Large white flowers, willingness to climb, a fine and never intrusive fragrance – all of this characterizes the Solanum jasminoides, which can be wonderfully kept as a container plant. It is very floriferous and shows this thankfully until late autumn. In the following, you will learn the most important things about caring for and hibernating summer jasmine as a container and balcony plant.

The care of summer jasmine

First of all, a clarification is necessary: ​​The summer jasmine is not a jasmine, and it is also not a false jasmine (a small overview of the various ornamental plants that are on sale under the keyword “jasmine” follows below). The summer jasmine got its name because it looks really eerily similar to the jasmine both with its dense light green foliage and in the size and shape of its snow-white flowers – although the plants could hardly be more distantly related.

The jasmine solanum is a South American climbing plant that is extremely robust and easy to care for. The warmth-accustomed plant can be kept as a container plant with us if it can get a warm and sunny location on the balcony or terrace in summer. If the summer jasmine can stand outside in summer, it usually also blooms in a location in partial shade. The summer jasmine also looks very decorative in a hanging basket, in which the climbing growth becomes a hanging growth.

As a pure houseplant, the Solanum jasminoides will probably have a hard time; in its Brazilian homeland it grows all year round under intense sunlight near the equator, at least in summer it needs the full power of the sunlight available here. A plant lamp could possibly compensate for the lack of light when housed in a room, but you would have to make sure that you use the correct light source for the correct duration to make an experiment.

Summer jasmine wants to be kept in a slightly moist soil that should never dry out. In the growing season, summer jasmine must therefore be watered very regularly, usually daily, as the water requirement of this abundant leaf mass is quite high. Otherwise, the soil in the bucket should be loose and well permeable to water.

To attract abundant flowering, you should give summer jasmine liquid fertilizer for flowering plants once a week during the growing season from March to September. Then you will be delighted by a large number of small, white flowers that appear from spring to autumn.

The summer jasmine needs a climbing aid

The Jasmin Solanum likes to climb out of its bucket if you give it the right shoots up to 10 meters in length. Alternatively, it can also climb up a house wall or a tree, but then of course it has to be cut back very vigorously in winter so that it can move into the house “without a tree”.

The climbing shrub will develop long shoots even without a climbing aid, if you want to let it grow as freely as possible without a visible framework, you should at least integrate a few tie rods in its tub. Conceivable would be z. B. the use of transparent acrylic glass rods, which are hardly noticeable in the bucket and with their upright support allow the summer jasmine to grow wonderfully freely.

Prune Solanum jasminoides

The summer jasmine can be cut back very heavily. It can usually tolerate pruning a good third of the plant mass without any problem. Part of this pruning can be done before moving it to the winter quarters, but too radical a cut will of course still weaken the plant further, and it will not have a good time in winter anyway.

If there are no problems with space, this can be done in spring, especially on the side shoots, when it is the first cut, it is now sharply cut, especially on the side shoots. If it was already cut in autumn, it is now shortened again a little so that many shoots with many flowers develop in the next season.

Hibernate summer jasmine

The Solanum jasminoides is not called summer jasmine for nothing: In contrast to the pipe bush, which usually survives the winters in German gardens well, the temperature minimum of the summer jasmine is usually 0 degrees, the plant is by no means used to frost from its origin.

The summer jasmine should only survive (light) frost for a short time, so it should move to its winter quarters in good time. How this winter quarters should be designed in terms of temperature is easily controversial with summer jasmine: According to a widespread view, these container plants should be overwintered a little warmer than Mediterranean plants, which would mean that the winter quarters should be warmer than 10 degrees. According to another opinion, the jasmine nightshades should be overwintered in a cool room with temperatures of around 5 degrees.

The different opinions can probably be explained in such a way that we are talking about different types of overwintering: When overwintering in a bright environment, for example in a winter garden, the plant often keeps its flowers and leaves and only slows down its metabolism during the winter . However, it usually does not go into complete hibernation, which is why it also needs a reasonably temperate environment, here overwintering at at least 10 degrees is recommended. If it still has leaf mass, it must then also be (cautiously) watered, fertilizer should not be given.

Since the Solanum jasminoides is quite robust and can also be placed in winter quarters in which the conditions are completely different, it can also be overwintered in the dark. But then the plant will shed its leaves and go into a real hibernation, then it can be kept at temperatures around 5 degrees over the winter. During this overwintering period, the summer jasmine is kept fairly dry and not fertilized at all. After wintering like this, the summer jasmine should be put in a lighter and warmer location as early as March so that it can prepare in good time to sprout completely again in spring. At the same time, it is then watered a little more, and when the first shoot has taken place, the first fertilizer can be given.

Most of the summer jasmines we sell are grown in the Netherlands, so they are not really “tropical children” anymore. That is why there are reports on the Internet of experiences with summer jasmines that have overwintered on the terrace with more or less complex winter protection packaging. The plant is supposed to withstand temperatures down to minus 12 degrees, although it loses all shoots in the process, but should sprout again in the spring, as in the winter in the dark.

There are even reports of summer jasmine owners who have planted their Solanum jasminoides in the garden, these have survived the winter with some frost damage and have sprouted again in the spring. But these are almost certainly reports of the lucky few who have their home in German regions that are assigned to USDA hardiness zone 8b, it hardly gets colder than minus 7 degrees there on average. With this outdoor overwintering, you have to expect a very late flowering, which is not infrequently limited to the ground shoots.

Diseases and pests

Summer jasmine, like many “foreigners”, is often attacked by our native aphids or mites, against which it has not developed any defenses in the course of its evolution. This happens quite often in the winter quarters, but is usually not a cause for panic, summer jasmine should be able to cope well with a manageable infestation. So you can usually do without radical measures, if too many small animals show up, you could reduce the infestation with preparations based on rapeseed oil or fatty acids, these products protect beneficial insects that are also eradicated with chemical agents.

Sometimes the aphids multiply almost “explosively” on the summer jasmine when it comes outside in spring and it is just nice and dry and warm, but that is no reason to panic, usually the aphids have disappeared after a while outdoors ( or eaten by enemies).

A little clarity: real and fake jasmine bushes

The flower design “invented” by jasmine seems to be of some advantage in the plant world, because there are six ornamental plants with “jasmine flowers” that you can buy from us:

1. Depending on the name used, the plant that is usually referred to when fake jasmine is mentioned is almost even better known than the actual real jasmine: The European pipe bush or Philadelphus coronarius, it is, so to speak, the “real fake jasmine” and also below known as farmer’s jasmine or scented jasmine. It belongs to the hydrangea family and the pipe bushes. It has only so much in common with the real jasmine that it belongs to a certain group within a group of flowering plants known as asterids, the so-called Euasterids I.

The Philadelphus is a hedge-suitable and hardy garden shrub that grows up to four meters high, is offered in numerous hybrids and is considered to be very robust. The flowers of most species have an intense scent of jasmine.

2. Only now does the real jasmine, the Jasminum officinale, follow according to the degree of familiarity. It is also a “Euasterid I”, but from the order of the mint-like and the olive family, in which the own genus forms Jasminum. There are three types of real jasmine, Jasminum officiniale var. Officinale with finely hairy or bare leaves and flowers, Jasminum officiniale var. Piliferum with clearly hairy leaves and flowers, and Jasminum officiniale var. Tibeticum with slightly smaller leaves.

The real jasmine develops very decorative flowers that smell wonderful, which is why it is often cultivated as an ornamental shrub. But that only works really smoothly in the warm regions of Europe, he is sensitive to frost and wants a sunny to hot location.

3. The third one is our summer jasmine, botanically known as Solanum jasminoides or S. laxum. It has many “nicknames”, you can also find it in stores as jasmine nightshade, white potato bush, potato wine, potato tree, jasmine solanum or jasmine blossomed nightshade. As the names partially suggest, it belongs to the nightshade, a genus of the nightshade family, also Euasterids I.

We are more familiar with other nightshades, including potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines. Many nightshades are poisonous to humans, at least in parts; in the case of summer jasmine, this applies to all parts of the plant

4. Rein von der Prominenz her betrachtet liegt der Carolina-Jasmin oder Gelsemium sempervirens in Amerika ziemlich weit vorne. Er gehört ebenfalls zu den Euasteriden I, aber innerhalb dieser zur Ordnung der Enzianartigen, und einer Familie bzw. Gattung mit den komplizierten Namen Gelsemiaceae und Gelsemium.

Der wintergrüne Kletterstrauch hat seine Heimat in Mittel- und Südamerika und kann bei uns als Kübelpflanze oder in sehr milden Regionen auch im Freiland gehalten werden. Er entwickelt auffällige leuchten gelbe Blüten und gilt bei uns als Geheimtipp, obwohl er sehr robust und pflegeleicht ist.

5. The next jasmine doppelganger is the star jasmine or Trachelospermum jasminoides. Like the Carolina jasmine, it belongs to the gentian order, but within this to the dog venom family and its own genus star jasmin or trachelospermum. In addition to the Trachelospermum jasminoides there are about 20 other star jasmines, almost all of them native to East Asia and almost all of them gifted with a real jasmine scent.

These climbing bushes reach heights of between two and four meters, are sensitive to frost, but can also survive outdoors in very mild regions in Germany with winter protection. Most of the time, the decorative star jasmine is kept in the bucket, where it turns its leaves bronze-red in the cool winter quarters.

6. The last of the jasmine chimeras, the Chilean jasmine or Mandevilla laxa, also belongs to the gentian-like and dog-poison plants. It also comes from its own genus, the Mandevilla, which, however, comprises a total of around 120 species, most of which have been in culture for over a century.

The Chilean jasmine is a type of mandevilla with white flowers, actually comes from Argentina and Bolivia and is similar in its claims to the popular mandevilla sanderi, better known as dipladenia. The flowers of Chilean jasmine smell similar to jasmine, maybe a little sweeter. The milky sap of this plant is also poisonous.

Even if the summer jasmine is not really a jasmine, it can rightly convince more and more “fans” as a robust and decorative container plant. For odor-sensitive people, summer jasmine is probably the better choice if it is to grow close to the seat, because there a jasmine with its intense scent can quickly become a disruptive factor.

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