Jasminum nudiflorum AGM is usually grown as a scrambling climber with an eventual height and spread of 2.5m (8ft). It originates from northern China and was named for its flowers which appear before its leaves – nudiflorum means 'naked flower'.
It is a slender shrub with arching green shoots. The pinnate, dark green leaves contrast against the electric yellow flowers, borne singly at axils of previous year’s growth from late October to March. With this year's mild weather, we expect flowering to peak - and pretty much finish - in February.
Winter jasmine is a full hardy shrub, which grows in fertile, well-drained soil. Full sun will ensure best flowering but it will tolerate tough conditions, such as a north facing wall or part shade. At RHS Garden Hyde Hall this plant brightens up a dull wall adjacent to the Farmhouse with its flowers.
Allowed to scramble freely over a low wall it will not need any support, however when grown as a climber it will need to be trained on a trellis or wires as it is not self-clinging.
Deciduous winter flowering shrubs require annual pruning to keep growth strong and healthy. Winter jasmine is in pruning group two and should be pruned immediately after flowering. Old, established plants can be rejuvenated by removing one third of the oldest growth to ground level. Unpruned plants tend to become woody and matted with old dead stems.
New plants can be grown from semi-ripe cuttings taken in summer. Alternatively, like other jasmines, it can be propagated by layering while still attached to the parent plant.
Jasminum nudiflorum is a prominent plant at a time of year when the garden can feel empty. The colours are so bold it can easily be grown and admired as a single specimen, although combined with other winter interest plants, such as Cornus, Hamamelis or spring bulbs, it creates an exciting display.
Ten AGM winter shrubs and climbers