Jasmine plants can make a good choice for ground cover use in front yards. This is because they are hardy, low-maintenance, and when in bloom, they produce attractive fragrant flowers.
Perhaps the most common types used for front yard ground cover are Asian Jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) and Confederate Jasmine / Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides).
Jasmine is able to spread quickly and to cover large areas of ground. This can give a low maintenance uniform look to a front yard.
A further advantage of Jasmine is that it is pretty drought-tolerant, and thus requires little watering.
Planting Jasmine in the Yard
As it does not always grow true from seed, it is best to grow from purchased plants or cuttings.
Jasmine prefers a rich organic soil that has good drainage. You may wish to add organic matter such as leaves, twigs, and compost (to add extra nutrients) to the soil if it is poor.
Before planting Jasmine be sure to remove any weeds or other competing plants from the area.
Space the Jasmine at about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) apart. Provide a watering once planted. Follow this up with regular watering to ensure a medium moisture until they have become established.
Once established they will require little maintenance. You should give it a prune in the spring, as this will help to prevent it from getting overly tall. Otherwise, let it spread through your yard as required.
Provide a yearly fertilization every spring. Use a balanced fertilizer as this will encourage healthy plants.
How to Use Jasmine in Your Yard
For landscaping purposes, Jasmine can be used to create many looks. It can create a uniform carpet of greenery.
Or when planted close to a wall it can be trained to climb, and used to bring a nice looking and fragrant backdrop to the yard.
What are the RHS and USDA growing zones for Jasmine?
Most jasmine varieties are suitable for growing in USDA zones 7 to 10, though some varieties are able to tolerate the cooler temperatures found in zone 6 too.
This means that they are usually suitable to grow in RHS zones up to H3 (hardy down to -15°C), with Trachelospermum asiaticum being able to tolerate zones H4 (-10°C).
How many Jasmine plants would I need to cover a small front yard?
The number of jasmine plants you need to cover a typical front yard depends on the size of your yard, the density of planting, and the variety of jasmine you are going to grow. Also, if you are happy to let it spread out over a few years, or want to see results straight away.
As a rough estimate, a jasmine plant should cover about 2-3 square feet ((0.18 to 0.28 m²) per plant, depending on their growth habit and how densely they are planted.
So, if jasmine plants are planted out at about 2 feet (60 cm) apart, then it would take about 110 plants to cover a 20 ft x 20 ft (6 m x 6 m) area.
Front Yard Jasmine Ground Cover Using Seed
Unfortunately, most varieties of jasmine that are used for ground cover do not stay come true if grown from seed. This means that it is best to use purchased plants from a garden center or nursery. Alternatively, try to to propagate jasmine off one of your friend's plants if they have them
That said if you want to give it a go, then first prepare a seed starting mix in a mix of peat moss and perlite/vermiculite. Sow the jasmine seeds on the soil surface in a seed tray, and press down on them gently.
Water the seeds lightly to moisten (do not overwater as this may cause seeds to rot). Then cover the tray with plastic wrap or a dome. Place in a warm bright location, (E.g., a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse). Seeds should germinate at about 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C). Keep the soil in the tray moist, and do not let dry out.
Once the seedlings emerge, move outdoors for a couple of hours at a time (in a sheltered location) to acclimatize. Once hardened, transplant them to their final location (space out at about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm).
Is Jasmine invasive?
Some species of jasmine, especially the quick growing types often used for ground coverage (Asian jasmine and Confederate jasmine) are considered invasive in some parts of the southern United States.
They are both known to spread quickly through their underground runners and above-ground stems. If left unchecked, they can easily overtake nearby plants and structures.
If you live in these areas, be sure to check that you only grow jasmine species for yard coverage that are not invasive, or even consider using a different type of plant that is easy to remove, such as Creeping Thyme.
To help control any spreading plant it is a good idea to grow in a contained area from the start, so that the root systems can't spread to areas where they are not wanted. Also remove spent flower heads before they can set seed.
How should I remove Jasmine from my Yard?
A lot will depend on how much it has spread. If its just a small area then take a manual approach, otherwise herbicides may be required.
Start by cutting back the plant, using a pair of shears to as close to the ground as possible.
Next dig up the roots using a spade or fork to initially loosen the soil around the roots. This should allow you to gently pull the plant out. It may be necessary to use a saw to remove thick older roots in very well established.
Now it's time to get down on your hands and knees and use a small trowel and hand fork to remove any remaining roots.
If you have a wide spread of Jasmine in your yard that you need to remove, it may be worth hiring a professional gardener with the tools to do the job, as it can be a very time-consuming job.
Is this the same jasmine used for Yard Coverage the same as that used in tea?
No, Jasmine used in tea is a different species than jasmine used for ground cover or ornamental purposes. The jasmine used in tea is Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac), and has fragrant white flowers.
These are used to add a different flavor to traditional tea (Camellia sinensis) and many foods through infusion.
Although attractive in its own right, Arabian jasmine is not usually grown as a ground coverage plant as it is slow growing and has a more delicate nature.
References and Further Reading
RHS guide to growing Asiatic Jasmine: https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/18282/trachelospermum-asiaticum/details
OSU: Landscape Plants – Trachelospermum jasminoides: https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/trachelospermum-jasminoides
Rural Sprout – Best Climbing Plants and Flowering Vines