Jasmine plants are members of the Oleaceae family native to various parts of Asia. Gardeners typically cultivate these plants for the fragrant, sweet-smelling flowers. Jasmine flower oil is used in high-quality perfumes and beauty products, while the flowers are often used to make jasmine tea. Several types of jasmine are grown as ornamental plants in North America.
Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is native to northern China and hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10. The vines grow up to 15-foot long with a 3- to 6-foot spread. Winter jasmine plants grown as shrubs typically reach mounds of about 4 feet tall. This low-maintenance plant grows best in sandy loams, but will tolerate other types of soil. This jasmine plant flowers best in fully sunny to partly shady locations, and should be planted where it receives full winter sun. Winter jasmine features green stems and bright yellow flowers that bloom in March and April. This plant is frequently used as a ground cover for terraces, banks and slopes.
Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale), also called poet's jasmine and true jasmine, is a vine hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. Native to the Himalayas, China and Asia minor, this jasmine plant prefers a warm planting site in fully sunny to partly shady locations. Vines generally grow from 20 to 30 feet in length and have up to a 15-foot spread. This jasmine plant blooms fragrant pale pink or white blossoms from early summer through the fall. Gardeners often use common jasmine as container plants for decks, patios and indoor gardens. Common jasmine can also be pruned and used as hedges in warmer climates.
Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) is a tropical Asian shrub hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11. This broadleaf evergreen plant has a 4- to 5-foot height and a similar spread. Waxy, white flower clusters bloom from June through August. Arabian jasmine plants prefer well-drained, evenly moist soils in fully sunny to partly shady locations. This type of jasmine is most commonly grown as container plants.
Spanish jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum), sometimes called royal jasmine, is an evergreen, climbing vine native to the Himalayan region of Asia. The branch tips bloom fragrant, white flowers with pink tinted undersides from mid-spring through the autumn. Vines reach up to 15-foot long and feature arched stems with small leaves. Hardy in USDA zones 8 and up, Spanish jasmine needs fully sunny locations. Gardeners typically use Spanish jasmine as container plants.