I like to highlight public places to see plants, and besides our own amazing Master Gardener Volunteer Demonstration Garden on Harborview Road, and the Nature Park in Punta Gorda, the History Park in Punta Gorda is another place to enjoy beautiful, well-cultivated landscapes. During a recent visit to the History Park I found a wonderful planting of confederate Jasmine in full bloom! This long-time favorite is a spring bloomer with a heavy fragrance worth waiting for.
Confederate jasmine is an evergreen vine originally from China that is suitable for growing in sun or shade on a trellis, pergola or fence. Plant individual vines about four feet apart to make a nice thick cover with this moderate to fast growing plant. I have also seen it used effectively on light posts and even tree-trunks. Trimming after flowering will facilitate keeping this vine in-bounds and neat-looking. Wear gloves when pruning to keep the milky sap from irritating your skin.
Besides the flowers of the normal variety, you can also get a variegated form – ‘Variegatum’ – which adds a twist of interest and color to the regular all-green leaves which adds ornamental value before and after the seasonal bloom. A couple of other good attributes about confederate jasmine include that it is a Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ approved plant, and that it is not a problem species according to the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – good to know!
Scale insects are an occasional pest issue, and their presence is made evident by sooty mold growing on the leaves. Use either insecticidal soap or horticultural oil – but not in the heat of the day as the leaves can burn – as per label directions. Although confederate jasmine is often available at garden centers, propagation is easily accomplished by taking cuttings or layering vines.
Confederate jasmine is blooming now at the History Park. Make sure to visit this site and other local parks and demonstration gardens to increase your horticultural knowledge and cheer your heart! For more information on ornamental vines suitable for our area, or to ask a question, please visit https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteMGLifeline/ . You can also call the Master Gardener Volunteer Helpdesk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm at 764-4340 for gardening help and insight into their role as an Extension volunteer. Ralph E. Mitchell is the Director/Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Charlotte County Extension Service. He can be reached at 941-764-4344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gilman, E. F. (1999) Trachelospermum jasminoides. The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design (2010) The University of Florida Extension Services, IFAS.
Landre, C. (2022) Confederate Jasmine Vine. South-Florida-Plant-Guide.com.
(2022) The UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas. The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.