Climbing flowers have the potential to bring another energy to the space. Madagascar Jasmine is one of them, not only for the look of twining, branched liana. It also adds a spectacular fragrance to the space. Madagascar Jasmine gives the impression that it can be grown only outdoors, yet the fact is that: It can also adapt to growing in pots in indoor spaces. Now it is time to introduce the plant and help you get to know the species closer.
1) General Information for Madagascar Jasmine(Stephanotis floribunda)
Madagascar Jasmine is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, which is commonly known as the dogbane family. The botanical name is Stephanotis floribunda. The plant is native to Madagascar. So it experiences a variety of climates from sub-tropical to tropical climate which consists of hot, humid, rain, and cooler periods. Growing indoors can be a challenge since it is not quite easy to mimic the growing conditions that the plant thrives in. Although the main problem will possibly be its flowering and growing well rather than surviving. The flowering period usually lasts from spring to fall.
This twining, sparsely branched liana can reach up to 6 m in height or more. So it is generally supported by a wireframe. The look of evergreen leaves with pure white star-shaped flowers covering long thick vines is combined with an intense fragrance. This could explain why it turned out to be used as a bridal wreath. Also, they are not toxic to pets, so could be a choice for pet owners.
2) How to Care for Madagascar Jasmine
The plant does it’s best growing in environments that mimic their natural conditions which belong to Madagascar’s climate: Mainly moderate temperatures, high humidity around %60, and seasonal cycles of hot, wet summers and cool, dry winters.
Madagascar Jasmines need bright, indirect sunlight during the active growing season, however over-exposure to direct sunlight may lead to leaf blister and sunburns on the plant. So the best is to avoid hot summer sun over long periods of time. The ideal is to choose a spot close to a window with the right balance of sunlight and shade.
The genus genetically loves abundant watering, especially during the active growing season. So watering thoroughly until the bottom of the pot is drained from spring until fall is a good idea. Before watering again, let the soil dry out a little. After flowering, keep the plant barely damp in the winter. It’s too dry if the plant wilts. Yet, the best is not to exaggerate: Leaves will start to yellow and fall off if when are overwatered. Another point is that: Too much watering may lead to root rot.
Since the plant belongs to tropical regions, it loves high humidity levels. The ideal level is known to be 60%. During the hot seasons, extra humidity may need to be provided. It will be beneficial to use a room humidifier or humidity tray if the humidity drops below 50%.
The plant thrives best in environments with 18-26°C. Between 13 and 15°C seems to be fine during the cold seasons. It is important to keep the plant away from environments below 10°C. Another point to keep in mind is that: Stephanotis floribunda prefers stable temperatures, doesn’t like fluctuating temperatures.
Soil type is another point to mention: Botanists recommend choosing a peat moss-based potting mix with 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite. A handful of perlite or horticultural sand help to boost the drainage of the soil. Drainage is an important point since too much water leads to root rot.
The plant loves balanced fertilizing. The recommendation is to feed it every 2 weeks in warm seasons by using a high-phosphorus liquid fertilizer.
Propagation can be done through stem cutting or seeds. The first method is to use stem cuttings. Summer is the best time to take non-flowering stem cuttings, and they must have at least two nodes to reproduce. To supply a proper level of humidity and heat (temperature should be around 21°C or higher), a propagator or pot with a plastic cover is required. Using bottom heat mats or hot propagators, as well as rooting hormones on the cut, will increase your chances of success. Stem cuttings are the most common method of propagation for this plant.
It is also possible to propagate Jasmines through seed (containing the seeds). Waiting for the fruit to mature and prepare it for sowing, as well as providing appropriate warmth for germination, are all part of the process of propagating seeds.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems for Stephanotis floribunda
Pests are among common problems that could show up. The stephanotis floribunda appears to be a favorite of mealy bugs, and scale may also enjoy it. It is a good idea to give some time to check for these pests as a part of routine care.
Another common problem could be the emergence of leaf blisters and sunburns on the plant. Sudden full sun exposure could lead to such problems. Another issue is that: Too much watering may lead to root rot in addition to yellowing leaves. So the best is to be moderate with sunlight, as well as watering.
One of the common problems that the owners generally face is not flowering. Lack of light, lower temperatures, and lower levels of humidity may result in not flowering. The best chance for the plant to flower is to provide it with a cool rest period during the winter and a warm and bright spring-summer, with the ideal level of humidity. If the winter rest period is not provided, the plant may not flower.