Downy Jasmine

Jasminum multiflorum

Downy jasmine is a charming, fluffy shrub with bright white blossoms on and off all year.

large downy jasmine shrub by a house

It's a "true" jasmine - many sweet-smelling plants are called jasmines, though they belong to completely different plant families - but this one has no real fragrance.

A wide, cascading jasmine shrub that's hardy and easy to care for, downy is equally at home in a tropical or cottage-garden landscape.

It can also add a casual touch to more formal, elegant landscaping. It's all in the trimming.

These plants can be left to grow in their natural mounded form or trimmed back to keep them more shaped and rounded. It will not stay "manicured" for long, avoid plants like this one if you need a perfectly sculpted look.

flower detail

This plant is often confused with star jasmine.

Their growth habits and flowers are similar though the leaves and stems on downy are more, well, the plant an appealing gray-green look.

Star has bright green, shiny foliage and is a bit more viney in look.

Plant specs

This is a fast-grower that can take full sun to part shade.

It's cold hardy and does fine in Zone 9B, though some frost protection is preferred.

You can keep it 3 feet tall by 3 to 5 feet wide. It can get quite a bit taller, but its wide-branching growth and regular trimming will keep the height manageable.

If you prefer, this shrub can be grown in a natural large mound as a  filler for a corner or as a lush specimen plant.

large shrub in bloom

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat moss to the hole when you plant. You can also add composted cow manure to the mix to enrich the soil.

The vine-like growth may require regular trimming to keep the plant the height you need and the shape you want. Give it a hard pruning in spring (late March to early April).

Water regularly...this shrub is considered moderately drought-tolerant once established, but regular irrigation will keep it at its best. It doesn't even mind "wet feet" so you can use it in areas where the soil stays moist well after a rain.

Fertilize 3 times a year - spring, summer and fall - with a good granular fertilizer. Supplement feedings, if you like, with bone meal and/or liquid fertilizer to promote heavier bloom.

Plant spacing

Because this plant grows wide, place 3 to 4 feet apart. Come out from the house 3 feet.

If planting along a walk or drive, place the plant 3 feet in from the pavement to allow room for growth.

Downy will grow fine in containers and planters and will cascade over the sides.

Landscape uses for downy jasmine

  • foundation (but not under low windows)
  • around a poolcage or lanai
  • lining a walk or driveway
  • low to mid-height hedge
  • to add interest along a blank wall
  • accent shrub
  • in pairs flanking the entry or a gate
  • along a fence, patio, deck or porch
  • surrounding palms or trees
  • filler for a corner
  • cascading over a wall

Other plants you might like: Star Jasmine, Pinwheel Jasmine

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