A Few Words About The Confederate Jasmine
The Confederate jasmine has nothing to do with the Civil War, in fact is not even native to the United States, but it does grow best in the Deep South and Florida as well as in California and Arizona, being a tender perennial and tropical or semitropical vining plant.
The Confederate jasmine is known for its wonderful fragrance, although if one has a very large plant the fragrance can at times be almost overpowering. Still, there are few complaints from those who own the plant, in regards to its fragrance or anything else about it.
The flowers of the Confederate jasmine are white, and since the vine usually blooms profusely, a fence covered with the vine can at items resemble a snowbank. The jasmine has a long blooming season, extending from early spring until November in most areas.
Growth Habits - The Confederate jasmine is hardy in USDA Zones 8 through 11, and has been reported to grow in Zone 6, although the winter weather in that zone will more often than not take its toll. Sometimes the plant can be made to overwinter by pruning it to the ground and using plenty of mulch, but if either early or late frosts occur the vine may not survive. Those living in Florida and Southern California usually do not experience any problems in growing and caring for the plant.
The Confederate jasmine is an extremely rapid grower, and can fairly quickly cover a trellis or chain-link fence. One does have to be a bit careful about it overtaking nearby plants, and some pruning may be necessary in this regard, but few consider the Confederate jasmine an invasive plant.
A Cautionary Note - All parts of the plants are poisonous, to humans and livestock alike. In addition the white sap of the plant can cause skin irritation and wearing gloves is recommended when pruning the plant. Some even complain of skin irritation when handing the plant in any manner.
Characteristics And Care - The Confederate jasmine is an evergreen. Its foliage has a very glossy texture, nicely offsetting the white flowers, which in some instances can be somewhat off-white in color. Once established, the jasmine vine is quite drought resistant, and aside from an occasion need for light pruning is an easy keeping, low maintenance plant. It will grow well in a variety of soils, preferring a soil that is somewhere between mildly alkaline and mildly acidic. The Confederate jasmine, also known as the Star jasmine, can be grown from seeds as the seeds can be collected and successfully stored once properly cleaned. The usual method of propagation however is by semi-hardwood cuttings. Once established, it is not unusual for the vines to grow 20 to 30 feet long. When planting near a trellis or chain-link fence there is often a temptation to attempt to train the young shoots to grow a certain way by tying them to or wrapping them around a support. In doing so the shoots may bleed, and when this happens the bark that eventually forms will be weak and may break at that location, causing the vine to die. It's usually best to let the vine do its own thing to the extent possible.
Give Confederate Jasmine A Try - If you live in the southern tier of states it may be worth giving the Confederate jasmine a try, especially if you're not familiar with the plant. It is usually readily available in areas where it will grow, and of course can be ordered over the Internet when not available locally. The owners of this plant almost unanimously give the plant high marks.