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Carolina Jessamine

June 30, 2018


I came upon a lovely hardwood trellis at thrift shop which I compulsively bought imagining it's placement on one of the posts under the gazebo on our deck. I pictured a flowering vine.  Then I got to thinking: This past winter I lost a few well established plants that were living on the deck even though they were well "mulched-in" for cold weather (no roots in the ground as the deck is well above ground). I hate the look of dead or dying plants during the winter months. Is there an evergreen vine out there that will keep its look during the winter and brave some really cold temps - as well offer up some really nice blooms during spring and summer? The post I am wanting to dedicate to this is southwest facing and gets some pretty strong afternoon sun but maybe only 3-4 hours’ worth a day.



I would consider confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) or Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens).  Neither are true jasmines but both bloom on evergreen vines.  I have a confederate jasmine that grows in full sun exposed on the west side of my brick chimney which had no winter damage even this past winter.



March 3, 2018


I have a Carolina jasmine (yellow blossoms) that I love, but it has gotten overgrown.  It is now mid-February and I would like to cut it virtually to the ground.  If I can do this, can I do it every year, every other year, or just how often?  Thank you for your time.



Let it bloom first! Carolina jasmine can be a prolific vine and often grows more than it is wanted.  Try to prune it hard every year AFTER bloom.  I don’t think I would be as severe as to the ground each year, but prune it to a manageable size.   All spring blooming plants set their flower buds in late summer-early fall.  While you might have a more manageable plant pruning it down now, you will lose the reason you planted it in the first place—the blooms! 


September 2012

QuestionWe're preparing to stain our deck and we have a Carolina Jasmine that is wound around one part of the railing. Last time we stained, we managed to pull it loose and lay it on the ground in order to work that area of the railing. My question is can I cut it back significantly and if so, when? How far down?


AnswerCarolina jasmine or Carolina Jessamine is a tough plant and would survive being cut back, but it would impact its flowering ability next spring. Flower buds are already set not for next spring. The best time to do severe pruning, without impacting flowering would be in the spring, immediately following flowering.

August 2006

QuestionI planted a Carolina jessamine in my backyard and immediately attached it to some lattice. It has grown well, but it has yet to put out a single flower. What time of year does this plant bloom and do you have any idea why mine may not have bloomed yet? It has had 2 full summers to blossom.


AnswerCarolina jessamine or Carolina jasmine as it is often called, blooms once in the spring of the year. The only reasons it usually doesn't bloom is if it is growing in too much shade, or it was pruned too late in the growing season. It can be a prolific grower even in the shade, but it requires 6-8 hours of sunlight a day for good blooming. Last year we did have a really dry winter so many of our spring plants weren't as showy as usual. It should be setting flower buds now for next spring, so monitor how much sunlight it is receiving.

April 2006

QuestionI would like to get a cutting from a friends Carolina Jasmine plant and get it started in my yard. How is the best way to get it started if possible?


AnswerCarolina jasmine roots fairly readily. An easy method is to layer one of the long runners while it is attached to the mother plant. You can actually almost weave it in and out of the soil, so that one long sprout could give you 3-5 new plants. Place a rock or brick over the part under the soil to keep it from bouncing up, and you should have rooted plants within a month or two. Once rooted, cut them apart and transplant. If you want to take cuttings, wait until mid to late summer to allow the cuttings to be semi-hardwood.