Carolina Jasmine

(Carolina Jessamine)

Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jasmine is the ideal Florida snowbird vine for its winter and spring color and well-behaved growth habit.

A unique sweet-scented climber with manners, this jasmine provides that highly desired cool-weather color but without the crazed growth of a vine like bougainvillea.

Butter-yellow blossoms with a light fragrance begin to appear in January and last through spring.

This is one vine that, though it's a fast grower, will not run rampant.

In fact, it's is so easygoing you can even grow it in a container as long as you provide support with a trellis or lattice on a wall behind it.

yellow Carolina jasmine flowers

The new growth will twine around a trellis or fence but it's surprisingly tame and easily controlled.

Foliage is made up of narrow green leaves that stay fairly full and bushy - especially in a sunny spot - though not around the base of the vine (common with many vines). To fill in the blanks you can actually plant groundcovers or low-growing perennials fairly close.

Carolina jasmine contains toxins and the sap can cause skin irritations in some people. Wear gloves when pruning.

Native to Florida - and other states - it's the State Flower of South Carolina, hence the common name.

This plant is said to be deer-resistant, though we make no guarantees.

Plant specs & spacing

This vine is a fast grower that prefers full to part sun but will also grow in partial shade (though it won't flower as much).

A cold hardy plant, Carolina jasmine does fine anywhere in Florida and throughout the South.

To grow several along a fence, place them 3 feet apart. Plant 3 feet from nearest shrub.

If you grow a low growing plant or groundcover beneath the vine, come out at least 2 feet for planting.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat moss mixed with composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.

Trim anytime for shaping.

This vine doesn't generally need a hard pruning for size, but if you want to do one, cut it back hard in late spring after the flowering season is over.

Water on a regular basis.

Fertilize once or twice a year - in late spring or early summer and in fall - with a top quality granular fertilizer. Don't overdo the fertilizing with this plant or you'll get lots of leaves and no flowers.

A.K.A. (also known as): Carolina Jessamine (a spelling variation), Yellow Jessamine


LANDSCAPE USES: fence, trellis, wall lattice, arbor, mailbox post, container (with support)

Other vines you might like: Yellow Mandevilla, Allamanda

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