Star jasmine is a creeping evergreen vine native to China. Despite the name, this plant is not a true jasmine, although it does produce an odor reminiscent to that of members of the jasmine genus. This flowering perennial is widely grown around the world as an ornamental and can be purchased at many nurseries and garden supply stores. Gardeners may want to be aware that in some regions, it is considered an invasive species and it may be advisable to consider other climbing vines as alternatives.
This plant tends to sprawl as it grows and it can get extremely large in good growing conditions. Star jasmine grows as a dense evergreen groundcover, as well as a climbing vine, and can be used with versatility in the garden. This plant typically has a two-toned coloration in early spring, with dark green older growth and bright green new growth. The flowers are shaped like five-petaled pinwheels and are bright white in color, producing a rich aroma that can scent an entire neighborhood in the case of large plants.
Known formally as Trachelospermum jasminoides, this plant is also called confederate jasmine. It prefers rich, well-drained soil with some moisture and can grow in full sun to partial shade in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones eight through 11. In hot climates, it is advisable to grow this plant in the shade, as the heat can become too intense. In cooler regions, full sun can be a better choice.
Dense foliage is produced by most star jasmine plants when they are in an environment they like. People can train the plant using trellises and twine if they want to push it to grow in a particular direction. It can also be pruned for shaping and to encourage the plant to branch out more to create a dense, bushy look. Pruning should be done in the spring, before new growth develops but after the worst of the winter weather is over.
Companion plantings for star jasmine can include bright flowers to offset the glossy dark green foliage, along with low shrubs and plants. The plant makes an excellent cover for patios and other outdoor areas and can be grown as a foundation planting and bedding plant as well. People may want to consider planting star jasmine near windows, doors, and paths so people can enjoy the heady smell when the plant bursts into bloom.