Star JasmineJasminum laurifolium (= J. nitidum)
View more from Other Shrubs & Hedges
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Probiotic Root Stimulant
Jasminum laurifolium (= J. nitidum)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Whether you treat it as a houseplant, or grow it out in your frost-free garden as a ground cover or climbing vine, the Star Jasmine is a lovely plant. Distinct from other plants also called ‘star’, this plant is easily recognized by the 10, not 5, petals in the very large flowers. It isn’t cold-resistant, so outdoors it grows only in the warmest zones, but it also makes a lovely and easy houseplant, filling your home with fragrance, and the pot can be kept outside from spring to fall. The leathery leaves are glossy and handsome too, and it blooms more-or-less continuously, always giving you the true and delicious scent found in the most expensive perfumes and soaps
Hardy outdoors only in zone 10, the Star Jasmine can be grown as a houseplant, kept indoors in winter and outdoors the rest of the year. Grow it in full sun or with some afternoon shade, in any well-drained soil or ordinary houseplant soil. It rarely suffers from pests and can be trimmed as needed, or trained up trellis or canes.
There are more jasmines in the world than there are common names for them, so we often find the same names for different plants. The name, ‘star jasmine’ is often given to ‘confederate jasmine’ (Trachelospernum jasminoides, which is not a jasmine at all). Sometimes it is used for the jasmine we are choosing to call Downy Jasmine. We want to keep it as a name for the unique plant we have here, which is also called Angelwing Jasmine and Royal Jasmine. Even the botanists have been confused, as this plant was once Jasminum nitidum, but now it is Jasminum laurifolium. Whatever we choose to call it, this is a wonderful twining plant or ground cover suitable for zone 10 or for growing in a pot in a sunroom or as a houseplant that spends summer outdoors. It has flowers double or triple to size of most other jasmines, with 10, not five petals, and yes, of course it gives out the most delicious jasmine fragrance.
The Star Jasmine is an evergreen vine with distinctive thick, leathery, oval leaves that are 3 to 5 inches long and an inch or two wide. They are glossy dark green and always attractive. Like many other jasmines, you can grow the Star Jasmine as a groundcover or as a vine. It develops into a low, bushy form, perhaps 2 to 3 feet tall, covering an area of about 6 feet. Up a wall it will reach 12 feet or more.
Flowers are produced almost continuously, except perhaps in the middle of winter, so you will usually have blooms to enjoy, year round. The flowers are distinctive, and easily recognized as different from all the other ‘jasmine’ plants. Instead of the usual 5 petals, there are 9 to 11 pure-white petals, spreading outwards in a star pattern. The buds too are star-like – or even star-fish like – when they first develop, before the fat, pink flower bud itself shows. That large pink bud opens into a wonderful white bloom, usually about 2 inches across, but sometimes as much as 3 inches wide – much bigger than other jasmines. The back of the petals remain purplish-pink. Each bloom releases the classic sweet, tropical jasmine scent, and since it blooms continuously you will always have that scent around, not just in spring.
Grow this fragrant plant at the edge of a path, to enjoy its scent as you brush past. Grow it as a ground cover on a slope, or train it to climb up a trellis panel. In a pot it can be allowed to spill over, and placed on a shelf or table, or trained up canes. It is versatile and adaptable, so grow it as you choose, enjoying both the wonderful fragrance and the unique large blooms.
This plant is not frost resistant, and outdoors it will only survive in areas that have no frost, such as southern Florida and in zones 10 and 11. So it is likely that you will be growing it in a pot, placing it outside from spring to fall and keeping it inside, in a cool, bright place, when temperatures fall.
Full sun or a little afternoon shade suit the Star Jasmine perfectly. Grow it in a sunny window, or beside a terrace table. It will grow in any well-drained soil, preferring lighter, sandy soils to heavy clays that could be too cold and wet in winter. As a potted plant use any houseplant soil, watering once the top inch has dried.
You may need to tie the Star Jasmine to a trellis to get it started, as it doesn’t twine vigorously, preferring to sprawl and cascade. Trim in late winter as needed to keep it bushy. Pests and diseases are rarely problems, and this plant needs little attention. Water potted plants regularly, always watering thoroughly and then letting the soil dry on top before watering again. Use a pot with a drain hole, and don’t leave it standing in a saucer of water. From spring to late summer use a flowering plant liquid fertilizer regularly when growing in a pot.
The group of plants known as Jasmines is surprisingly large, with about 200 different species. Many are cultivated, plus all the other fragrant plants called ‘jasmine’ that are not really that at all. Since most of them have similar-looking white flowers, the confusion of common names that are given to them is not surprising. ‘Star Jasmine’ in particular is casually given to many, but we prefer to keep it just for this fragrant plant, with many slender petals, not just five, known as Jasminum laurifolium. Even then, the wild form of this plant seems to have only five petals, and there are several wild forms. The plant we grow in gardens is often called Jasminum laurifolium f. nitidum, in recognition that it was once called Jasminum nitidum. As you can see, confusion is normal when it comes to Jasmines. Even the wild origin is conflicted, with most sources suggesting the Himalayas and down into southeast Asia as where this plant grows naturally, but others are just as certain it is the island of New Guinea.
Whatever you call it, the Star, or Angelwing Jasmine, is certainly a wonderful and unique plant. Whether you grow it as a houseplant, or outside in your garden, you will love its continuous blooming, and how delicious that true jasmine fragrance is. But order now, because this rare plant is always in short supply, and we have no idea when we will have it in stock again.