Everybody is always looking for THAT plant. You know — THAT plant that doesn’t really have any specific requirements for light or soil and doesn’t really need a lot of maintenance to thrive. THAT plant that’s drought tolerant, deer resistant, pest resistant, salt tolerant, evergreen, cold hardy and nearly indestructible. In other words, everybody wants a plant that is as close to taking care of a plastic plant as possible, um, without being plastic, of course. It makes me think of that Huey Lewis song – “I want a new drug” where Huey goes on and on listing everything he wants from a drug. In the end, there is no such drug. Well, I’m here to tell you, there is a plant that fits the bill in spades.
Asiatic jasmine is a most wonderful vining, woody groundcover and it can be used in a variety of spaces. It is great in mass plantings or can even be planted as a replacement for grass in low/no traffic areas. It doesn’t require as much sunlight as grass, so it is also perfect to use around trees. It sometimes is a little slow to take off, but give it a season or two and you won’t be disappointed. It will definitely outcompete any weed issues you have had in the past. Some people claim that it’s hard to control, but it’s really not. This sweet ground cover can be cut back with a weed-eater and just ignore it to keep from overgrowing (less fertilizer, water and/or sun). And, there are some really beautiful varieties to choose from that can be used in container plantings as well. The bright and beautiful colors of some of the varieties make incredible accents in container plantings. It is a perfect replacement for a lawn that has been killed by your trees.
These plants can grow to 3′ wide and between 6″ to 18″ tall. Place plants 1½ feet apart and it will take 1 to 2 growing seasons for them to fill in. These plants can tolerate full sun (but for some of the newer varieties avoid afternoon, summer sun if possible) to part shade.
Here are some varieties you can find at Maas Nursery:
Asiatic Jasmine – Small, dark green leaves with leathery with brownish red vines. Full sun is Ok.
Variegated Asiatic Jasmine – White and dark green, glossy leaves with brownish red vines.
Salsa Variegated Asiatic Jasmine – Dark green leaves mixed with orange, red and yellow variegation.
Snow N Summer Variegated Asiatic Jasmine – Bright green and white and green variegated, leathery older leaves. New growth emerges bright pink. Best performance in part shade.
Summer Sunset Variegated Asiatic Jasmine – Variegated with green, blue-green, orange, yellow and red.