How to Prune Jasminum Officinale

Overview

The deliciously fragrant white blossoms of the common white jasmine (Jasminum officinale) are a delight in cottage-style gardens in late spring or summer. Native to the mountains of southern Asia, this vine has deep green leaves with five to nine leaflets that may fully drop away in cold winters. Tip-prune this jasmine anytime, to shape the plant. Do a regenerative pruning immediately after the flowering display, as needed, to reduce vines and encourage a new flush of growth before autumn's chill.

Tip Pruning

Step 1

Make a crisp, one-motion cut with the blades of a hand pruners on errant twining stems of jasmine anytime during the growing season. Trim leaves back to their point of attachment to the stem and stem tips can be nipped off 1/4 inch above the junction of a lower stem leaf.

Step 2

Conduct tip pruning consistently across the entire plant, especially if it is to shape the vine as it grows. Pruning results in side buds to grow and become new stems, effectively making the plant have more stems and become bushier.

Step 3

Stop making tip prunes on the jasmine in autumn so that new growth that emerges is not too tender or weak to withstand upcoming fall and winter frosts. Once leaves drop away, tip pruning is best left until spring when live branches and new leaves and stems can guide where to make pruning cuts for shape.

Rejuvenative Pruning

Step 1

Cut back the vining stems of common white jasmine hard after the primary flowering display. In warmer climates this flowering ends by early summer, in regions with chilly winters the flowering is delayed and ends in midsummer.

Step 2

Reduce each vine length by 2/3 to 3/4, making a crisp, one-motion snip of the pruner blades 1/4 inch above a branch junction or leaf scar, the scaled bump where a leaf once grew and a dormant bud lays.

Step 3

Remove each vine as it is cut. Gently jostling and pulling the cut stem out better reveals the shape and stems that remain to be pruned. It also allows for better examination of stems that may be diseased or damaged, which should be cut away.

Step 4

Stagger the pruning height of cuts across the jasmine plant's vines, so that some vines are reduced, for example, to a height of 3 feet, while others are at a height of 2 feet or 5 feet.

Step 5

Cut up the vine debris into smaller pieces to facilitate their disposal in a municipal yard waste bin or to better fit into your compost bin. Smaller pieces, especially of the woody stems, will degrade more quickly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not conduct a rejuvenative pruning in early spring in regions with cool winters, as a summer flowering may not occur, or be greatly diminished or even delayed late into autumn. Also avoid a rejuvenative pruning after a prolonged drought as the plant may be stressed or weakened and not respond favorably or robustly to the severe cutting.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners (secateurs)

References

  • Jasminum officinale

Who Can Help

  • "Jasminum officinale"; Erv Evans, N.C. State University Cooperative Extension.
Keywords: pruning jasmine, Poet's Jasmine, Cutting back vines

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for Learn2Grow.com's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.