A Shiny green groundcover-Asiatic Jasmine

July 8, 2021

What Are Its Features?

Trachelospermum asiaticum-(track-ul-oh-SPUR-mum-ay-zee-AT-ih-kum)

Asiatic Jasmine provides a dense, solid, green groundcover made of tiny, leathery, bright leaves and wiry reddish-brown stems. When mature it presents a solid green carpet that can exceed 6″ high. It is relatively indifferent to types of soil, and the amount of sunshine. It is happiest in healthy soil and part sun, but it will accommodate your site in zones 7-10.

This is a highly adaptable plant. When you need to cover large areas, it is helpful to have something so cooperative!

How Can I Use It?

Asiatic Jasmine with mixed trees and plantings
Asiatic Jasmine with mixed plantings

Asiatic Jasmine can enhance the beauty of your property and solve some significant problems.

  • Provide an expanse of green in places where turfgrass will not grow.
  • Cover hard to mow spaces and slopes with green cover
  • Enhance green monotone areas with a unique shine and texture
  • Create height. For example use three green steps: Turfgrass, at about 4 inches. Jasmine at 6″+. Then Dwarf Boxwood at 12″+, then some flowering plants or bulbs.
  • Use to edge a border of liriope. Consider the green with the dramatic black liriope
  • To surround a tree with solid green-even in places where turfgrass will not grow.
  • Surround and set off islands of flowering plants and small trees.
  • Extend the day by having garden lighting rise through it
  • Surround and set off garden art and water features
  • Form a spiller in a container or use as a topiary
  • Surround stepping stones and walkways
  • Sidewalk medians where turf grass fails

Where Did It Come From?-How Did We Get It?

This handy groundcover hails from Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Southern China, and Vietnam. I would love to find out how it got to us, but alas, so far I am a failure at that.

It is well entrenched in the United States particularly popular in California and southeastern states. It is hardy in zones 7-10. Find your USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.

How Do I Buy It

Young Asiatic Jasmine Plants

I can find it in Florida in many garden centers and through online dealers. Because it is a plant we use a lot of (to cover large spaces) it is important to find healthy plants at reasonable prices.

Asiatic Jasmine is a spreading plant. Each one covers as much as 3′ in width but it is slow to start. Pretty, healthy…but slow. We can buy plants in two ways.

Rooted plants, in small pots in soil. Treat them like any new plant.

Bare root plants, will grow as well as others but they are small-they will take a little longer and that is reflected in the price. Consider your time requirements.

If I have big long-term plans for the garden and plenty of time to implement them; I’ll use the bare-root plants. I have used plants like Asiatic Jasmine or Mondo Grass this way. The really small ones I plant in soft soil with a fat pencil to make the holes. It’s quick and easy. Who knows? Perhaps an idea for the great American novel will come to me, I can set it down on the wrapping paper!

Do you have a big event coming in a few months or so? If I plan to sell the house or perhaps I have a wedding reception ahead I will use the small pots to compress the time to maturity.

How Many Plants Do I Buy

Here is a handy plant calculator.

How Do I Prepare the Soil And Plant Them?

Soil Preparation; Work organic matter into the soil. Use peat moss, compost, or manure. Spread 2″-4″ of the organic matter into the soil, digging down 6″-12″, loosening the soil as you work.

Asiatic Jasmine will grow in acid to slightly alkaline soil with pH ranging from 5.5 to 7. (Average garden soil ranges from 6.0-7 on the pH scale.)

Planting: If planting from the grower’s pots, make the holes 2 times the size of the pot. If using the bare-root plants, make a 3″ hole.

Fertilizer and Water

  • When planting, fertilize with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer.
  • In early spring, add a high nitrogen fertilizer, 16-4-8, every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • In early fall return to the balanced feed, 10-10-10.

Water: upon planting soak the new plants thoroughly to saturate the new roots. Keep the plants moist for the first few months while the plants are being established.

Maintenance

Asiatic Jasmine is vigorous, quite drought tolerant, and resistant to pests and diseases. Once established, trim the edges 2-3 times per year. Keep the height about 4″-6″tall for a smooth, full look. This is an infrequent task. A string trimmer works well for this.

Are They Invasive?

Having used these for a number of years I was surprised to find this complaint. We used them near trees where turf would not grow and loved them. The plantings were very low maintenance and never invaded the adjacent grass or the flower beds. We kept them trimmed. Around trees and shrubs, we trimmed them away from the other plant.

You should enjoy years of low-maintenance pleasure from this groundcover.

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Reference Materials

“How to find a Low Maintenance Ground Cover we Love and the Rabbits do Not”