How to grow and care for jasmine

The heavenly scent of spring in Australia.
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You’re sitting outside, taking in the warming sun, and suddenly the perfume hits you. Someone down the street has planted jasmine and its perfume has wafted into your garden to remind you that you need to plant one of your own.

WATCH: How to create a colourful garden for spring

Let it clamber over a trellis or cascade over a fence. Curl it over an archway or drape it along the balcony. That way you get a more direct hit of its intense fragrance, and you’ll appreciate the pretty spring flowers up close.

Chinese star jasmine

Types of jasmine

Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac)

Arabian jasmine

This is one of the sweetest-smelling jasmines and has waxy, wavy, glossy leaves that show off the pure-white, pinwheel-shaped flowers. It’s not an energetic viner like most other jasmines and can easily be pruned into a pretty shrub. Coming from India, it prefers a warm climate. Size 1.5H x 2.5mW.

Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Carolina jessamine jasmine

Small clusters of yellow, scented trumpet-like flowers appear in spring and last for months, sometimes re-appearing in autumn. The foliage is long, elliptical, glossy green, often with a bronze tinge. Grow along a fence or over a rockery. Size 6mH x 6mW.

Chinese star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Chinese star jasmine

Nothing holds back this clamberer. It even scrambles over hard surfaces so makes a great ground cover. The white, lacy highly-perfumed flowers come out in profusion from mid-spring to mid-summer over a backdrop of glossy, rich light green leaves. Size 9mH x 5-8mW.

Japanese or primrose jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi)

Japanese jasmine

Lemon yellow flowers appear in late winter and spring, but don’t come with any perfume, which may be why it’s fallen out of favour in Australian gardens over the past couple of decades. You can trim it into a shrub or let it climb. Size 3mH x 2mW.

Native jasmine (Pandorea sp)

Native jasmine

There are many types of this vigorous evergreen climber. The tubular or funnel-shaped, lightly perfumed flowers come in pink, creamy white, bright white with maroon or burgundy coloured throats, even little yellow-orange ones. Size 5mH x 3mW.

Common  jasmine (Jasminum officinal)

Common jasmine

Semi-evergreen or deciduous, this is both vigorous and graceful, producing clusters of 3-5 tiny white flowers from late spring through to summer on strong twining stems. Thrives in coastal gardens and can be used as groundcover. Size 4.5H x 9mW.

Design ideas


jasmine pergola

Train jasmine over your pergola for a spring sensation and enjoy the leafy cover during the rest of the year. 



Most jasmines are exuberant vines so will need support, such as a trellis, wire, picket fence or an arch.



For delightful pink, cream and green colours all year round, plant Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Tricolour’.



Plant jasmine close to windows so the scent drifts into your rooms during the day.

How to care for jasmine

They give so much, yet ask for so little in return. Jasmine is one of the most low-maintenance plants you can have in your garden.


Moist, well-drained.


Full sun or part shade.


Frost hardy and drought tolerant when established.


Fertilise in spring and autumn and water when soil is dry.


Cut back quite heavily with clean secateurs once flowering finishes. The plant will then be able to put all its energy into producing twines and foliage. Keep trimming through summer and autumn to maintain the shape you prefer.

How to pot jasmine


The vigorous pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) can become an environmental weed, so enjoy its sweet scent while containing it in a pot. Use good-quality potting mix and keep the plant where it gets at least four hours of sun a day. Repot just before spring every two years.

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