Carolina jessamine?

leslie6riApril 6, 2012


I bought a Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) at The Farmer's Daughter nursery on Rhode Island even though I thought it was only hardy to Zone 7. I'd read about this plant and wanted it for its fragrance. I read a few promising reviews on that other gardening site which lead me to hope it might just survive in my Zone 6b garden. Has anyone any experience with this plant? Any of you lucky Zone 7 gardeners growing this?



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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I have a large (5 year old?) Gelsemium sempervirens 'Margarita'. If you have 'Margarita' it should be fine. I believe it's hardy to zone 5, but for sure it does fine here. If I have a photo I will post it. It's covered with yellow flowers in May-June. Mine is now 8-9 feet tall against the fence, and about 5 feet across.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:01AM
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Hi Bill,

I had read about 'Margarita' being hardier. I'll have to recheck the cultivar name of mine. The Farmer's Daughter probably chose a hardy variety (I'm hoping). Thanks also for the size information; that's really helpful. 9' by 5' --I'll have to be careful where I plant it and give it enough room. Is your plant very fragrant?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I had one, but I'm not sure of the cultivar.

It did beautifully here, even in the relatively poor soil in which it was planted. Sadly, I'd placed it next to the house, and someone - who refuses to admit to the crime - killed it. It should do well on a fence, but it's a twiner, so if it's a solid wood fence, like stockade, it might need something to latch onto. In my case, it chose the downspout - which led to its untimely demise.

I don't recall this being especially fragrant - maybe I missed something.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:05PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I don't get any fragrance. It is on a solid fence, but it holds pretty well along the horizontal fence beams. It held on fine with all that wind yesterday, and I'm on a hill that always gets any breeze there is, and all the wind. Right now it's got some buds showing yellow and it's LOADED with buds this year. I'll post a picture when it's in full bloom.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:38AM
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Hi diggingthedirt,

I laughed at your post. I'm under strict orders not to plant anything too close to the house. But that's always where I want to plant. Now that I know its eventual size, I'll have to think carefully. I'll be sure to keep mine away from any downspouts.


My plant is 'Margarita' and it is also covered in buds even though it's quite small. I'm disappointed by the lack of fragrance, though. Gelsemium sempervirens is supposed to be very fragrant while Gelsemium rankinii is scentless. I'll have to wait and see if mine has fragrance. Maybe it's a trade-off, greater hardiness and less scent. I'd love to see a photo of yours...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Here are a couple of photos of Gelsemium s. 'Margarita' --still in its pot.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:56PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

That's a nice size plant you have there. May I ask when you bought it? I was at the Farmer's Daughter the other day and I didn't see any there.

Mine is starting to bloom and I'll post a photo as soon as it's at peak. Not only are the flowers really attractive, but it's one of the few vines I know of that are evergreen.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 4:32AM
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