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I've seen some conflicting opinions on this.

From Gardens Alive:

Good air circulation is key to both healthy home and horticulture. You should always leave a foot of open space around the foundation to prevent moisture build up that can lead to mold and damaging dampness (and to avoid giving insects like carpenter ants and termites direct access to your home). Distance is good for the health of the house—and the plants.

However, I've seen several pictures of Asian jasmine planted very close to buildings, and had to really dig to find that article.

Further, this house already has some other plants closer than the one foot distance that the article describes, so if that is indeed correct then perhaps I should remove them. Those plants have been there for years.

Could it damage the foundation of the building if I plant Asian star jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) near the foundation?

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The roots of Trachelospermum are unlikely to damage house foundations, but planting a minimum of a foot away from a wall (whether its a house wall or garden wall or even a fence) is recommended practice for a couple of other reasons apart from air flow and possible foundation damage.

First, rain shadow - this refers to the fact that something planted right up against a fence or wall gets much less rain than something that isn't, and it may struggle to survive after planting. Second, any plant wants to grow all round, not just at the front, so planting a minimum of a foot away (preferably 18 inches, if possible) means the plant is able to grow all round, and is not obliged to produce growth only at the sides and front, which often then leans over and 'gropes' forward to get more light.

A foot away is the recommended distance even for clematis cultivars, even though the growth is not as vigorous and bushy as a Trachelospermum gets over time.

In respect of the other plants you say are planted too close to the wall, whether you can/should move them or not depends on which plant. If its a permanent shrub and has been in situ for longer than 3-5 years, then moving it successfully would be very difficult, so unless it has formed an unattractive growth habit because of being planted too close, or is a plant that will get very large indeed, best left alone unless there are apparent damp issues. If, though, it is a large or ultimately large shrub, then taking it out altogether might be wise; trying to move and relocate a mature shrub is often unsuccessful because of too much root loss when digging out. Large shrubs also have large roots and may interfere with foundations. Perennial plants can be moved, but are unlikely to cause structural damage to foundations anyway, so you'd only move those if they are leaning forward and not looking attractive, or if their presence is causing damp issues against the wall.

  • I'm willing to risk the plant not getting enough light or water and deal with that if it becomes a problem. The space I'm trying to fill is long and narrow. Unless someone here advises otherwise, I think I'll try planting a foot or so away from the foundation and seeing how close it grows toward the house and how well it covers the foundation. Thanks! – Kyle McVay Oct 15 '19 at 19:20
  • When you put it in, you'll have presumably put up a support for the Trachelospermum to grow up against the wall; when planting, do it at a slight angle, tipped back towards the wall, and lean the supporting stick back so that growth is persuaded to attach itself to the support as it grows. You may need to tie it in initially, as growth begins. – Bamboo Oct 15 '19 at 19:22
  • I don't need it to climb very high, maybe a foot max. Will I need a support for that much height? Also, the other plants near the house are cast-iron plants. – Kyle McVay Oct 15 '19 at 19:23
  • Yes - this is a twining plant, and needs something to twine round, but honestly, ongoing, its going to be a pain to keep it so low, it wants to get 30 feet. Is your intention just to try to cover the foundation? Because there are lots of other plants that will do that job very well....plus your Trachelospermum is unlikely to flower if you have to keep cutting it down. – Bamboo Oct 15 '19 at 19:26
  • Yes, that is the goal. I was having trouble trying to find something that would survive in this low-light setting and do a good job of covering. Almost decided on some boxwoods, but given how narrow the space between the walkway and the side of the house is, I thought something smaller would be better. I also read that the jasmine seemingly thrives on neglect, so it seemed like it would be easy to manage as long as I cut it back regularly. The only other thing I was considering was monkey grass, which seems to do well around here, but I didn't know if it would grow high enough. – Kyle McVay Oct 15 '19 at 19:31
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I have something called "asiatic jasmine" ; from what I see on the net it is very similar except mine has much smaller blooms. If they are similar , it will not make any difference where you plant it , it is invasive and will go everywhere. I pull it up or prune it when ever I am in the yard. I have seen it look good where it is retained on all sides with concrete or equal.

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