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.

yellow Carolina jasmine flowers

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.

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 if you have sensitive skin.

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.

climbing a trellis

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.

blooming along a fence

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

  1. Home
  2. Vines
  3. Carolina Jasmine

Take a break!

cover Lazy Gardener's Guide

The ultimate guide to low-maintenance plants
and landscaping!

An ebook by
Chase Landre

author of

Learn more!

Get a greener thumb!

Want to learn more about South Florida planting, watering, fertilizing and dealing with weeds and pests?

See our Gardening How-To section for answers!

Get instant curb appeal!

cover Landscape in a Hurry

An ebook by
Chase Landre

author of

Learn how to get instant curb appeal with fast growing plants and landscaping techniques!

Learn more...