Gelsemium is a flowering plant in the gelsemiaceae family. If certain varieties grow naturally in the south of the United States or in Southeast Asia, this plant is not the most hardy and, in France, it is preferable to cultivate it in pot. This allows it to be exposed to the sun in summer and stored indoors, ideally under a veranda in winter. Gelsemium has evergreen or even semi-evergreen leaves, lanceolate, deep green in color. Its flowers, on the other hand, are yellow or orange and funnel-shaped. Its long stems roll up easily, do not hesitate to grow your plant on a trellis or along a fence. Gelsemium is a toxic plant, however, used in homeopathy to try to fight against the flu.
There are a few species, such as Carolina jasmine, marsh jasmine and even gelsemium elegans. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be light yellow or bright yellow, even orange-yellow. Flowering extends from June to September, again it all depends on the variety for which you are going to opt. More or less hardy, these species can reach up to 10 m high.
Gelsemium needs rich, drained soil and a sunny location to thrive. Place it on a trellis or wire mesh to allow its stems to roll up. Its lack of rusticity makes it a plant that is difficult to cultivate in the ground, unless you take all the precautions to protect it from frost, especially by mulching the foot. Planting is done in the spring in a horticultural compost placed on a layer of clay balls.
Culture and maintenance of gelsemium
Gelsemium appreciates an annual contribution of compost and fertilizers. Watering should be regular in summer and during periods of drought, especially for plants living outdoors. In winter, it is advisable to fold down the stems and cover the foot with dry leaves. Repotting every 2 or 3 years provides a little space for your plants.
Pruning involves cutting the stems close to the ground in late fall and cutting the stems that are too long during growth. Finally, dead stems must be removed.
Multiplication of gelsemium
In general, cuttings are used to multiply it. This requires selecting 20 cm sections with three starting levels for sheets. Remove the leaves at the base and dip the end of the stem in a hormone powder which increases the chances of successful cuttings. Then, plant your stem in a mixture of potting soil and sand and cover the whole with a plastic film. When your plants have roots, plant them in individual pots.
Diseases and pests of gelsemium
If it is not rustic, it is however quite vivacious and robust and does not fear specific diseases or pests.