Star Jasmine Fertilizer Needs

by Sarah Moore

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a warm-weather perennial, though it is often grown as an annual outside its U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone range, 8 through 10. In areas where it grows year-round, it is a low- to medium-maintenance plant. Fertilization, however, is typically low maintenance and you do not need to perform it often.

1. Identification

Also known as the Confederate jasmine, star jasmine is native to Japan and China. Although commonly referred to as jasmine, star jasmine is not actually jasmine since it is not a member of the jasmine genus, Jasminum. It does look similar, however, with the same glossy, dark green leaves and white flowers. Star jasmine’s flowers have only five petals, and are creamy white. Although it is generally safe for children and common house pets, livestock and horses may suffer ill effects if they eat this plant.

2. Fertilizer Needs

Star jasmine does not require much fertilization. A light application four to six weeks after planting in its first year may suffice. If you notice yellowing leaves, you should apply more in the springtime. Test your soil to find out what nutrients it is lacking, or amend with a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 according to package rates and mixing to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Plants will benefit from a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch to help conserve and distribute moisture and keep roots cool in heat. Keep children out of the garden when applying fertilizer.

3. Culture

Star jasmine will grow in full sun or part shade. They prefer moist and moderately fertile soil, so consider amending the soil by working in an organic medium like compost several inches before planting. Leaf mold is one of the best options, as it helps retain moisture and adds fertility. Prune star jasmine yearly to maintain shape and remove dead portions. Do so in the springtime after it has bloomed to avoid removing the incipient blossoms.

4. Garden Uses

You can use star jasmine as a vine to climb up trellises, with support, or spill over garden walls or other areas. Grown vertically, it can reach heights of 3 to 6 feet. When grown on freestanding trellises, its thick foliage makes a nice screen. It also does well as a ground cover, where it will mound to between 18 and 24 inches. It can also be used to control erosion of banks or slopes. You can also grow it as a houseplant, or keep it potted outdoors or in a greenhouse.