If you like sweet fragrances and want it to be a part of your everyday life, consider growing jasmine indoors.
All jasmine plants are not fragrant, Jasminum polyanthum, the variety commonly used while growing jasmine indoors, has a sweet aroma that gives out fragrant aroma at night.
Among the many varieties of jasmine, the most common which is grown indoors is the star jasmine or Jasminum polyanthum or just plain jasmine. With just a few of these, they can fill the room with an amazing, delicious scent. They are native to south-west China and were first introduced to English gardeners in 1931 and was propagated in the United States shortly after.
Jasmine can grow happily all year long indoors provided they are well taken care of. The scented flowers last for many weeks due to a large number of blooms produced. These blooms open in sequence ensuring a fantastic long attraction.
Benefits of Indoor Jasmine Plant
Growing jasmine plants indoors gives an attractive and fragrant atmosphere to the dull winter months. The plant and its vines look beautiful and become a focal point in the room delighting its viewers with its small flowers and delicious aromas! The leaves are dark green in color, the flowers are white and pink and the buds are pink giving an attractive splash of colors in winters.
Jasmine plants, however, serve more benefits than just decorations.
Jasmine can be used both fresh and dry for numerous health benefits. Fresh jasmine plants help stimulate the mind and body. Jasmine flowers are known to soothe nervous tension and spasmodic cough. Its extract of oil is used as a natural antidepressant.
The fragrance of jasmine helps to sleep better. Sleep, as we know, is essential for our physical and mental well being. Keep jasmine near your bed for a good peaceful and tranquil state of mind. A study by Dr Raudenbush at wheeling Jesuit university studied the results of 20 people’s sleeping patterns when exposed to jasmine. He concluded that those who were exposed to jasmine slept more deeply and effectively.
The enchanting and exotic aroma helps to reduce everyday stress. One feels less anxious and more at peace. In fact, inhaling the scent of jasmine has been found to transmit signals to the limbic system ( the region of the brain that regulates emotions).
Dried jasmine is used to make tea and is also used to cure headaches.
You can also make delicious jasmine infusions by infusing 20g of flowers in one liter of water. Drink two cups in the day time and one more before sleeping for a restful sleep.
They act as a natural air freshener giving off a sweet aroma wherever placed. They help breathe easy by removing carbon dioxide and increasing the oxygen content in our homes. Place jasmines within your breathing zone, which is about two square meters around where you normally sit or sleep to get maximum benefits.
They are very economical and cheap among other houseplants and easily available.
Looking at flowers is known to speed up the recovery of surgery patients. It makes them more secure, relaxed and peaceful. Plants help against loneliness and depression providing a constant companion.
How to care for Jasmine Plant
Once purchased, it is very simple to care for this plant. Indoor jasmine plants have a long lifespan when cared for properly. With practice, even beginners can grow this plant indoors very well.
Where to place jasmine?
In summers, place it in a partly sunny spot to encourage good healthy growth. They like to be in bright light with some direct sun.
In autumn, keep it outdoors for a good stretch of six weeks. It will benefit from the cool atmosphere, buds will form on the plant to give a good bloom in February.
Once inside, the place near a south window for a partly sunny area and a perfect spot.
Indoors jasmines are vigorous climbers and need an indoor trellis or support for this fast-growing plant. Plant it near a lattice or pergola or any other structure that can support its growth as a vine.
Cool temperatures, sunny window or well-lit room with good air circulation gives an ideal atmosphere to grow the jasmine. Protect it from winds.
It can tolerate up to four hours of sunlight from spring and up to fall. Decrease the hours of sunlight in winter. If the leaves begin to droop, it is receiving too much sun. shift the plant to a shady location. Do not place the jasmine plant in temperatures lower than 5-degree Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).
Jasmines prefer rooms with slightly cooler temperatures which is why they tend to thrive in cold winter months.
They are sensitive to dry conditions that can be created by radiators, vents, etc. If the area is dry, keep a humidifier near the plant. Jasmine needs relative humidity of 50 % or higher. If air is dryer than 30 -40% of relative humidity, plants root won’t be able to keep up with water loss through their leaves.
Another method to increase humidity levels is to cluster them together. Alternatively, keep the humidity tray with water and pebbles.
Soil and fertilizer
The soil for jasmine should be porous. A well-draining standard compost mix works well. Addition of bark, coir, and other organic materials makes a good soil mix for jasmine. Adding mulch to the soil helps to keep jasmine cool. A good potting mix can also include a mixture of vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss. These mixes will help absorb moisture and resist compaction. Go for a store-bought potting mix as that will be sterile and will not include any pests or diseases.
Jasmine, being avid growers need constant repotting. Once you see that roots have completely filled the pot, it’s time to repot into a bigger pot. The ideal time to repot is in spring and summer. Avoid repotting for a while if you see buds forming.
Jasmine plants are not heavy feeders. Use a moderate liquid houseplant fertilizer. High phosphorus fertilizer should be used if you want to increase the blooming period. Fertilize in the spring and summer once in two weeks from spring until fall. mix it at 50% of the amount suggested by the manufacturer. If you apply fertilizer at full strength, there is a chance that it can harm your jasmine. Do not fertilize in late fall and winter.
How much water does Jasmine Plant needs?
The soil should remain moist in the flowering period but be careful not to make the soil soggy. Avoid stagnation of water. Drying up of soil during flowering period will lead to dried up buds and blooms. Less water is needed in the resting period.
You can mist the leaves ( and not flowers) occasionally from time to time. Alternatively, wipe them clean with a soft moist cloth as indoor plants accumulate dust very quickly.
Jasmine grows very fast in spring and summer. Keep some sort of support ready for them to clamber and climb. Jasmine can grow up to 6 meters long. However since the stems of jasmine are very thin and the flowers are very small, they do not look very attractive. It is a good idea to prune them and keep them as a compact plant or shrub with some vines grown on a trellis up to the height you desire. If left to its own, the plant will twine over natural supports leaning up against a shelf or wall or cascading downwards. The twining growth has no impact on the overall health and well being of the jasmine plant. The choice to use a trellis or support is merely a cosmetic one that is left to you. I would, however, recommend a trellis as it ensures good support and increases the likelihood of fragrant blooms.
The flowers bloom in winter from February until spring and early summer. They have a star shape and are 2 cm across in size. They are white or slightly pink in color. A sure shot to blooms is to expose jasmine plants to cool outdoors in the fall. It encourages the formation of buds for the following winter.
The blooms last for weeks and weeks giving a beautiful scent to the surroundings. Once the blooming is over, the flowers dry up and become brown and crispy. These look unattractive and it is better to remove them.
Pruning is necessary for jasmine plants. It grows quite heavily and requires good trimming to keep the plant under control.
It is ideal to prune at the beginning of the growing season while training the twining vine to support. Pruning helps to keep the jasmine dense and bushy. It also spurs blooming and abundant flowers. Pinch away the stray shoots to bring the plant to the desired shape. Prune the roots when repotting to fresh soil.
Because of their vigorous growth during summers, you may need to prune and train the plant several times a month. If you want the plant to grow in a specific direction, prune accordingly. Do not prune jasmine after August as this is the time when the plant will set flower buds.
Once you start seeing new growth, begin pinching the top of the stem. This will promote further growth and is best done during the first two years of the plant’s life.
Prune away the plant once blooming is finished for the season. When you prune, do not remove more than a third of the plant at one time. Remove dead and diseased foliage.
White cottony masses under leaves and stems indicate the presence of mealybugs. Trim away such areas and use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove any leftovers.
To get rid of aphids and other pests jasmine may come in contact with, make a pesticide out of warm water and dish soap and mist the leaves with it.
Depending on the climate, jasmine may lose some or all of its leaves in winter. This is normal and should not be a cause of worry.
Jasmines are not poisonous to pets or humans. They can be consumed without fear. One variety of plant which has similar qualities of jasmine and is often sold as “jasmine” is cape jasmine. Its correct common name is gardenia. It is a poisonous houseplant.
Healthy jasmine can live for several years as long as you keep them well pruned and placed in fresh potting soil.
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