The Madagascar jasmine also known as Bridal Wreath is the most well known of about 13 species of the genus Stephanotis. Most representatives originate on Madagascar (S. acuminata, s. floribunda, S. grandiflora, S. isaura and S. thouarsii) but there are also species found in China (S. nana and S. yunnanensis), in Japan (S. japonica and S. lutchuensis), on the Malabar peninsula (S. parviflora) and on Cuba (S. longiflora and S. vincaeflora).
The genus name Stephanotis has Greek origin, made up of two words; stephonos meaning crown and otos which is ear; a 'crown of ears' which it faintly resembles with the flower trumpet as a meatus surrounded by five "ears."
The Madagascar jasmine is widely cultivated for its lasting waxy white flowers and intense fragrance. The scent is strongly reminiscent of the true jasmine, Jasminum officinale, hence the common name. However, these species are not at all related: The Stephanotis species belongs to the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae, while the Jasmines are members of the olive family, Oleaceae.
Stephanotis care instructions
The Bridal Wreath thrives with bright but indirect lighting. Mine is placed in a bright North window. Also, try to provide some humidity as this plant will do better then although this is not critical for the plant's survival. The Madagascar jasmine is a vine with twining growth habit so you need to provide a support for it. One important point to remember is to not move the plant when in bloom, not even twist it around in the window as then the buds may fall.
The temperature should be moderate 60-85F (16-28C), preferable at the cooler end during the rest period. Temperatures below 40F (7C) should be avoided.
Even watering throughout the growth season, March - September, especially if your plant is in bud or bloom. Keep somewhat on the dry side during the rest period.
Feed with a fertilizer suitable for tropical plants during growing season.
Please note that if you want lots of flowers you need to give your Stephanotis a rest period during the winter months, October -February. Some of the longer, tender shoots might wither down during this time which is normal.
Prune back soft wood in spring to encourage flowering. Also remove all dead or damaged wood. While doing this you may carefully straighten up the tangle of branches this plant often creates. Fasten branches to the support and help to plant twine the right way.
I have had this Madagascar jasmine for four years. This year the spring blooming resulted in seven flower clusters averaging five blossoms each