Tearing Down the Star Jasmine

This post, “Tearing Down the Star Jasmine” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Until yesterday, the north side of the house was covered with Star Jasmine (Confederate Jasmine) vine.  This vine had just completely taken over the entire side of the house (and I live in a two story house).  It had reached the roof line and was already starting to cover about two feet of the roof. 

For the past two years, I kept saying I would cut it back, but then I would want to wait until after it bloomed.  And bloom it did.  It was gorgeous – the entire side of the house covered in white with the most wonderful scent.  By the time it stopped flowering, it would be too hot to do the work, there were lurking bugs, and even nesting birds on the window sills, and that all combined to – procrastination.

Finally, this past fall, I knew it had to come down.  Runners were encroaching on both the front and rear gardens.  I had had it.  So yesterday I started pulling it down.  I had planned to only take down a small part with the idea that I would do a section a day so that I could dispose of it easily.  Well, once I started, I knew it all had to come down.  I had no idea that vine would be so hard to take down.  I was fooled by how easy the first section came off, but when it came to the full two stories it was a real work out.  At one point I thought I just would not be able to yank that stuff down, but finally it gave way.

So the lesson I learned is to not put off maintenance.  I should have trimmed that vine back three years ago it keep it in bounds.

There is still some work left to do.  When I cut it off at the bottom, I left about 18 inches.  At first I thought I would just let it come back, but then decided no I had it with that vine.  I just can’t keep after it- so it must go.

The vine was small when we moved in, and the occasional freeze would nip it back.  Now I think it was so big and vigorous that the freezes we have here didn’t affect it.  Since it was now spreading to other parts of the garden, something I never thought it would do, I realize I will be better off without it.  However, I know come this spring, I will miss the fragrance on the night air and the lovely white-covered wall.

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2 Comments

  1. Yellowthumb said,

    August 28, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Sounds as if you could have kept the plant contained by simply clearing the debris from around the base of the plant. The typical freezes allow the plant to die off a little because of the colds effect on the root system. With a lot of debris (mulch) it insulates the ground from freezing thus saving the roots and allowing continuous growth.

    If anyone knows how to keep the plant of a manageable size while producing prodigious flowers I would love to hear it.

  2. Jan said,

    August 29, 2008 at 4:14 am

    We haven’t had any hard freezes in the past few years. This vine has been acting as an evergreen for years now. It is growing on the north side of the house where you would expect it to suffer from cold damage, but we just do not get the occasional hard freeze like we used to that keep the vine in check. Since it is growing close to the wall, there is not a heavy mulching right next to it. I keep the mulch away from the base of the wall because of bugs.


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