We almost invariably associate with the name of jasmine today the popular and quite common garden shrub Chubushnik. But in fact this plant has nothing to do with the representatives of the legendary fragrant jasmine. And the similar fragrance should not be misleading. Jasmines are inimitably beautiful indoor lianas, evergreen, elegant, abundantly blooming, captivating with their simple nobility and fragrant flowers. Being a remarkably graceful plant, true jasmine cannot boast of great endurance and, moreover, of frost-resistance, and we grow it only as a greenhouse or a houseplant. But jasmines always become a real pride in the collection. In order to admire them, you need to ensure that the plants are not so easy to care for. And the selection of growing conditions for this exotic beauty does not add to the trouble.
The real jasmines and their elegant beauty
The beautiful jasmines seem almost ethereal beauties during their blooms. Formed on various supports or growing freely, but invariably elegant, they are a kind of canon of impeccable beauty. There are many confusions with the name "jasmine". Even today, some gardeners believe that room or greenhouse and garden jasmines are related plants, and that they are all genuine. But in fact, the shrub that grows in our gardens under the name of jasmine has quite a different origin.
Chubushnik, which is accepted and even fashionable to call jasmine here (even some large garden centers are not at all shy to give the nickname for the generic name), belongs to the family of Camnemonic and can be called a jasmine only by mistake. In fact, a pleasantly strong fragrance similar to that of the legendary jasmine is the only trait that unites greenhouse plants with garden "impostors." But if you compare even the aromas of the two plants, the difference in shades and nuances becomes apparent. And the white fragrant flowers of the chubushnik, which is grown in parks and gardens, are not at all similar to the perennial evergreen shrub belonging to the real jasmines.
The real, or true jasmines are from the Olive family. And their membership is easy to guess from the plant's foliage and growth forms. Without exception, all jasmines are evergreen shrubs belonging to the ranks of climbing vines. The slender and surprisingly flexible, clinging shoots of this plant need to be supported to form a beautiful and dense bush. The drooping branches actively develop, quickly braiding and hiding the support, so that when shaped the plant looks like a dense bush (the base holding all the shoots together is usually almost invisible).
This is a typical southern plant, found in the tropics and subtropics, in the Mediterranean, Australia and South America. The leaves of the jasmine are very beautiful. Entirely marginal, perfectly oval-long-shaped with a pointed tip, they sit on short petioles in pairs to form a very striking classic evergreen crown. Jasmine flowers appear simple and noble at the same time. Tubular, simple or terry, they have deeply parted, wide-open corollas divided into 6 petals, under which the cylindrical tube is almost invisible. The axillary flowers assemble into shields of inflorescences located in the axils of the leaves.
The palette of flower colors, although radiant white and cream shades have long been considered classic and have become a symbol of all jasmines, also includes yellow, pink variations in a variety of tones.
In room culture several species of jasmine are widespread, usually differing from each other in flowering and very similar in structure of bushes, type of leaves and shoots. Among the most popular indoor plants are the following species of true jasmines:
Jasminum polyanthum (Jasminum polyanthum), which stands out for its strong branching from other species. It is a magnificent climbing shrub. It reaches a height of 1.5-2 m. The oval, pointed-edged leaves are alternately arranged, adorned with a slightly wavy edge and dark green coloration. Numerous tubular flowers, whose bend is divided into 5 lobes, are gathered in loose apical inflorescences. A special charm of this species is that brightly colored pink buds turn white when they bloom. But what makes this multi-flowered jasmine most popular is its fragrance, which is stronger than that of any other species (easily felt even at a distance).
This jasmine blooms from February until August. Today, this species is also referred to as the previously identified as an independent species Jasmine subtle (Jasminum gracillimum), although it differs slightly in appearance from the basic form. It is a compact liana with very thin, necessarily drooping shoots, very simple leaves up to 3.5 cm long with a heart-shaped base, pubescent underneath and a more unusual color of green - light green. But the main difference is in the flowers. The former slenderest, and today not even considered a separate form, multifloral jasmine has flowers in umbrellas of inflorescences; their corolla is divided into 8 pointed lanceolate "petals". The flowers of the multi-flowered jasmine reach a diameter of 2.5 cm and open in January-March.
Jasminum grandiflorum (Jasminum grandiflorum) is a stately, naturally up to 10 m tall liana with completely bare shoots. The feathery, supronate leaves differ from other species not only by their dark color, but also by their elliptical shape with a pointed apex. Flowers are gathered on the tops of shoots in umbrellas of up to 10 pieces, appear in fairly large numbers evenly from June to October. This species of jasmine has a bend divided into 5 petals, and the flowers themselves are very fragrant and snow-white.
Jasminum beesianum (Jasminum beesianum) is an evergreen shrubby liana with longitudinally furrowed shoots up to 2 m long. The simple, lanceolate, suprotectively arranged leaves reach 5 cm in length and are distinguished by a light, almost imperceptible pubescence and a rich, dark green color, more vivid than in other species. Flowers are pink or dark pink, very fragrant, blooming on the tops of the shoots, gathering in whorls of up to 3 pieces. In diameter, the flowers of this species reaches 2 cm. Blossoms in May, less prolonged than other species.
Jasminum nudiflorum (Jasminum nudiflorum) differs from other species of indoor jasmine in its weaker branching, sparse foliage of graceful shoots. The leaves are small, colored in bright green and tend to fall off in the winter or remain in very small numbers. The flowers are dazzling yellow in color and are quite large, over 3 cm in diameter, blooming in the axils of the leaves only one at a time, but appear from January to April and on the whole length of the stem. This species of jasmine is eloquently nicknamed the "winter jasmine."
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Jasmine Sambac (Jasminum sambac) is the most unpretentious, easy-to-grow species of jasmine that will suit warm overwintering. In nature, shoots grow up to 6 m in length. Its shoots, unlike other jasmines, are pubescent and woody. Leaves are arranged in a suprotective form, sometimes gathered in whorls of 3, ovate, and reach 10 cm in length. Rounded base is almost invisible, but the tip may be either pointed or blunted. The very fragrant large flowers are gathered in clusters of inflorescences of 3 to 5 pieces, most often semi-mahogany or macerate, colored exclusively in white. The blooming of this jasmine lasts from March to October, and is unusually long. In appearance the terry flowers are more reminiscent of camellias or half-major roses than of other jasmines.
How to take care of indoor jasmine at home
This indoor liana "in payment" for its unusually strong aroma, abundant flowering and the beauty of greenery demands a considerable price. Jasmine can't even be called an average demanding houseplant. It is not the most resistant and quite capricious culture, which even with standard careful care can still suffer and die. And sometimes it is very difficult to find the cause of jasmine wilt. For jasmine it is necessary to strictly control the growing conditions, monitor the stability of the environment, carefully check the degree of soil moisture and air humidity.
The slightest violation of the comfortable parameters for the plant, even not obvious at first glance, can lead to serious consequences. So this magnificent classic plant can only be advised to experienced flower growers, capable of sensitively noticing and timely responding to any problems.
Lighting for jasmine
Jasmine, like most tropical plants prone to abundant flowering, belongs to light-loving crops. It not only needs good light to produce a large number of flowers over a long period of time, but also for the normal development of shoots and leaves. Jasmine can't bear direct sunlight, and southern, sunny locations in rooms will not be comfortable for it.
It's best to place jasmine on eastern and western window sills or in locations similar to them in terms of light activity in the interior itself. With this location, there is no need to protect the liana from the midday sunlight with a screen, even during the summer. Artificial light, as well as any shading, jasmine does not tolerate. For the resting period, which falls in most jasmines at the end of autumn, the plants do not need any light correction, and some species even partially shed their leaves.
Jasmines are relatively undemanding to temperatures. They are quite comfortable in normal room temperature ranges; keeping at 21-25 degrees or slightly above during the entire active development stage will be quite comfortable for jasmines. Lowering the temperature below 16 degrees in summer or spring can significantly harm the plant. As for the overwintering period, different types of jasmine should be kept in different conditions. Warm overwintering has no effect on flowering only on the Sambac jasmine that prefers to spend the whole resting period at 17 to 18 degrees, with a maximum permissible temperature of 20 degrees and a minimum of 16 degrees. A temperature range of 8 to 10 degrees is considered optimal. A drop to 6 degrees may kill the jasmine. When jasmine is kept warm in winter, you can still achieve quite spectacular blooms, but not abundant and short. With such overwintering, care must be corrected and high humidity maintained in order for the jasmine to at least bloom next year.
Watering and Humidity
The intensity of watering for jasmine depends directly on the growth rate, the stage the plant is at. In the spring and summer, all jasmines need quite intensive and abundant treatments. Water when the top layer of substrate dries out and do not let the soil dry out or get too wet. It is also ideal to control the moisture content of the soil so that the jasmine has a more stable environment. In autumn and winter, especially with cool overwintering, watering for jasmines should be as careful as possible.
No over-watering of the substrate should be allowed. It is the lower humidity that is the basis of care responsible for abundant flowering. Even if the jasmine is kept warm, the watering must necessarily be reduced, letting partially dry out and the middle layer of soil in the pots, maintaining only a light moisture substrate. At the same time, the watering should be reduced at least a month, gradually transferring the jasmine to a "careful" mode.
Special attention should be paid to water quality. Jasmine needs to be watered not only with soft and standing, but also with slightly warm water, this plant does not like overcooling of the substrate. For jasmine, it is best to use rain, boiled or filtered water. Plants tolerate lime extremely poorly and simply choosing a substrate with the right reaction is not enough for jasmines. To compensate for the effects of salts in the water on the plants, you must use acidified water 1-3 times a month instead of normal water for watering jasmine. It is sufficient to add a few crystals of citric acid or 4-5 drops of lemon juice per 1 liter of water. If you do not increase the acidity of the substrate and do not take such measures, the plant will develop oppressively and bloom sparingly.
The most difficult thing in caring for jasmine is, without exaggeration, to ensure as high humidity as possible. In dry conditions, plants not only do not bloom, but also suffer from pests and diseases, are in a depressed state, gradually dying. In this case, for jasmine, it is desirable to combine several methods of increasing the humidity of the air. They just love spraying, especially in the summer, when the air temperature exceeds the optimum values. Daily procedures with soft, standing water from a fine sprayer help to keep greenery in perfect condition and achieve maximum beauty of the crown.
When flowering, spraying does not stop, but try not to let water get on flowers, increasing distance from plants when spraying. But to maintain optimum humidity it is better to complement the classical procedures by the installation of humidifiers or their homemade analogues, such as trays with wet moss or pebbles under the pot with the jasmine itself. During the cool winter, jasmine plants are not sprayed and take no other measures to increase air humidity. If the plants are kept in warm conditions (except sambac), the humidity should be increased even compared to the summer humidity by resorting to additional measures and making the procedures more frequent. This is the only way to ensure that the jasmine blooms after its dormancy.
If the plant is in a state of depression, sheds its leaves, shrinks, and the suspected cause is low air humidity, it can be placed under a hood for several days (from 4 days to 2 weeks) with daily aeration.
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Actively developing jasmine needs very frequent fertilizers during its vigorous vegetation and flowering phase. Special compound fertilizers designed for flowering indoor plants are used for this plant. Frequency of feeding during active growth is once a week. Immediately after the bloom, feeding should be stopped and resumed only when the first signs of the beginning of growth appear. Jasmine plants do not respond very well to long-term fertilisers, so the classic liquid fertiliser method should be preferred. And it is not just a matter of pointing the shoots on supports, giving bushes the desired shapes and sizes by fixing and intertwining them. The more often it is done, the better and more abundant the jasmine blooms. The main pruning is done just before the beginning of intensive growth (most often in spring, but adjusting to the timing of flowering and the stage of vegetation - for jasmine blossoms in winter pruning is done at the beginning of active development in late autumn), shortening all shoots to 1/3 or 1/2 of their length.
This pruning allows the plant to produce more young side branches, on which buds are formed. When pruning, all elongated shoots, branches with too small deformed leaves, and dry and damaged shoots should be completely removed. Young jasmines, if the shoots do not reach 50-60 cm, only need to have the tips pulled back for greater tillering. Jasmine sambacs can be pruned 2-3 times a year, with branches continually trimmed to form and thicken the crown. Other jasmines can be satisfied with a single pruning.
Transplanting and substrate for jasmines
For jasmine, only a soil mixture with neutral, at most slightly acidic, characteristics is suitable (optimum pH is 6.0). No less important than the reaction of the soil is its composition. Jasmine can develop only in a loose and quality, nutritious soil mixture. When mixing the substrate yourself, it is necessary to measure in equal proportions clay-bottom soil with deciduous soil, peat and sand. But it is better to use for jasmine ready universal substrates, which are better suited in their texture.
Jasmine transplanting is carried out annually only at a very young age. Mature plants are transplanted into new containers every 2-3 years. The transplanting procedure itself is quite simple. The main task is to build up a thick layer of drainage and to ensure that after this procedure the plants have increased air humidity.
It is worth noting that for any jasmine the diameter of the container should not be increased by more than 2-3 cm. Too much free soil is the most serious risk for the plant to sour the ground and disturb the comfortable air and water permeability of the substrate. Jasmine develops better if its roots almost completely fill the substrate.
Diseases and pests of jasmines
The capriciousness of jasmine is also fully demonstrated in the fact that this plant is very vulnerable to pests at the slightest breach of care. Spider mites, aphids and leaf weevils can be found on jasmines. In this case, pest control should begin as early as possible. It is best to remove damaged shoots and prophylactically spray the plant to prevent pests from spreading. As a control measure, it is better to try biological methods first, as well as washing with a soap solution, and only in a neglected condition resort to insecticides.
Common problems in cultivation:
- leaf dropping when the substrate is overwatered, dry, draughts, insufficient light or low humidity;
- drying of young branch tips and leaves when low humidity or soil is dry;
- gradual drying of branches when watering is incorrect, alkali accumulation in the soil, lack of acidifying watering.
Propagation of room jasmine
There are two vegetative ways to propagate this delightful flowering liana. The most popular of these methods is cuttings.
Cut cuttings preferably only in the spring and summer period and only from non-blooming shoots. For spring cuttings, choose strong, woody, mature shoots, cutting off the tops with at least 3 internodes. For summer cuttings, young green twigs are used. Cuttings of the plant should be planted in an earth mixture of peat and sand or sand and leaf soil, burying 1.5-2 cm oblique cuts. After treatment with a growth stimulant, rooting ability increases several times. A prerequisite for success in cuttings is to maintain a temperature of about 20 degrees C without sharp fluctuations.
Rooting out in cuttings takes about 1 month or slightly more, after which the plants should be immediately transplanted into small individual containers up to 5 cm in diameter. Increase the size of the first pots to the standard 9-11 cm will be possible only after the roots will completely braid the substrate in cups. After this, transplanting is carried out annually, and from the 3rd year of cultivation transfer jasmine to "adult" conditions with transplanting with a frequency of 2-3 years.
Jasmine branches are obtained by the standard method, wrapping with wet moss or substrate the part of the shoot in between the internodes, where a vertical cut is made. If the soil is constantly kept moist, the plants will form roots at the site of the cut after a little over a month.
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