Bringing the beauty of Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine) indoors to your houseplant collection is a great idea for so many reasons. With fantastic foliage, flowers, and fragrance, this houseplant has a lot to offer.

Upon first glance, the evergreen leaves are large and oval, with a leathery texture that adds structure and stability to the display. Then contrasted with white star-shaped blooms, it has a striking appearance. Interestingly, the name Stephanotis comes from the Greek term ‘stephanos’ which means ‘crown’ and ‘otos’ which means ear. This refers to the flowers and the pistils which resemble ears.

Not only do the flowers look glorious, but they have a delightful fragrance too. So, how do you grow Madagascar jasmine as a houseplant?

Growing Madagascar jasmine

Firstly, this is a stunning indoor climber, so you want to give it a great position to thrive and to be appreciated. Whether you display them standing in a pot, hanging basket, climbing up a support, or trained around a hoop in a container, there are a few things to bear in mind to give it the best position.

Growing well in good, indirect sunlight, it’ll do best in temperatures over 17°C during summer and over 13°C in winter. To keep humidity levels high, ensure the houseplant is in a spot where you can access it easily to mist regularly.

Keep the plant healthy and happy by watering regularly and feeding with a high potash liquid tomato fertiliser every 2 or 3 weeks through spring and summer which will help boost flowers. Encourage more blooms by giving the plant a rest during winter. It also helps to keep the plant warm and deadhead flowers as they die.


Upkeep and care

As a climber, there are a few ways to grow Madagascar jasmine. Bear in mind that the growth rate is pretty slow, so a plant that in a 20cm pot will probably reach an ultimate size of 1-2 metres tall.

If you notice the plant becoming pot-bound by spotting roots growing through the bottom of the pot or beginning to circle round, then it’s time to repot. Choose a pot that’s the next size up from the current container. Use a well-draining peat-free compost and water in well to help it settle.

If you want to increase your stock of Stephanotis floribunda or want to gift a homegrown houseplant to a loved one, you can do it by taking cuttings. Do this in early summer by taking a 10cm cutting and removing any leaves from the bottom 2.5cm of the stem. Prepare the base of the stem by dipping it into rooting hormone and planting the stem into well-drained peat-free compost. To give the best chance of establishing, cover the cutting with a cloche or cut a plastic bottle in half to act as a cloche to increase humidity.


Power of fragrance

One of the magnificent things about fragrant plants is they have the power to harness memories or remind us of loved ones or special occasions. Especially because another common name for Madagascar jasmine is bridal wreath because of its popularity of the flower for use in wedding bouquets. So, having this houseplant can remind you of your happy wedding day.

The scent of these flowers can fill the room with fragrance which in turn has a positive impact on mood. Meanwhile it can also reduce stress, aid sleep, and also improve cognitive and physical performance. So, it really can do a lot of good.


For more information on growing Madagascar jasmine as a houseplant and more tips on indoor gardening, check out My Houseplant Changed My Life published by DK books.

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