Arabian Jasmine or Jasminum Sambac is part of the Oleaceae family. It is a shrubby plant, originating in India and it is present in many tropical climates around the world. It also appears in the Bible under the name mogra or mograw, making it holy to some people.
Arabian Jasmine Varieties
The multiple varieties of the plant are distinct from one another based on the flower structure and leaves shape. The most common varieties are:
– Belle of India which has semi-double flowers and elongated petals.
– Grand Duke of Tuscany known for its flower clusters that resemble miniature roses
– Maid of Orleans which has simple flowers composed of five to six round shaped petals.
All varieties grow about 3m tall and have a 1 m span. The flowers are white to yellow and usually are grouped in clusters. Some rare varieties can have reddish looking flowers.
Arabian Jasmine blooms for 7 to 9 months a year and the plant is used in many cosmetic products for its fragrance. Flowers are extremely fragrant and have a sweet and fresh smell which is appealing to most people.
Growing Arabian Jasmine Plant
Being a sun loving plant, it is best to seed it in an open space which allows at least 6 hours of direct sunshine. It is not resistant to intense cold, so you will need to move the plant indoors when the temperature drops under 5 degrees Celsius.
All varieties of jasmine need the same soil type. The best mixture is 2 parts loam, 2 parts peat moss and 1-part river sand. The area needs to be free draining and for fertilizing you can use organic compost. Using compost will increase the moisture retention, helping the plant survive arid summers.
After planting Arabian Jasmine is necessary to let the soil dry before watering it. The drip tray of the pot must be empty at all times.
Around the year there are a few small tasks that a jasmine grower must take care of. New vines need to be tied to trellis sections each spring, in order to allow the plant to expand.
In the second year, pinching off the new tips will allow the plant to branch out and to produce more flowers.
If you wish to multiply the plant, you can harvest tip cuttings each spring. These must be dipped in rooting hormones and then be placed in peat. Once rooted, the cuttings can be planted in pots and the normal lifecycle of Arabian jasmine will begin.
Protecting Arabian Jasmine Flowers from Pests
Many bugs like aphids, caterpillars and mites like to feast on jasmine. There are many solutions on the market that can help you to get rid of these pests. Ask your local garden shop for help by describing the critters that eat your plant.
Spider mites can be taken care of with the use of neem oil. This oil is readily available online and it is an inexpensive and natural way to protect jasmine.
The plant is also prone to fungal infections like stem blight. Stem blight on Arabian jasmine can be prevented by spraying the plant regularly with fungicide.