Arabian Jasmine Plant: Fragrant Flowers & Lush Foliage

4 Shares

Exotic and alluring, the Arabian jasmine plant is a native of Southeast Asia. Known botanically as Jasminum sambac, its highly fragrant flowers are prized. In fact, it’s the national plant of the Philippines and one of the three national plants of Indonesia! The floral aroma is used in China to scent jasmine teas, and jasmine flowers adorn leis in the Hawaiian islands.

As you can probably guess, this tropical delight is a real treasure in the garden. Fragrant plants like this one add ambiance, and the dark green leaves on this shrub are visually appealing. If you’re trying to coax a little tropical variety into your outdoors space, you’ll definitely want to consider Jasminum sambac!

Useful Products For Growing Arabian Jasmine Plant:

Quick Care Guide

Arabian jasmine plant
The Arabian jasmine plant can be grown as a mounded shrub or a vine. Source: vanlaphoang
Common Name(s): Arabian jasmine, Sambac jasmine, sampaguita and more
Scientific NameJasminum sambac
Family:Oleaceae
Zone:9-11 outdoors, can be grown in other zones if wintered indoors
Height & Spread:Variable, spreads rapidly. Can be grown as a shrub or vine.
LightFull sun to partial shade. Full sun is best for flowering.
SoilLoose, friable, humus-rich.
Water:Water when soil is dry to 2″ depth
Pests & Diseases:Aphids, spider mites, black scale. Also leaf spot & root rot.

All About Arabian Jasmine

Arabian jasmine var Grand Duke Of Tuscany
The ‘Grand Duke of Tuscany’ cultivar is a popular sambac jasmine. Source: scott.zona

Its names are many: Sampaguita in the Phillippines, Pikake in Hawaii, Mogra in India, Melati Putih in Indonesia. But the Arabian jasmine’s charm goes far beyond its waxy, tiny white flowers. Without support, it grows as a mounding and trailing shrub. But with a little help, it can also twine to form a shrubby, upward-growing vine.

Evergreen, these tropical plants are lush and full. Some, such as the rare ‘Arabian Nights’ cultivar, unleash their fragrance only at night. Others spread their sweet aroma throughout the yard constantly.

The stems of the plant are downy and hold large, oval leaves that can reach three inches in length. Flowers develop in cymes or clusters of 3-12 small blooms. Each flower is about an inch across and waxy in appearance. While white when new, these lovely fragrant flowers turn light pink as they mature, then yellowish-brown when they wane.

In their native tropical Asian environment, a stem can grow to as much as 25′ long. When naturalized in a garden setting, they tend to 3′ -10′ lengths depending on whether it’s grown as a shrub or vine.

These Oleaceae-family plants are truly garden superstars. Whether you’re growing them for their fragrant buds or foliage, there’s lots here to enjoy!

A few popular cultivars include “Maid of Orleans”, “Belle of India”, and “Grand Duke of Tuscany”. There’s a variety of others as well.

Arabian Jasmine Plant Care

Arabian jasmine plant as shrub
In its mounded shrub form, the Arabian jasmine plant can still reach a good height. Source: 澎湖小雲雀

With the right care, your plant will bloom throughout the year. Sampaguita is an easy-care plant, although it does like its tropical environment. Let’s go over what you need to keep those white flowers blooming and the vines climbing!

Light & Temperature

Tropical plants like the Arabian jasmine plant love warm temperatures. It grows best in zones 9-11, although people outside those areas can overwinter plants indoors. Make sure they’ve got plenty of bright light!

When planting jasmine, select a location where it can receive full sun to partial shade. Throughout the growing season, ideal temperatures for flowering are 80-90° during the day and 70-80° at night. It can tolerate cooler temperatures, but it doesn’t handle frost conditions well.

Aim for at least 6-8 hours of light per day.

Water & Humidity

Regular watering is required to keep the soil moist. Your jasmine prefers at least 1″ of water per week, and more if it’s hot outdoors. Check the soil moisture before watering – if the top two inches are dry, it’s time to water. Avoid overwatering, as stem or root rot may result.

This plant loves humid conditions. Even if you’re not in a humid environment, keeping the soil moist should provide enough ambient humidity for this plant.

When winter arrives, water less frequently. Check the soil moisture first. Also, keep indoor plants out of the direct vent flow from your heater. While it loves warmth, a heater vent can cause the soil to dry out fast.

Soil

Loose, light, humusy soil is ideal for your arabian jasmine plant. It should be well-draining but hold water well. Richer soils with lots of compost will make your jasmine happy!

Your soil pH should be between 4.9 and 7.5, with an optimum range of 5.5-6.0. If the soil’s pH is over 6.5, iron in the soil is less available to the jasmine. Stick towards the slightly-acidic side.

Fertilizer

When you first get your Arabian jasmine, hold off on fertilizing. Allow the plant to become established where you’ve planted it!

Fertilize your outdoor jasmine plant four times during the year. Once will be right after its late-winter pruning. Three more feedings should be evenly spaced during the spring, summer, and fall months. A 10-30-10 fertilizer is recommended for jasmine flower production. Use a slow-release granular form and broadcast it evenly under the plant.

For indoor plants, use a liquid fertilizer, diluted in water. Thoroughly water to saturate the plant’s soil. Then, slowly pour the fertilizer over the soil. Allow excess water or fertilizer to drain off. Empty any catch-trays beneath the plant. Since liquid applications are diluted, apply monthly. If the temperature indoors is below 70 degrees, delay to every 6 weeks.

Repotting

Arabian jasmine flower
The white petals of the Arabian jasmine flower are highly fragrant. Source: ashitaka-f

Jasminum sambac doesn’t like being in oversized pots. When repotting, 2-3″ wider or deeper than its prior pot is the largest you’ll want to go. A large pot may hold too much moisture for your jasmine.

Plant at the same depth your plant was at in its former pot. Don’t add extra soil on top of that, as that can harm the stem.

Propagation

Jasmine plants are generally propagated by cuttings. While we’ve talked extensively in the past about maintaining your cuttings, there’s a few things to note about this species.

Your Arabian jasmine plant is a semi-hardwood. Older, hardened growth is not as good for taking cuttings from, as it won’t be as energetic. Take cuttings from the prior season’s growth for the best outcome.

Cut just below a leaf node, and remove all but the top three leaves on the cutting. If there’s any buds or old flowers, remove those too. Dip your cutting into water, then a rooting hormone, and place it in prepared potting soil.

Have everything ready in advance, and plant immediately after taking the jasmine cuttings.

Pruning

Once blooming ends, and the winter has set in, it’s time to do your main pruning. Trim off all dead or dying vines, and remove any spent flowers. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. Try to cut above nodes or buds whenever possible, as this will spur new growth and flowers later.

If you’re growing your jasmine as a garden vine, the winter pruning is your most in-depth pruning of the year. The rest of the year, you can tip-prune if desired to coax more fragrant white flowers during their growing season. You can also trim to maintain a particular height.

Those growing Arabian jasmine plant as a shrub will need to stay on top of their pruning. It will rapidly grow during the year. In Florida, Jasminum sambac is considered a class II exotic invasive plant because of its rapid spread. To keep it from taking over your garden, you’ll want to trim it back when it starts to go out of bounds. Most people keep their jasmine shrub about 5′ tall at most, and many maintain it at 2′-4′.

Troubleshooting

Jasminum sambac vining
In their native habitat, jasmine vines can reach 25′ in length. Source: voyage-madagascar

Most jasmine issues don’t result from garden pests or diseases. They’re related to care.

Growing Problems

If you’ve found your garden jasmine just isn’t producing flowers, you’re probably not giving it enough light. Move it to a brighter location.

Multiple things can cause the leaves of your jasmine plants to turn yellow. The most common is underwatering. Jasmines are not drought-tolerant garden plants. They like their moisture and their humidity. Without water, they’ll droop and gradually turn yellow. Add more water.

But not too much water! If there’s standing water, or the soil seems muddy, yellowing can also be a sign of overwatering.

Yellowing can be a sign of a nutrient deficiency or overabundance. If you add too much fertilizer, it can cause fertilizer burn to the roots, which causes yellowing. Too little, and the plant may also yellow. To check these levels, perform a soil test. A professional one is best, but a home kit can give you some hints while you wait.

Pests

Three particular pests are common on the arabian jasmine. All three are sucking pests:

Click on the pest type to find more information about control methods for that specific pest!

Diseases

Leaf spot and root rot are the most common diseases. Avoid excessive watering to prevent fungal root rots. Water at the plant’s base to prevent leaf spot. Consider a biofungicide or copper fungicide spray to fix leaf spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fading jasmine flower
As a jasmine flower fades, it first turns pinkish and then yellow-brown. Source: Starr

Q: Is Arabian jasmine safe around my pets?

A. Absolutely. Jasmine species are perfectly safe around pets and people.

Q. When should I pick my jasmine flowers?

A. Right after they have fully bloomed. But be forewarned, they don’t last long. They stay white and fresh for about a day before they start to brown.


The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Kevin Espiritu
Founder

Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime Gardener

Did this article help you? Yes No
× How can we improve it?
× Thanks for your feedback!

We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better gardener.

While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? Facebook YouTube