Asiatic jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) is a hardy, evergreen vine. It's not a true jasmine, but the fragrant flowers are very similar in appearance to jasmine. Desirable for its dense, fast growth, the plant is often used as a ground cover in areas where plant growth is difficult, such as along roadways. When used as a ground cover, the flower buds are often sheared off before they can open. Still, the green of the ovate leaves make Asiatic jasmine an attractive choice.
Asiatic jasmine thrives in warm weather and grows best in USDA hardiness zones 7B through 10. This area extends from the western part of Washington State down around the southern third of the country, and up to parts of Virginia. This vine has an attractive trailing habit and can be planted in a container in cooler parts of the country, but the fast growth of the plant necessitates diligent pruning.
Asiatic jasmine can grow in deep shade but thrives best in dappled shade, or in a location where it receives morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade. This vine can be planted where it will be exposed to a full day of sunlight in cooler climates, as long as it is well-watered. Indoor plants should be placed by a window where they will receive a few hours of direct sunlight during the winter months.
Soil and Water
This vine grows well in most types of soil conditions, including clay or sandy soil. It prefers rich, cool, loamy, moist soil. Waterlogged soil is bad for the plant and may cause the shallow roots to develop rot. Once established, Asiatic jasmine can tolerate periods of drought.
Many home gardeners mow Asiatic jasmine just like any turf grass. This vine is not a substitute for turf grass, but mowing and edging can keep it from becoming invasive and keep it neat and tidy. Mow it once a year in late winter (before new growth occurs) to a height of 3 or 4 inches.
No serious pests or diseases affect this plant, but minor insect pests such as whitefly and scale can infest it. Rinse the bugs off the plant with a strong stream of water, or treat the vine with an insecticide in severe cases. Sooty mold can also be a minor problem. This fungus covers the leaves with a fine, gray fungus that looks and feels much like soot. To prevent this fungus from developing, water in the morning so the sun has time to dry the leaves, and so that water is not left sitting on them overnight.