The other jasmine
The most widely known of the jasmine-like climbers is star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). In mid-spring this evergreen and vigorous climber has a show-stopping display of heavily perfumed flowers. Even after the main show has finished, star jasmine keeps producing sporadic flowers to scent the summer air. As it blooms so profusely in mid-spring, it can be overwhelming for anyone who doesn’t like its heavy scent.
Although vigorous, it is much easier to train than its namesake J. polyanthum, and it can be clipped, shaped or even used as a groundcover. It climbs by twining.
Star jasmine comes from parts of Asia, and grows best in a temperate to subtropical climate in sun or shade (with fewer flowers in the shade). It is totally unfussy about soil and can be grown in a container.
Once established it is drought hardy, but it grows better with a regular soak in dry times. All it really needs is regular pruning and training. Feed with a complete fertiliser in spring.
As soon as you cut a piece of star jasmine, you realise it isn’t a true jasmine, as the cut stem oozes a sticky white sap, flagging it as a member of the Apocynaceae family. Perhaps due to the sap, it’s rarely troubled by insects other than scale, a pest that is usually only seen if this climber is too dry or too shaded.