By Jackie Carroll
Jasmine is grown as much for its intense fragrance as for the bright yellow or white flowers that cover the vines. While summer jasmine (Jasminum officinale and J. grandiflorum) enjoys a sunny location, winter jasmine (J. nudiflorum) prefers a shady spot. Plant it where you can best enjoy the fragrance in addition to hummingbirds and butterflies that will cluster around its flowers. With good jasmine pruning, you’ll have more attractive plants that bloom freely, allowing you to enjoy these benefits longer.
When to Prune Jasmine
When young plants begin to put out new growth, start pinching out the top half-inch of the stems by squeezing them between your thumbnail and finger. Pinching the tips, especially in the first two years, promotes rapid growth and lush foliage. Pinch lateral stems as well as the main, upright stem.
Summer jasmine blooms in summer and early fall, and winter jasmine blooms in late winter and early spring on vines that developed the previous season. Prune them immediately after they flower to give the vines time to develop growth for the next flowering season. If you prune them before they bloom, you will end up cutting off the buds, and they won’t be able to flower.
How to Prune Jasmine
Once you’ve determined when to prune jasmine based on the variety you have, it helps to know how to go about jasmine pruning. Here are the steps in trimming jasmine plants:
- Remove any dead, damaged or diseased stems. This will keep the vine looking neat and prevent the spread of disease.
- Remove tangled stems and old stems that no longer produce flowers. Keeping the vine free of masses of tangles improves the appearance and makes it easier to take care of the vine. If you encounter a difficult tangle, remove the stem in sections rather than trying to jerk it free.
- Remove stems that are growing away from the supporting structure. You can control the direction of new growth by pruning just above a leaf stem that is growing in the direction in which you want the vine to grow.
- Shorten stems to keep the vine within the bounds of the trellis or arbor.
You’ll find that proper annual pruning care of jasmine makes a big difference in their appearance and the amount of care the vines require.