Stephanotis: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F) / T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Stephanotis floribunda (sometimes sold as S. jasminioides) is referred to as the Madagascar Jasmine and prefers a minimum temperature of 13°C (55°F) especially if it is to flower well. Given the right temperature specimens under glass are virtually guaranteed to produce those waxy sweet-smelling creamy-white flowers associated with bridal bouquets. Flowers are usually produced from May onwards as soon as the days are long enough for flower buds to develop. Plants grown commercially give us a false idea of the flowering time as they are forced on by high temperatures and artificial lighting. A plant bought in flower very early in the year can be disappointing as buds frequently drop off and others refuse to form. Plants will easily reach 6m (20 ft) if given their head and when happy will produce swan egg-sized fruits. After several months they split to reveal not one large seed which is what one might expect but many small feathery seeds which are presumably dispersed naturally by the wind. These can be sown just under the surface of theat 24°C (75°F). If plants are restricted to pots and a small area it is best to restrict long shoots after flowering or train them around a tripod of canes or a circle of wire, thereafter pruning back to this main framework. Even when not in flower these plants are worth having for their attractive glossy foliage.