Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), is a popular and reliable shrub, valued for its cheery, bright yellow flowers, which appear on bare stems (‘nudiflorum‘ means ‘naked flower’). The hardiest of the jasmines, unlike others its blooms are unscented, but they make up for this by appearing very early in the season – sometimes as early as January. In its native China, winter jasmine is often called ‘Yingchun’ which means ‘flower that welcomes spring’.
Winter jasmine is easy to grow and care for. It’s usually grown as a climber, trained against sunny walls using galvanised wires.
How to grow winter jasmine
Grow winter jasmine in well-drained soil in full sun. If growing against a wall or fence, train the stems up a trellis or wires, and prune regularly to prevent bald patches appearing. Otherwise grow it over a low hanging wall or in a large pot, where its stems can trail over the sides, to beautiful effect.
Where to grow winter jasmine
Grow winter jasmine in fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun. Plant it above a low growing wall, so it can spill over, or against a taller wall or fence where you can train it up galvanised wires or a trellis. Winter jasmine can be grown in a pot, where, as it would over a low-growing wall, its foliage and flowers will trail over the sides.
How to plant winter jasmine
- If planting Jasminum nudiflorum to climb against a wall or fence, dig a hole approximately 15cm from the wall, adding a cane to provide support. Otherwise dig a hole as normal
- Add a sprinkling of mycorrhizal fungi to the planting hole, plant the jasmine and back-fill with soil and water well
- Mulch with well-rotted manure or compost
How to care for winter jasmine
Winter jasmine doesn’t naturally twine like other jasmines, so if you’re growing it up a wall or trellis, you’ll need to tie in shoots to the trellis or wires. Prune regularly to maintain its shape and reduce the likelihood of bare patches appearing.
How to propagate winter jasmine
Winter jasmine can be propagated by layering:
- Take a low-lying branch, remove some leaves and make a shallow cut in the stem to encourage rooting
- Pin it to the ground using hooked wire, and weigh it down with a brick or stone to ensure the stem has contact with the soil
- The stem should root within a few months
Winter jasmine: problem solving
Winter jasmine is generally free from diseases.
Aphids can gather on stems and leaf tips. These are usually not a problem and are an important source of food for birds such as house sparrows.
Mealybug can also be spotted on the stems of winter jasmine. Again, these have natural predators and are usually not a problem, but you may consider removing them by hand.
Bare patches can appear due to a lack of pruning. Pruning regularly will ensure the shrub stays compact and bare patches don’t appear.
Winter jasmine varieties to try
Jasminum nudiflorum – the bright evergreen stems and zingy yellow flowers put on a good show in winter. It also makes a good backdrop and companion for other later flowering climbers, such as clematis. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
Jasminum nudiflorum ‘Aureum’ – this variegated variety has unusual cream and green foliage, which complement its striking yellow blooms