False jasmine, more commonly known as Carolina jessamine or by its scientific name, Gelsemium sempervirens, grows natively in the southern United States and was named South Carolina's state flower. False jasmine has a climbing growth habit and reaches up to 20 feet tall when provided with proper care. Prized for the fragrant yellow flowers that cover the plant's vines in spring, false jasmine attracts butterflies to the garden and also provides attractive winter foliage. Hardy in zones 7 through 9, the plant is perfect for the low-maintenance southern garden or landscape.
Plant false jasmine in a location that receives full sunlight throughout the day for optimal flowering and growth. Ensure the planting site consists of rich, fertile, well-drained soil and space false jasmine shrubs at least 3 feet apart.
Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch over the site after planting the shrubs to retard the growth of weeds and insulate the soil. Start the layer at least 2 inches from the base of the plants to allow air circulation and prevent crown rot.
Water false jasmine shrubs once each week during the first two months of growth to help the root system become established. Decrease the frequency of watering to once every 10 days thereafter. Apply water during the early morning to reduce the risk of disease.
Feed shrubs once per month during spring and summer using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can result in a lack of flowering. Apply at the rate described by the manufacturer's directions for the best results.
Prune false jasmine shrubs immediately after flowering to encourage a compact growth habit, and to increase the health and appearance of the plant. Use pruning shears to remove top-heavy, leggy or damaged growth.
Things You Will Need
- Organic mulch
- Pruning shears
- Pine straw is an ideal organic mulch for false jasmine shrubs, as they prefer slightly acidic conditions. Grass clippings and shredded bark, however, will also suffice.
- False jasmine shrubs are extremely toxic to livestock, pets and humans. Keep out of reach of children and never ingest any part of the plants.
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