Virtues: We love winter and sambac jasmines for the cheerful splendor their blooms bring during the winter season. Winter jasmine’s delicate, vibrant yellow flowers can create a spectacular display outdoors during the dull months of winter, while sambac jasmine’s stunning white flowers release bursts of alluring fragrance perfect for an enticing display inside your home.
Common name: Winter jasmine (top photo) and sambac or Arabian jasmine (bottom)
Botanical name: Winter: Jasminum nudiflorum; sambac/Arabian: Jasminum sambac
Flowers: Winter jasmine blooms in winter through early spring, revealing small yellow flowers that cascade down arching stems. The sambac species has tiny, aromatic white flowers that fade wonderfully to pink and bloom from early summer into fall; however, with proper care these sweet-smelling blossoms can appear periodically throughout the year, perfuming your home with their pleasant aroma.
Foliage: Sambac has dark green, ovate foliage with twining branches. Winter has deep green foliage with slender, arching stems.
Habit: These two species have climbing habits; both can range in height from 3 to 10 feet, depending on how they are grown, with a similar spread.
Season: The brilliant yellow flowers of the winter jasmine offer tremendous winter interest. The fragrant, white flowers of Arabian jasmine can bloom periodically all year.
Origin: Winter jasmine originated in China; sambac is native to Southeast Asia and India.
How to grow winter and sambac jasmines: Both varieties thrive in full sun to partial shade with regular watering. They are most successful in well-drained, sandy soil but can tolerate most soil conditions. They need to be pruned regularly; winter jasmine should be pruned more in spring. You can feed sambac mild fertilizer in spring, but winter jasmine doesn’t need it. Both are appropriate for growing in containers as houseplants. They will appreciate spending the summer outdoors. Winter jasmine is hardy outdoors in USDA Zones 6 through 9. Sambac jasmine is hardy in Zones 9 and 10.
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