Oriental jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) is native to parts of Japan and Korea, according to Clemson University. This tough ground cover is also commonly called Asiatic jasmine or small-leaf Confederate jasmine due to its resemblance to Confederate jasmine (T. jasminoides). Unlike many jasmines, this fragrant plant is a true ground cover and will quickly cover the soil if its simple care requirements are met.
Oriental jasmine is a warm-climate vine. Although it is more cold-hardy than its cousin, the Confederate jasmine, repeated hard freezes will still damage or kill the plant. For that reason, Trachelospermum asiaticum grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 7b through 10, according to the University of Florida.
Oriental jasmine has small, deep green, glossy ovate leaves and equally small, creamy white or yellow, star-shaped flowers that give off somewhat of a spicy scent. The thin stems are smooth and reddish-brown. The plant has a relatively fast rate of growth and will spread unchecked if not pruned. Some cultivars have reddish leaves or variegated leaves.
This hardy vine grows well on all types of soil, even salty soil, although it will not do well in wet soil. Overly soggy soil may cause root rot, a fungal disease that destroys the roots of the plant. Oriental jasmine will grow well in full sun or partial shade, but the more sunlight it gets, the faster it grows, according to the University of Florida. While it prefers consistently moist soil, Oriental jasmine can tolerate brief periods of drought. Cold winter winds can damage the foliage, so place Oriental jasmine where it will be protected from strong winds.
This plant is a fast-spreading ground cover and can invade and overtake other, desirable plants, according to the University of Florida. Prune it regularly to keep it from spreading excessively. Oriental jasmine does not suffer from any major insect pests or diseases, but whiteflies, scale and sooty mold can affect the plant. Rinse off minor insect pests with a strong stream of water, or treat major infestations with insecticide. Do not let water sit on the leaves, as this can lead to sooty mold disease.
Oriental jasmine is most often used as a thick ground cover, notes the Floridata website. The vines do not climb, so this plant can be placed around trees. The dense mat of foliage stifles weed growth, and it can even be drastically sheared, although doing so will prevent the flowers from blooming. It is often planted in traffic medians, parking lots and other urban locations.