Darrell Blackwelder: Winter jasmine blooms in coldest months

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

Driving through Salisbury one afternoon, I noticed a dense, yellow blooming shrub in full bloom. With the unusually cold weather we’ve experienced earlier this season, it’s hard to believe plants could bloom in our temperature extremes. The plant had profuse blooms resembling spring blooming forsythias. However, it’s early January, much too early for forsythias to be in bloom. The yellow blooming shrub in question is winter jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum). The shrub tends to flow and has green stems normally blooming in late winter, but admittedly, this showy bloomer is somewhat confused. This is one of the few plant materials that blooms in the dead of winter. Forsythia, which has a strong resemblance, blooms a little later in the spring usually in March. Winter jasmine adapts well in a variety of landscapes from steep slopes, raised beds to overhanging walls. It can also be trained as a vine to grow on a trellis to add a bit of color in dull winter landscapes. Drought tolerant, disease resistant and tolerant to deer, this winter bloomer can also withstand partial shade. It also has the ability to survive both sandy and heavy clay soils. Go to https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/jasminum-nudiflorum/ for more detailed information about the hardy, winter-bloomer winter jasmine.

 Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu.

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