Friday, June 23, 2017
Gardening
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Jasmine

 Scientific Name : Jasminum Officinale
 Family : Oleaceae
 Colour : White
 Common names : Poets Jasmine,  Common White Jasmine
 Flowering Season : April to September
Jasmine

Jasmine or Jessamine, the sweet -scented white flowers belongs to the genus Jasminum. It is an evergreen semi-vining shrub native to tropical areas of southeast Asia, Africa and Australia. This seasonal plant contains about 150 species. Flowers are about 1 inch and plant height is about 6 or 8 feet or 10 to 15 feet if grown as a vine. The oval rich green leaves have five to nine leaflets, each up to 2 inches long.

Grown all over the world for its fragrance, Jasmine flowers are used to flavour jasmine tea and other herbal or black teas. The flower oil extracted from the two species Jasminum Officinale and Grandiflorum is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos. In Asia, flowers are stringed together to make garlands. The flowers of one of the double varieties are held sacred to Lord Vishnu and are used as votive offerings in Hindu religious ceremonies. Several types of jasmine are used as ornamental plants.

Propagation and Planting

Jasmine is propagated by cuttings of nearly ripe wood in summer.  Cuttings are planted in 3-inch pots within 4 weeks, then to 6-inches when pot is becoming filled with roots. The potting soil should consist of 2 parts peat moss or cow dung to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand. Keep the soil moist but well drained for optimum growth. When growth slows in winter, hold back on watering. If planted on the ground, set them at least 8 feet apart to help them bush out.

Jasmine can be grown as a wine or a shrub. Frequent pruning is required to grow it as a shrub of desired size. Pruning also helps keep an abundance of flowers, since flowers are produced on new wood. When grown as a vine, its arching branches have to be supported on a mesh or trellis. Jasmine can be produced on almost any soil type, with sufficient water supply and intermediate to warm temperatures. It grows in full sun to partial shade. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer. The common jasmine grows at the rate 12 to 24 inches a year.

Seeds don't need stratifying, and can be planted immediately. Full production begins after grafting in the second year. Flowers are picked in the early morning, since they are the most fragrant at daybreak. When in flower a single plant will strongly scent an entire room or patio on a still summer's eve.