This Arabian Jasmine plant (Jasminum sambac) is still in its original pot since I’ve bought it about 2 years ago in Caribbean market. At first, I was not very sure that this tropical plant could grow well here in Melbourne. The seller assured me that it would grow reasonably good here in a pot or in the garden.
The better choice is by growing it in a pot, so that the plant can be moved around. In the summer it can be placed outside in the sun and when the temperatures are low during winter, it can be kept indoor near bight window or under a covered veranda. This way, the plant will not drop foliage during winter time…..
The other choice is by planting it in rich soil in the garden. As the plant is exposed to all weather elements, the possibility is that it will die down during winter and will grow again when the temperature starts to warm up in spring.
I’ve chosen the first choice by letting it grow in the pot and I keep the plant under the shade of the veranda during winter and move it in sunny spot during warm months. The plant will go dormant in the winter and only lose few leaves. By the end of spring it will start to grow flowers all the way in summer to autumn. It seems that the plant is a climber, but I trim it down to make it grow more branches. Some people prefer to strip leaves that grow on long branches to promote new growths and make it bushier.
Now our Arabian jasmine plant is growing the second batch of blooms. The smell lingers and fill the surrounding area with the most delightful fragrant. Once the flowers are spent, pluck the stems off and not very long will flower again and will only stop when the air starts to get too cold by the end of autumn. I find that this Jasmine plant is heavy feeder and will appreciate good amount of fertilizer. Manure pellets or slow release fertilizer granules combine with occasional drink of seaweed liquid fertilizer will make the plant happy and have green leaves and many flowers.
The aroma of this bunga Melati (Indonesian name) always reminds of home in Central Java. My belated father used to grow them in the courtyard along the side of the house. The one that he grew was the more common variety that has single petals which is called ‘Melati’ while the one with double petals is commonly known as ‘Menur’ in Central Java.