THE MADAGASCAR JASMINE - Stephanotis floribunda

Madagascar Jasmine - Stephanotis floribunda


Where tropical climbing plants are concerned, the Madagascar Jasmine - Stephanotis floribunda, is up there with the best of them. While they may not be as showy as a Jade vine or as bizarre as a Dutchman's pipe, the white, waxy, star-shaped flowers of the Madagascar jasmine have a purity so outstanding that it is rarely matched in nature. More impressive though is the intensely fragrant perfume that they produce, although the blooms will fade to yellow after a few days and the deep, rich fragrance will slightly sour.

Madagascar Jasmine - Stephanotis floribunda
The flowers are produced in summer and only on new growth, therefore it is important that pruning is kept to a minimum, especially during the growing season.

Unlike many common names which are usually unintentionally misleading, the Madagascar Jasmine is a genuine native to the fascinating island of Madagascar. Its moderate temperatures, high humidity and seasonal cycles of hot, wet summers followed by cool, dry winters provide the ideal optimal growing environment for this woody, evergreen climber. So, if you can replicate similar conditions when growing the Madagascar jasmine outside then you can expect it to reach an overall height of 20 ft or more.

Clearly it will grow best in sunny, tropical conditions, but if you live in a colder climate you can grow it inside where it will make for an excellent houseplant.

Madagascar Jasmine - Stephanotis floribunda
They can flourish for years grown on a sunny windowsill, but the Madagascar jasmine will requires high levels of light to perform at its best and flower. If the light levels are too low then the leaves will begin to turn pale and become chlorotic. Under these circumstances the Madagascar jasmine will slow down in their growth and from this point should be watered very infrequently.

The Madagascar jasmine will be at its happiest (especially when it comes to flowering) when allowed to become root-bound, so it is best to not plant the vines in an over-sized container.

The compost mixture used should be soil based, such as John Innes composts, but will need a generous mix of drainage material such as perlite or horticultural grit.

To make the most of the higher light levels the Madagascar jasmine can be moved outside or into a greenhouse during the summer, but they will need to be acclimatized for a couple of weeks first so that you avoid leaf damage through scorching.

For related articles click onto:
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HOW TO GROW THE MADAGASCAR JASMINE
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