Vines and Other Climbing Plants


There are several types of Jasmine including a highly scented and delicate, indoors variety that has bright white flowers and is only sold as a pot plant that is normally trained round a circular wire frame secured in the pot. This type needs a lot of warmth and will not stand up to the rigours of life in the garden, however there are two main types that will. One is a Summer flowering and one Winter flowering. Both common varieties are deciduous, but there is also a less popular, evergreen, Summer flowering variety, called Polyanthum. 

The popular Winter flowering variety comes with yellow flowers and is in full flower when there is not much else about in the depths of Winter giving a bright and welcome splash of colour on its bare branches with the leaves appearing later. Because the bush has no leaves it is said to be flowering in the nude, hence the Latin name – Nudiflorum, or nude flowering. Nudiflorum is not really a climber as it needs lots of support and branches have a drooping habit, but carefully tied in to a supporting post, or canes it will put on quite a show against a dull fence in the dark Winter months. 

Nudiflorum has small, glossy, dark green leaves whereas although the white Summer flowering, Officienallis, does have a small plain leafed variety, there is also a rather more colourful variegated type whose green and white leaves are also often tinged with pink. The added colouration of the leaves, make it an attractive plant even when it is not in flower. Apart from the leaf variation, breeders have now created a purple flowering Summer Jasmine as well. The white flowers of Officienallis are also scented, whereas the yellow flowering, Nudiflorum aren’t.

A young Summer Jasmine will grow vigorously and quickly establish itself whereas the Winter type is slower growing. Also unlike the Winter type, the Summer Officienallis has a good climbing habit and needs little encouragement to cover any piece of trellis twining itself in and out of any available support.

As with all variegated plants Officienallis has a tendency to throw out some plain green shoots that should be carefully removed to preserve the coloured part of the plant. If the plain growth is not removed it will grow more vigorously and eventually take over completely from the variegated part resulting in a plain green bush.

Cuttings taken from Jasmines will root fairly easily and it is also often possible to remove self-rooted shoots from around the base of a mature plant. Pegging shoots down into the soil, or “Layering,” them will also result in easily rooted offsets.

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