Jasmine are plants from the Jasminum species. Although most home gardeners plant jasmine for its scent, there are some jasmine plants that do not have a fragrance. Interestingly, there are other plants that smell like jasmine and may even be called "jasmine", such as "Confederate" jasmine, but these are not true jasmine plants, according to Clemson University. All true Jasminum plants are tropical or subtropical shrubs or vines.
While appearance can vary slightly depending on the species, most jasmines have some things in common. The vines are woody and can be trained to grow over a structure, along the ground or in a mound. The leaves are dark-green and usually ovate. Some are variegated. Most are deciduous vines, although some, such as Jasminum multiflorum, are evergreen. Jasmines feature small, usually-white flowers that bloom at various times throughout the year. The flowers can be star-shaped or have rounded petals.
Jasminum plants can be found all over the world. The popular J. multiflorum, which flowers year round but has no scent, is native to India. The powerfully fragrant J. officinale is native to the Middle East and parts of China. Other species are native to Italy, Spain, South Africa and South America.
Jasmine plants vary widely in their climate requirements. It is important to get a species or cultivar that does well in your particular area. In general, most Jasminum plants grow best in tropical or subtropical growing zones, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 8 through 11. J. officinale, or common jasmine, can be grown in zone 7, according to North Carolina State University.
All jasmine plants need at least a half day of sunlight to grow well, according to Clemson University. In cooler climates, they should be planted in a location where they will receive full sunlight. These plants are hardy in soil with moderate amount of nutrients and should be watered when the top 1 or 2 inches of soil dry out. They can be fertilized in the spring with an all-purpose fertilizer. Apply according to the instructions on the label. Jasmine plants should be pruned or pinched back to control growth and shape. Do this after the first flowers have begun to fade.
There are around 200 species of Jasminum plants, according to Floridata. J. multiflorum is an evergreen vine with star-shaped, fuzzy white flowers that are not fragrant. It can get as large as 10 feet wide. J. officinale can get up to 8 feet tall and has fragrant spring flowers, but it will lose its leaves in the fall. J. nudiflorum, or winter jasmine, can get up to 4 feet tall and grows more like a shrub. This jasmine has flowers that are yellow rather than white. It blooms very early, sometimes even in the winter. J. grandiflorum, or Spanish jasmine, has large, fragrant white flowers.