With stems that can exceed 20 feet in length, Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) climbs over anything it can twine its wiry stem around. Plant it on trellises and arbors, along fences or under trees with loose canopies. The glossy leaves stay green all year, providing dense coverage for the supporting structure. Carolina jessamine vines are covered with clusters of fragrant, yellow flowers in late winter and spring. They are easy to start indoors in late winter or outdoors in late spring when the soil is thoroughly warm.
Although they tolerate partial shade, sunny locations are best for growing Carolina jessamine. In partial shade, the plant grows slowly and may become leggy, as the plant focuses its energy into upward growth in an effort to find more light. Choose a location with fertile, organically rich soil that drains well. If your soil falls short of these requirements, amend it with a generous amount of compost before planting. Fertilize the vines annually in spring. You can use a general purpose commercial fertilizer, but the best fertilizer is a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost, leaf mold or aged manure. The plants tolerate drought but look their best when watered regularly in the absence of rain.
Info credit to: gardeningknowhow.com, Jackie Carroll
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