In the Weeds: Winter Jasmine
Easily confused with forsythia, winter jasmine has buttercup-yellow flowers and blooms late-winter.
Jasminum nudiflorum or winter jasmine is an exceptionally trouble-free plant to grow. No pest and disease problems, tolerates sun or shade and grows well in almost any soil. Winter jasmine has very small leaves hardly even noticeable which make the plant look “naked” in the summertime as well. The stems are light-green and add interest to the garden in the winter. Easily confused with forsythia, winter jasmine has buttercup-yellow flowers and blooms late-winter.
Forsythia Versus Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine blooms first in late-winter, though in mild winters it blooms much earlier. Forsythia blooms early-spring.
Both plants have a cascading habit, but forsythia grows well over 10-feet tall depending on the variety. Winter jasmine only grows to about 4-feet tall.
Forsythia’s flower show is much more dominant in the landscape than winter jasmine. This is only because winter jasmine blooms continuously for over two months, and forsythia knocks it out all in a short two-week show.
Winter jasmine is a very low-maintenance plant that grows rapidly. Once the weeping branches touch the surface of the soil, they immediately send out roots. This feature makes this plant perfect for retaining slopes with very minimal effort for the gardener.
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Winter jasmine tolerates sun or shade, but will flower best in sun. It can grow well in almost any kind of soil, and is very drought-tolerant once established. It blooms on last year’s growth, so pruning must be done immediately after flowering. For a tidy appearance, winter jasmine can be cut back nearly to the ground. The cascading branches will quickly be rejuvenated by new growth. This plant is available at most garden centers throughout the country and is hardy up through zone 6.