Jasmine is a popular ornamental plant for gardens and homes. As a deciduous climbing tree with mostly white, sweet-smelling flowers, it embellishes every terrace. In summer, the jasmine is quite undemanding. As long as it gets plenty of sunlight and water, is fertilized regularly and is a little more sheltered from the wind, you can enjoy its flowers until autumn. Jasmine only has special requirements in winter. There are many different types of this tree, but overwintering is determined by roughly the same protective measures. The “false jasmine”, known as the pipe tree, is the most common in German gardens. Real jasmine or jasmine officinale is usually kept in tubs, if at all, and can therefore be brought into the house very easily in winter.
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Overwinter in the garden
If your jasmine belongs to the hardy species, it is quite possible to leave it in the garden or on the terrace during the cold season. However, these plants are also very sensitive to frost. They can only temporarily withstand temperatures down to -5 degrees Celsius. In particularly cold winters, you should keep the plant indoors as a precaution. If you leave the jasmine in the garden or on the terrace, it is important to protect the roots from temperatures that are too low.
You should take the following precautions in winter:
- Sheltered place: In September place the plant in a wind-protected place without direct sunlight (eg near the wall of the house).
- Bark mulch/straw: Cover the top layer of soil to protect the roots from frost. You can be creative with the materials; newspaper can also protect against freezing temperatures.
- Protection against ground frost: In winter, place the pot on a few stones or blocks of wood to ensure adequate insulation from below.
- Frost-proof pot: This will help your jasmine to overwinter frost-free. Under no circumstances should you simply leave the plant stuck in the ground, as jasmine is very sensitive to frost.
- Do not give fertilizer from September to May and water very sparingly! In winter, give your shrub a break so that it can produce numerous flowers again in the coming year.
When the frosty nights of spring are over, it’s time to put the jasmine back in its usual place. However, you should slowly get used to the sunlight, otherwise the leaves will burn quickly. It is also advisable to cut back and repot the plant in early spring. The jasmine does not need a special substrate.
The cold season in the house
In particular, the jasmine, which is not hardy, is left to hibernate indoors. Even if the plant does not like frost, it needs cool temperatures of around 10 degrees Celsius during the dormant period in winter. Conservatories, hallways and basements are therefore suitable as a stand. You should not let the jasmine spend the cool season in a heated living room or bedroom, because if it is too warm, it will bloom only weakly or not at all next spring. It’s time to bring the plant indoors in September, before the first frost can set in. The relatively undemanding jasmine is downright easy to care for in winter:
- Watering : While watering is abundant in summer but waterlogging must be avoided, you can use water sparingly in winter. However, make sure you never let the bale dry out. If the leaves dry up, you haven’t watered enough.
- Fertilizing : No fertilizing is necessary or recommended for overwintering the jasmine from September to March April.
- Light : Just like in summer, the plant needs a bright spot. Cellars should therefore have a window if you want to store the wood there during the frosty months.
- Temperature : The cool temperatures are important for the plant to develop new flowers in spring. It is therefore highly advisable to ventilate the room regularly to freshen the air. Of course, when the temperature is below zero, the window should not be left open for too long. When temperatures are too high for hibernation, the susceptibility to aphids increases. It is best to put a plant protection cone in the ground as a preventive measure. It is also important here that you know what type of jasmine you are hosting. The jasmine sambac, for example, whose flowers are soft pink to pink-red at the edges, needs slightly warmer temperatures of up to 18 degrees Celsius even in winter.
- Particularities : Don’t be surprised if the plant sheds some leaves in winter. It’s not because you’re not caring for them properly, it’s completely normal. After all, jasmine is one of the deciduous trees.
What happens in spring?
After the long, cold season, you should not put the jasmine back in the sunny garden area from one day to the next. The plant needs to be properly prepared, and that starts in early spring. Good airing is helpful from February so that the wood does not sprout too quickly and weakly and becomes more susceptible to aphids. Opening the window about twice a week is sufficient. A new, slightly warmer location from March or April also prepares well for summer. A south-facing window, for example, is ideal for this.
Cut back and repot
Before the jasmine can go outside again after wintering, it is time to cut and repot it. “False Jasmine” tolerates pretty much any pruning and even needs it to be stimulated to bloom. You can safely shorten the plant by a third. The sooner you do this (February, early March), the sooner the shrub will flower again, so don’t take too long. The side shoots are simply cut off completely from the main shoots.
With “real jasmine” it’s a little more complicated. Although it is also true here that the wood can in principle tolerate a strong pruning, it takes a little longer to grow again after the winter. It is important to thin out the shoots well every year after the winter, otherwise they will only bloom on the edges. It’s a good idea to wear gardening gloves, as the sap that comes out when you cut it may irritate your skin. The repotting should take place at a suitable time interval. Cutting and repotting at the same time puts the jasmine under unnecessary stress. Younger plants should be repotted annually after winter. For older trees, an interval of two to three years is sufficient.
Water and fertilize after winter
When spring arrives in the gardens, the starting signal sounds for more intensive care for the jasmine as well. When it begins to sprout, it needs plenty of water again. Stale or rainwater is most suitable for watering. However, avoid waterlogging and do not leave excess water in the pot. In addition, your jasmine will need liquid fertilizer again after the hibernation period. It is ideal to fertilize the plant every one to two weeks.
Successful hibernation also includes properly clearing out the jasmine. If you expose your plant to the blazing sun too quickly, you risk burning the leaves. It is therefore advisable to move the shrub to a bright, south-facing window in early spring and not to let it hibernate in the dark. The jasmine should only be cleared out after the ice saints in May or when there is no longer any frost to be expected at night, which could attack and damage the roots of your plants in particular. It is best to use a dull, overcast day to put your jasmine in the fresh air again after the long winter months. In the first few days, a shady spot is particularly well suited to protect the jasmine leaves from burns.
Overwintering jasmine is easiest indoors in bright basements, hallways or conservatories. The plant shouldn’t dry out, but it doesn’t need a lot of water in winter and fertilizer should be avoided altogether. The real work when overwintering a jasmine bush is in September with the preparations and in the spring when it comes to airing, cutting and repotting. If you follow the principles of not exposing your plant to frost, temperatures that are too hot or too much moisture, you can’t go far wrong during the cold season. A careful acclimatization phase in spring, a sunny spot and plenty of water should bring you magnificent flowers and a sweet scent on your terrace until next autumn.