Stephanotis floribunda or ‘Madagascar Jasmine’
With attractive fragrant flowers Stephanotis floribunda is one of those plants that you might move the tropics just to grow. The perfume is that good. If you live in the northern parts of Queensland it is a fairly easy plant, in cooler areas you do need to have just the right position.
You will find it growing well in protected positions in Sydney and as fare south as Melbourne, so it is well worth a try.
This is a climbing plant originally from Madagascar and Northern Africa. It is evergreen and is highly perfumed, in summer the sweet fragrance will fill the air on a warm evening.
Flowers are white and waxy, trumpet shaped and sought after for floral arrangements and bouquets. The new flowers have a sweet fragrance, as they age they loose this. The foliage is green and glossy and it is an evergreen plant.
In cooler climates you could try growing these wonderful climbers in containers in a sheltered warm position in a courtyard. This will work from Sydney to the north, further south you may need to take a little extra care. You will need extra warmth, and it is the winters that tend to make them difficult.
A frost free position is essential and fertiliser applied regularly during active growth is also essential.
Use a climbing frame or trellis around 2m tall with a similar width. Prune back as needed.
In terms of care, a humus rich soil is best, well drained and a sunny position. Protection from frosts. Best grown in Tropical to sub tropical areas.
If you are growing this plant indoors, keep it away from heat and cooling ducts. It is also best to keep the plant away from direct sun through windows as this can cause leaf burn.
- Not Flowering – Usually caused by a lack of light.
- Leaves turning yellow – Often caused by overwatering. Also caused by temperature changes, especially if the plant if exposed to cold air.
- Plant starting to look sick or dying – This can be caused by either of the above, or simply by it being shifted to a different position if grown in a container.