Jasmine plants belong to the Oleacae, or olive, family. They grow as vines or shrubs. Flowers, depending on the type of jasmine, are white to pink or yellow and some are much more fragrant than others. The plants love heat and are grown in the warmest USDA Hardiness Zones, but gardeners in other areas grow jasmine in containers either as house plants all the time or outdoors during the hottest summer months and let them over-winter indoors.
Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is a deciduous vine native to Asia Minor, the Himalayas and China. The stems grow from 20 to 30 feet long and the plant has a spread of 7 to 15 feet. The plant produces compound leaves that are made up of five to nine leaflets and white flowers that become pink as they age and bloom from spring through fall. Common jasmine is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10 and likes full sun and a most soil.
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. In other areas, the plant goes in containers and comes inside for the winter. In China, the leaves are dried and used to make tea. In Hawaii, the flowers are used to make leis. In India, the flowers are used to make garlands. Arabian jasmine is the national flower of the Philippines. The plant grows as a vine or shrub producing dark-green, evergreen leaves and small, fragrant, white flowers growing in clusters of three to 12. The plant blooms in the summer and grows from 6 to 10 feet tall and about the same in width. Plant Arabian jasmine in full sun or partial shade and a moist, well-drained soil.
Primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi) is also known as Chinese jasmine. The plant is an evergreen shrub that grows from 5 to 10 feet tall and about the same in width. Dark green, compound leaves consist of one to three leaflets, each one from 1 to 3 inches long. Fragrant, yellow, trumpet- shaped flowers measure 2 inches across and bloom in early spring through summer. Plant primrose jasmine in full sun or partial shade and a moist soil. The plant is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10.
Downy jasmine (Jasminum multiflorum) is also known as star jasmine. The plant is an evergreen vine that grows from 5 to 10 feet tall with an equal spread and is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. The plant produces downy stems and oval-shaped leaves that grow up to 2 inches long. White, slightly-fragrant flowers grow in clusters almost all year long. Plant downy jasmine in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist to dry.