When you're craving flowers and fragrance in the dead of winter, nothing beats the white, star-shaped jasmine flower.
Choosing Jasmine as House Plants
When purchasing jasmine for indoors, make sure to purchase Jasminum polyanthum or similar indoor species. There are many types of jasmine, and those intended for outdoor gardens can grow up to 15 feettall. Unless you live in a mansion, you probably don't have room for such a jasmine plant in your house!
Jasmine house plants are sold in pots and containers at home and garden centers nationwide and by mail order. You can find them trained into pleasing basket-shaped topiaries as well as in pots and containers.
Select plants with tight buds, rather than open buds, to prolong the blooming time. Look for dark green leaves and avoid any plants that show signs of insects or diseases.
Jasmine prefers cool, moist growing conditions, and bright indirect sunlight. To create these conditions inside your home in the winter, place your new jasmine plant near a sunny window sill. Dry heat causes jasmine plants to drop their buds, so add humidity to the air with a humidifier or by placing your jasmine on a tray filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates from the tray, it will increase the humidity near the plants.
Water jasmine frequently, but don't let the plants get soggy. Stick your finger into the pot and feel the soil. If the first inch or so of soil is dry, the plant needs water. If it sticks to your finger or feels wet, it's either fine or a little too wet.
Fertilize jasmines in spring and summer with a liquid house plant fertilizer. A simple 10-10-10 fertilizer is fine, but dilute it to about half strength before using it on jasmine.
You can bring jasmine plants outdoors in the summer once all danger of frost is past. Leave the plant in its pot, and place it outdoors in a partially sunny location. Bring it back indoors before the first fall frost.
Getting Your Jasmine to Bloom
Jasmine will start to set buds when the nighttime temperatures are in the 40s and 50s and daytime temperatures are around 65 degrees F. It can be difficult to create this exact combination inside your home, but leaving your plant near a slightly opened window in the autumn helps. Stop fertilizing your plant in the fall; extra fertilizer doesn't encourage buds, but instead, encourages leaf growth.
Pruning and Repotting
A few snips with a pair of garden shears can help your jasmine retain its shape. It's fine to prune jasmine after it flowers, but stop pruning it in August or you run the risk of pruning off new buds emerging from the stem tips.
When jasmine outgrows its current container, select a new one slightly larger than the current container. Add holes to the container to allow excess water to drain away. Sterile house plant soil, purchased from the garden center, is adequate for a jasmine's needs. It's best to repot jasmine after they finish blooming in the winter to allow the plant time to recover before setting bud again.