Carolina Jessamine - Knowledgebase Question

Shelton, WA
Question by pcallea
July 19, 2006
I first wonder is Carolina Jessamine will grow in my area (zone 7). Second, I understand that the roots can grow 20' underground (yes?). If I


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Answer from NGA
July 19, 2006

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Gelsemium sempervirens, or Carolina Jessamine, is rated hardy to USDA zone 7, and will tolerate frost, but will be killed by persistent freezing weather. Unless it is planted in a protected area, I'm afraid it won't survive in your garden. I've tried growing it in my Port Orchard garden and it dies during the years we have snow. Instead of Carolina jessamine, why not plant evergreen honeysuckle? It will grow in either a planter or in the ground and will twine up an arbor without problem.

I want to dispel the myth about Carolina Jessamine having roots that grow 20' underground. The plant may spread, but the roots do not grow 20' down into the ground.

Best wishes with your landscape.

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