Jasmine

Each morning as I go out onto the deck and start down the stairs, I walk into what seems like a wall of sweetly perfumed air, thanks to a single plant. Toward the  bottom of the stairs is my smallish jasmine plant.


I bought it in February a few years ago, when visiting a nearby nursery that keeps greenhouses open all winter long (mainly to sell houseplants). I smelled a jasmine that was in flower and had to have it.

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It's not a very large plant, but it certainly generates plenty of fragrance.


I'm not sure how large it would get if I kept it in a larger pot, and it probably can use transplanting, or at least a soil change, as it's been in the same pot since I got it.


It seems to be doing pretty well, so if it is rootbound or in need of a change it's not really showing it. As long as I keep it fertilized and well-watered, it will bloom all summer long.


Since it's not cold-hardy, I'll cut it back a bit in the fall and bring the pot inside, keeping it under lights during the winter. I water it just enough to keep it from dying, but I don't want it actively growing. It ends up looking pretty ratty by the time spring comes around, but once it gets out into the warm sunlight it perks right up.

I think the blooms open in the evening, so here you can see tonight's flower buds getting ready to open:


What surprises me most about this plant is that I rarely see any insects visiting it. With the amount of fragrance these produce, I'd expect moths to flock to it in the evening. I was surprised to see this little cucumber beetle this morning:


Maybe the moths are coming during the middle of the night, or maybe the location of the plant (on the deck stairs) makes it hard for them to find? I find that hard to believe.

I like everything about this plant, as it's got great foliage even when not in bloom. When the flowers fall off they leave a cool structure, with the sepals looking like tiny grasping hands:


I'm pretty sure the blooms last only a day or two, but I've never really checked to be sure. When they're ready to fall, they start getting some red in them -- I'm not sure if this is typically of jasmine in general, or just this certain variety.


It's interesting to me that the pure-white blooms only show signs of coloring when they're ready to fall, and it's not the brown or faded colors that you usually see when blooms are finished.


What a great plant! Too bad I don't know the exact species name of this. Can anybody help with ID on this?

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