I LOVE landscaping and at one point in my life I remember looking into landscape architecture because it was so interesting to me. I quickly realized I wasn't THAT passionate about it but I still appreciate a beautiful garden when I see one. :) I wanted an ivy wall at our past 2 homes, but we just didn't have enough sunlight for it. When we moved into our current home, I immediately wanted to try it out on a small section that we would see through our large living room windows! The original owners of the house next to us decided to do the same on their side of the fence so it's now all connected. :)
We started with 13 plants, and out of those SEVEN of them died. We've learned a thing or two since then and they've thrived ever since!
Here's what we learned:
GET TO KNOW YOUR SOIL
We live in Houston and there happens to be tons of clay in our soil. We originally didn't dig deep enough when planting so there wasn't proper drainage for the jasmine to thrive. We thought we weren't watering enough- when they actually had too much water just sitting on them. Get to know the soil in your area and make sure there's good drainage!
USE A GOOD, ORGANIC SOIL WHEN PLANTING
If you want your plants to do their best, your choice of soil really does make a difference. We went cheap the first time around and after killing so many, chose a more expensive but organic option like this one. We mixed 50% organic soil with 50% basic soil so it didn't cost a fortune, but definitely made a difference! This holds true for all plants and we actually noticed a difference in all of the plants/trees in our yard after improving the soil we used.
We (Phil) now fertilizes about every 2 months, as recommended on the label of the fertilizer we use. It's not necessary to do this but it's helped ours grow faster and fuller! I'm honestly amazed at how thick our wall is after only a few years.
For fast coverage, it's recommended to space the plants 3'-4' apart. We planted ours closer to 18" apart because #impatientaf. Ours are also about 6-8" from the fence!
I also asked for you to help me answer your questions in my instagram stories, so here are the top questions!
Do you have a problem with bees?
We haven't had a problem so far! Yes, bees are attracted to the flowers so it's very common to see them but in my opinion that's just the price you pay for a beautiful yard!
Is it toxic to pets?
No! It's non-toxic for dogs, cats, horses, etc.
Will it ruin the fence?
Yes it can damage a wood fence over a long period of time so that's something to keep in mind. I wouldn't recommend planting to cover your fence unless you plan to keep it there permanently.
Does it look pretty all year long?
It only flowers during the Spring/Summer depending on where you're located, but I still love the look all throughout the year! It's definitely the fullest when it's flowering because you have new growth so each year it gets thicker and thicker. During the off-season its a deeper green.
Do they need full sun?
Star jasmine grows best in full or partial sun, but depending on where you're located full sun may be too much for it. If your temps consistently reach over 100 degrees you may want to plant it where it only gets a few hours of direct sunlight a day.
Do they require a lot of maintenance?
No! We occasionally 'train' ours to go up the wall by loosely twisting it around the wire we attached to our fence, but it's incredibly low maintenance.
How do you attach it to the fence?
If you want it to grow UP it's important to give it something to grow onto! Since we have a wooden fence, I opted for wire like this. You can use nails or hooks like these and then attach the wire to them in whatever design you prefer. If you have a concrete wall you may opt for adding a trellis right in front of the wall for it to climb onto.
How expensive is it to do?
Short answer- it depends how large your wall is and how fast you want it to look full! We purchased ours from a local store called Houston Garden Centers and during the winter they run 50-75% off sales! We loaded up when they went on sale and were able to buy huge 5 gallon plants which made the wall thicker, faster. The larger the plants you buy and the closer you space them together will determine your cost!
I hope this helps you decide whether a star jasmine wall is a good fit for you or not. It's been an easy and extremely low-maintenance way to make our yard beautiful, and the view/smell it provides when in bloom is like no other!