Blossoms in winter – always in demand in our rather dreary climate at this time of year, and the winter jasmine spoils us with a whole abundance of flowers. He is really undemanding and, after a somewhat more reserved start phase, also grows quickly. If you need a green shrub in front of a window that blooms in winter or want to green a wall that also flowers in winter, winter jasmine is the right plant for you. Here you will learn the most important facts about the location, care and cutting of winter jasmine.

The right location for the winter jasmine

The winter jasmine is the lover of the cold among the decorative flowering wonders of the jasmine genus. It grows quite well in our climate and, depending on the outside temperatures, spoils us with its yellow splendor from Christmas to late spring. The flowers appear even before the leaves, which is why this jasmine is called Jasminum nudiflorum, “nudiflorum” means “bare-flowered”.

Winter jasmine is “actually frost hardy” here, but should be planted in a sheltered location. Well suited is z. B. a place on a house wall, which then also offers the branches a support. Because in Central Europe it can happen that the winter jasmine freezes back in severe frosts. This can be avoided by choosing a slightly sheltered spot. Regardless of the macro and microclimate, a winter jasmine can be grown in a conservatory.

The winter jasmine needs a little space around it. It will develop into a broad shrub, with a growth height of up to 2 meters (without a climbing aid, see below for this). If a winter jasmine is grown unaided, its long branches will bend in arcs towards the ground, where they tend to take root. As a result, the winter jasmine spreads more and more to the sides. If it is allowed to grow undisturbed, it can create dense and rather confused-looking shrub landscapes. If you plant the winter jasmine against a wall, it will eventually form a decorative overhang over the top of the wall. This then grows into a dense, green mat.

Winter jasmine grows in fully sunny and semi-shady locations as well as in shady locations, but then the flowers will not be very splendid. It has leaves from April to October, but thanks to its green twigs it looks nice and green even in winter.

Plant winter jasmine

If the right location is found in terms of light and, above all, garden design, you will usually be able to plant the winter jasmine there as well. It grows in practically any soil, even poor sandy soil. Of course, he prefers nutrient-rich soil. Only very deep soils such as heavy clay soils could cause problems. Among them, the winter jasmine could suffer from frost.

Winter jasmine can be planted in spring or autumn. A distance should be kept between the individual plants that corresponds to about half the growth width that the winter jasmine will develop. If you want to plant winter jasmine as a hedge or green fence, you should plant each plant one meter from the next.

A tip for an inexpensive hedge: If you want to border very long sections with a hedge or want to green a long fence with winter jasmine, you can use the natural spread of winter jasmine. Then you have to place the individual plants at much greater distances. Now it’s time to wait until the winter jasmine fills the gaps with its own sinkers.

The care of winter jasmine

The Jasminum nudiflorum does not need any care, not even fertilizer. It will thrive entirely on its own once you plant it.

When climbing, of course, you have to help him by untying him. Even in terms of cut, winter jasmine is exceptionally undemanding.

Cut Jasminum nudiflorum

Winter jasmine does not need pruning at all for the first few years. He starts his growth development very hesitantly. Even if it finally starts to develop longer branches, you don’t have to cut it. If you e.g. For example, if you want to grow a free-growing hedge that is supposed to “expand really”, winter jasmine is a good candidate for you. You would not circumcise him in this case. It is deliberately allowed to develop completely freely, including spreading offshoots to the sides.

However, you can prune the winter jasmine, e.g. B. to give it a “neat shape” or to compensate when one side of the trellis develops faster than the other.

You should prune the winter jasmine if you value as many flowers as possible. Because the winter jasmine flowers on the shoot of the respective season, on a fresh, new young shoot that is formed in summer, then overwinters and produces the flowers before the leaves. If you want to see as many flowers as possible, you must ensure that the winter jasmine puts on as many young shoots as possible every year. You can do this by pruning regularly. This ensures that the pruned shoots continue to branch out every time. The point of this pruning is then to cut away all the shoots that have already flowered to make room for new flowering shoots. How to distinguish a flowering shoot from the rest of the shoots? Quite simply, you prune right after flowering in April.

In the case of an area overgrown with winter jasmine that has a decorative function, this cutting care also has an effect that increases or preserves the decorative value. Because the branches of winter jasmine are only green when they are young. As they age, they become lignified and turn brown. The effect described above, that the winter jasmine appears almost leafy even in winter because of its green branches, i.e. almost looks like an evergreen plant overall, can only be maintained over a longer period of time if there are many young branches on the plant.

Let winter jasmine climb

You can demand a powerful growth development from the winter jasmine if you let it grow up on a climbing aid. Winter jasmine is one of the spreading climbers. With its long flexible shoots, it will cling to wherever it can. This means that the winter jasmine, like a climbing rose, does not develop any attachment organs or special creepers, but rather long, thin, flexible shoots that climb upwards “simply because of their length”.

The winter jasmine will only ever make it to real heights if you provide it with a trellis and if you help it climb. If the winter jasmine is to reach high, it either needs a steep system or you tie the shoots to a trellis. Then a winter jasmine can grow up to 5 m. When the new shoots appear, you have to guide them through the trellis. You arrange the growth at the same time and determine the climbing direction.

However, it will take some time before you have to do that. Winter jasmine hardly grows in the first few years after planting. Only then do the shoots begin to grow to considerable lengths.

Grow winter jasmine

You can propagate winter jasmine very well, because the shoots “are used to” rooting as soon as they are on the ground. You can use this to gain new winter jasmine plants. you can then dig them out and move them after they have rooted. You should wait until the new winter jasmine looks reasonably vigorous before transplanting. Otherwise, the indestructible winter jasmine is not problematic in this respect either.

It is much more likely that your winter jasmine is multiplying faster than you would like. If you have a winter jasmine e.g. For example, if you leave them unobserved for a while, you will probably be able to dig up many small winter jasmines afterwards.

Worth knowing about the winter jasmine

Winter jasmine belongs to the olive tree family. Of these, around 25 genera with a good 600 species are scattered around the world, from the temperate zones to the tropics. The olive trees are all characterized by a striking splendor of flowers. Whole panicles, racemes or umbels are usually formed on flowers. A typical olive tree plant is a single cloud of flowers in spring, which often emits an intoxicating scent. The namesake of the family, the olive trees, also unfold an unbelievable number of inflorescences when they are in bloom. They only look a bit more modest because the flowers have a very delicate light yellow color.

Like so many of our ornamental plants, the winter jasmine comes from the Asian branch of ornamental plants, which in ten genera and 160 species also produced the yellow-flowered forsythia, the multicolored and profusely flowering lilac, the attractive osmanthus shrubs and the popular privet. Winter jasmine is native to the northern and western provinces of China. There it grows at altitudes of about 1000 to 4500 meters.

The path of the decorative plant to Europe is quite adventurous. Soon after the 1842 Treaty of Nanking pacified the First Opium War between Britain and China, the adventurous botanist Robert Fortune set out to collect plants in China on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society. A not entirely harmless undertaking. The main issue was tea plants, and their export was strictly forbidden. Like other “plant hunters” of the time, Fortune therefore traveled disguised as a Chinese trader. Fortune definitely had Fortune. He was able to smuggle tea plants out of China, which he immediately imported into India. It is thanks to him that we are drinking Darjeeling tea today. On his return voyage he brought back lots of beautiful flowering plants to Britain. In addition to the fortunearias (witch hazel plants) and fortunellas (kumquats) named after him, there is also the winter jasmine.

Real and fake and even more jasmine

Winter jasmine is not the only jasmine. Rather, the genus Jasminum comprises over 200 species, many of which are also cultivated as ornamental plants.

  • Rosa Jasmin, Jasminum beesianum
    • Jasmine from China, moderately frost hardy, beautiful crimson flowers
  • Shrub-Jasmine, Jasminum fructicans
    • Grows in Europe, but mainly in the Mediterranean climate, is quite sensitive to frost, flowers golden yellow
  • Low Jasmine or Yellow Jasmine, Jasminum humile
    • Comes from Central to East Asia, is moderately frost hardy
  • True jasmine or common jasmine, Jasminum officinale
    • stands out for its pure white and fragrant flowers, but is quite sensitive to frost
  • Arabischer Jasmin, Jasminum sambac
    • white-flowered jasmine that grows wild in India and is cultivated worldwide
    • there are varieties with star-shaped and double flowers

And then there is the farmer’s jasmine. That’s a fake jasmine. This is exactly what the Philadelphus coronarius from the hydrangea family is also called. If you didn’t pay close attention to the name when you bought it, then you bought a mock orange.

If you try to buy your jasmine only by the German name, you often get into trouble in this rich “jasmine world” even if you look closely at the name. You can also come across winter jasmine under the names “Nude-flowered jasmine”, “Yellow winter jasmine” and “Real winter jasmine”. The confusion with the real “real jasmine” is no longer far away.

Winter jasmine is also often sold as winter gorse because its twigs look quite similar to gorse twigs.

The selection by botanical name is therefore recommended. Incidentally, it also increases the certainty that you are dealing with a specialist shop. It also increases the chances of a jasmine surviving with you. The winter jasmine with the botanical name Jasminum nudiflorum or Jasminum sieboldianum is the only really hardy species of the genus that can easily endure in the garden in Central Europe.

Many of the other jasmines come from warm regions, as far away as tropical Africa. Such jasmines or hybrids with such jasmines can only survive in pots with us. Speaking of tubs: Of course, the winter jasmine can also be kept very well in the tub, in contrast to the other jasmines even all year round. Depending on the pot size, a little winter protection might be advisable (smaller pots freeze completely more quickly). Very small buckets might even have to be set up frost-proof. In most cases, however, you can save yourself lugging the bucket back and forth with winter jasmine.

The winter jasmine is z. B. a good plant for containers that are to decorate the terrace of people who are sensitive to smell, because its flowers are not fragrant. The flowers of many other jasmines do, actually quite tasty, but up close this scent can become too much.

More flowers in winter

If you want to cover the entire front of your house with shrubs that will also show you flowers in winter, you have a few other trees to choose from:

  • snowball, viburnum
    • From November it shows its white to pink flowers in dense umbels with flower heads
  • witch hazel, witch hazel
    • Mostly yellow flowers, which have a much darker, almost orange hue compared to winter jasmine, but there are also reddish flowering varieties
  • Schmuck-Mahogany, Mahonia beali
    • Flowers from cream to golden yellow, decorated with blue-black berries the rest of the year

Incidentally, all these flowering shrubs not only put you in a good mood when you look out of the window. You can cut branches from any shrub and put them in a vase in the house. If you enjoy floristic work, you can put together very unusual winter arrangements. Delicate blossoms on the twig next to a gnarled, momentarily leafless branch, a little bit of evergreen conifer branches.

Winter jasmine in the garden or on the terrace is a joy – not only in terms of the beauty of its flowers, but also in terms of the undemanding nature of this shrub. Are you in need of mood enhancers in winter? No time at all to take care of the trees or a wall in the line of sight that should be overgrown? The winter jasmine is your wood!

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