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How Do I Train Jasmine to Climb a Pergola?

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If you are growing jasmine in your garden, you may be searching for the best way to encourage the plant to climb your pergola. Jasmine is a beautiful, fragrant vine plant that thrives in an environment where it can climb. If you do not train jasmine properly, it will begin to look stringy and will not reach its full potential.

To encourage jasmine to climb, begin by planting it as close to the base of the pergola as possible. Then, loosely secure the vine to the structure with twine, zip ties, or fabric strips to keep the jasmine growing in the right direction.

Your pergola covered in delicate jasmine could be just the visual and aromatic element you have been searching for in your garden. Training your jasmine to climb doesn’t have to be guesswork. Keep reading to learn more about everything you need to do to make sure your pergola is covered in jasmine blooms.

How Can Jasmine Be Trained To Climb a Pergola?

So, you just planted beautiful, flowering jasmine in your garden, and now you need it to climb your pergola and become a visual feature. It is actually not tricky if you follow a few simple steps. 

  • Plant your jasmine right next to the base of your pergola.
  • Secure the vine to the structure with fabric strips, garden twine, or zip ties.
  • Continue attaching the vine to the pergola as it grows to keep it going in the right direction.

During the early days of growth, the jasmine may need more attention and help to grab hold of the structure. 

Tips for Training a Healthy Jasmine Vine

It’s not too difficult to get your jasmine to establish a grip on your pergola, but you do want to take care to do it right and know some tips: 

  • Plant it close, but not too close. The jasmine should be about 8 to 12 inches from the structure, so it can reach, but it has room to spread. 
  • Be gentle. When attaching your jasmine to the pergola, make sure you do not place it too tightly to the structure. You need to allow the plant room to grow. 
  • Start early. Young plants are guided into climbing much easier than older plants. It will be much easier to get your plant growing in the right direction during the early stages.
  • Offer support. Over time you will not have to secure your vines as often due to the vines naturally gripping to the structure. But, in the beginning, keep training them by connecting all of the new growth
  • Use what’s on hand.  You can use any type of material to tie the jasmine. If your structure is large, you may want to cut pieces of fabric that you already have in hand. You can use garden twine or zip ties, but really there is no reason to buy something new; cutting strips from an old t-shirt works well.  

That should do it! Some gardeners train jasmine to climb up and over a pergola by attaching the vine horizontally at the base of the structure and then attaching the new growth to the pergola as the offshoots grow. Either method will work. It just comes down to which one you prefer. 

Getting Jasmine to Grow Over the Top of the Pergola

Now that you have trained your jasmine to grow up your pergola, it is time to continue its growth over the top of the structure. When your jasmine covers the top of the pergola, it completes the visual element that most gardeners desire. To do this, you will follow steps similar to what you did for the base.

When your jasmine reaches the top of your pergola, you will need to secure the shoots to the structure’s canopy

Just as when establishing your plant at the base, you can use fabric strips, garden twine, or zip ties to accomplish this task. By doing this, you are training the growth of your jasmine vine, just like you did when you trained it at the ground level.

How to Get a Full Look 

When your jasmine gets to this growth stage, growing over the top, you may notice that your jasmine does not look as full on the structure’s pillars.  If this happens, just spiral some of the younger vines around the post instead of continuing the growth only vertically. This should help it to begin filling out.

Jasmine also needs pruning. After the plant blooms, trim the stems back to stimulate new growth and new flowers for the next season. This will help to keep your jasmine full and your pergola covered!

Establishing jasmine and getting it to grow fully and beautifully on your pergola also requires knowing when to get it started and how to take care of it as it grows. 

What is the Correct Climate for Getting Jasmine to Climb?

When jasmine is planted in the correct climate, it will provide beautiful green foliage and star-shaped flowers that smell delightful. Jasmine grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s planting zone 7 to 10. 

Okay, so what does that mean? 

It means that your jasmine plant is going to grow much better in a warm, mild climate. Actually, if your winters are mild enough, it may continue to grow all year. 

Jasmine Loves the Sun

Your jasmine vine will thrive in lots of sunlight. Although you can plant it in light shade, the more sunlight your jasmine gets, the better it will grow. The better your jasmine grows, the quicker you will have offshoots to continue attaching to your pergola to achieve the desired look. 

If you are planning your garden and do not yet have your pergola in place, knowing jasmine loves sunlight will help you find the perfect location. The best part of your garden to encourage jasmine to climb would be facing the south, west, or east. The northern side will not produce enough direct sunlight to ensure a healthy plant.  

Keep the Soil Moist, But Not Soggy

With your goal being a pergola covered in jasmine, it is essential to make sure your plant is getting the right amount of water. Just like jasmine needs a good deal of sunlight, it also must stay hydrated. 

You will need to water your plant at least two or three times per week. During regular watering, your plant will need to get around 2 to 3 gallons of water.  

Jasmine does not do well in droughts and will need more water in times when your plant does not get much rain. Keep in mind that they usually do not drain well, so take your time when watering your plant. Jasmine will not grow well in muddy, soggy soil, so try to keep it moist but not waterlogged.

To help keep the soil moist, spread two to three inches of mulch around the vine. Be careful to keep the mulch a few inches away from the vine. To take care of the mulch, rake or shovel the mulch to keep it fluffed. By maintaining the mulch, it will make the task of keeping your jasmine hydrated much easier.

How Long Does It Take for Jasmine to Climb a Pergola?

Although it would be great if you could plant your jasmine and instantly have your pergola covered with its delicate blooms, you will have to give it some time. Don’t be discouraged if your vines seem to grow very little the first year. This is when the plant is taking in all of the nutrients it needs to thrive.  

Typically, a well cared for jasmine plant will grow between one and two feet per year. To speed up this process, plant jasmine at the base of each pillar. 

This will allow the plants to meet together at the top of the pergola and create thick, flowery foliage on the canopy. 


The time and effort put into growing a healthy jasmine vine will create the environment it needs to grow at a faster rate. So, although it might take a few years to cover your pergola completely, if you get the climber established well from the start, you will still get to enjoy its sweet fragrance throughout your garden. Be sure to check out our article to make sure your climbing plants aren’t damaging your fences.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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