The winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, called Yingchun in its native country, China, means “flower that welcomes spring”. This is so termed as the plant blossoms soon after winter. This deciduous shrub is cultivated as an ornamental plant in numerous parts of the world like the United States and France.
Reaching almost 10 ft (3.05 m) high, winter jasmine has pinnate dark green leaves, positioned opposite each other, around 3 cm long, that extend from arching slender green shoots, as oval leaflets. The stems terminate in a single, solitary flower with six petals, either, white or bright yellow. The flower is shaped like a star and is aesthetically attractive.
Jasminum nudiflorum has a preference for full sunlight but also thrives in partially shady conditions. Usually, it is planted against walls to provide extra shelter and warmth, especially during the winter months. It can grow over low walls, upwards from a bank or trained vertically using a framework and twine.
Winter jasmine is propagated via the layering technique and requires pruning as soon as it flowers, to ensure the prevention of bare patches. It is a hardy plant that can be cultured as bonsai and tolerates extensive wiring techniques. Furthermore, it is drought tolerant and largely, pest- and disease-resistant.
How long does it take to grow Jasminum nudiflorum Bonsai?
With winter jasmine bonsai, you can typically expect its growth to take place within a year or two. It is a stable, non-fastidious plant which is relatively easy to cultivate and grow, due to its adaptive and resilient nature.
Before getting into the specifics of how you can plant, grow and care for your winter jasmine bonsai, we’ve put together some important basics. These points emphasize the best conditions and requirements for your winter jasmine bonsai.
Winter jasmine is planted from May to September, during the summer months in the United States. This is encouraged as the plant is in peak form during this period and is tolerant to environmental stressors like insects, pathogens, etc. It continues to grow during the winter months of October to December and, immediately starts flowering in January, until March, during spring.
Experts recommend that Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai be placed outdoors where it can receive a minimum of five hours of sunlight. This is significant as receiving too little sunlight could result in an increase in the leaf size. This increases the chances of susceptibility to pathogens and insects. In addition, full sunlight is required to achieve the maximum blossoming capacity. Furthermore, experts propose that the bonsai should be positioned to protect it from harsh winter winds.
Winter jasmine bonsai prefer full sunlight but also thrive in partially shady conditions. During growth in the summer months, it is suggested that the bonsai be kept in a shady spot.
Humidity is an important aspect of bonsai cultivation. Placing the bonsai outdoors will result in low humidity conditions. To combat this, it has been recommended to place a humidity tray, filled with water, underneath the bonsai’s pot. Moreover, misting the bonsai’s leaves, several times a day, is known to help increase humidity. Finally, moistening the surrounding area, like the floors and walls, could help.
Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It is known to grow best in the USDA Zones, 6 to 9 as it is a drought-resistant and cold-tolerant shrub.
The advantage of winter jasmine is that it will grow in almost any type of soil. It has been reported to tolerate acidic and alkaline soils, with chalky or clay textures. In addition, it is able to proliferate in moist, heavy or well-drained soils. Poor soil, light and sandy soils, etc. support growth of winter jasmine. However, the bonsai should be cultivated in inorganic bonsai soil.
Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai requires to be watered daily during its growth season. However, during the winter months, a lesser quantity of water is needed. It is important that one should never allow the bonsai’s soil to dry out completely. This would damage its roots and affect it growth and development.
The winter jasmine needs nourishment with a fertilizer, once in every two weeks, from the end of blossoming until the beginning of autumn. This serves to prepare the plant to withstand the cold conditions of the winter months and prepares it for flowering, post-winter. The type of fertilizer depends on the season. Fertilizers with high nitrogen content is used in spring while, contrastingly, a low nitrogen containing fertilizer is used in autumn. A well-balanced fertilizer, containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, is used in summer. Furthermore, it has been recommended to use a fertilizer with high phosphorus content, to encourage flowering of your bonsai.
The beauty of bonsai is that you can choose any style that piques your interest. Numerous styles like informal, straight-trunk, upright, broom, cascade, slanting and literati are available. However, the winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai is often seen in the informal and cascade styles. Styles like broom, literati and straight-trunk is unsuitable for this particular bonsai.
How to Plant and Grow Jasminum nudiflorum Bonsai?
Cultivating Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai is worthwhile and a great place to start if you are new to the art of bonsai. It is vital to know that there are numerous types of jasmine that can be cultured into bonsai.
Types of Jasmine bonsai
- Jasminum multiflorum (Downy Jasmine) has white fragrant flowers with eight petals. It is known as the “true” jasmine. This flower is well-known in Indian Mythology, for its pristine whiteness.
- Jasminum officinale (Common Jasmine) has fragrant white petals and flowers in summer. It can be exposed to the summer sun but can’t withstand wintery conditions.
- Jasminum sambac (Arabian Jasmine) is native of the Indian subcontinent (called Mogra) and the Southeast Asia region. Its aromatic white flowers are used in perfumes and teas.
- Murraya paniculata (Orange Jasmine) belongs to the citrus family and has orange-aromatic white flowers. It makes for an attractive indoor flowering bonsai.
- Trachelospermum jasminoides (White Jasmine/Star Jasmine) is a favorite in gardens across the globe with the delicate white star shaped petals, positioned on a backdrop of luxurious green leaves.
- Wrightia religiosa (Water Jasmine) has tiny, pendulous white flowers with fragrance quite similar to the true jasmine plants.
Propagation of Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai is accomplished through layering or from cuttings. Utilization of the correct type of soil is extremely essential to the health of your bonsai. The entire set-up should provide the bonsai with proper aeration and drainage. This is significant as it prevents water-logging and rotting of the root system.
Experts, in the art of bonsai, always recommend that inorganic soil be used. Some examples of this soil include akadama, fired clays, lava rock, pumice and calcite clays. Moreover, the use of fertilizer is equally important. A well-balanced bonsai fertilizer will always contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Each element in the fertilizer has a specific role to play. Nitrogen encourages stem and leaf growth. Phosphorus serves to increase the development of fruits and/or flowers, including the root system. Potassium enhances growth of the bonsai, in its entirety.
Pruning and Wiring
Pruning is an essential step in Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai proliferation, as it prevents the formation of bare zones on the plant. It has been suggested to prune out any diseased branches, spindly branches (which are growing in awkward angles), normal healthy branches (to thin out the plant if it is growing too large), etc. The bonsai can survive up to 20% of pruning, sometimes even more! However, pruning is an annual task that must be followed, as soon as the bonsai flowers in January.
Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai grow luxuriously and require re-potting, once in two years. The ideal time of the year, to perform this, is during autumn. It has been suggested that the utilization of regular bonsai soil mix is sufficient to maintain the health of the plant during this period.
How to Care for Your Jasminum nudiflorum Bonsai?
The art of bonsai is an elegant and rewarding activity. It brings joy and awe to everyone who pursues it. Caring for your Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai involves a few key tasks. You must ensure that it is planted in the summer months and positioned outdoors. The bonsai should be protected from the direct sunlight during summer and the harsh winds during winter.
Jasminum nudiflorum bonsai should have sufficient lighting, to encourage healthy growth and flowering. Humidity can be regulated using a humidity tray, filled with water and placed beneath the pot.
The soil must be inorganic and be specific for bonsai cultivation. Aeration and proper drainage is vital for the health of your bonsai. The fertilizer used depends on the time of the year and must be well-balanced with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Water your bonsai regularly to prevent the soil from drying out. With the correct care, your bonsai will proliferate and develop into a healthy and sturdy plant!