

To climb high walls, Star Jasmine needs to be bound and trained. With age, the vines become denser, and therefore the structure on which it is trained, must be able to take some weight. On short walls, however, it does not require support, as it penetrates the top of the wall. It is also sometimes used as a moderate ground cover. Left to its own devices, it tends to be somewhat clumpy, and over time can become bare and bald without growing tips. So it’s worth regular pruning and clipping to encourage lateral growth and ultimately a thicker, more compact look.

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