Night Blooming JasmineCestrum nocturnum
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Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Night Blooming Jasmine is a sprawling evergreen shrub with long, slender stems. It can grow to 12 feet tall, but usually in gardens it is closer to 4 feet tall. Clusters of yellow-white to pale green flowers form along the stems several times a year, and the inch-long flowers open at night to release one of the world’s most powerful flower scents. Sweet and spicy, it spreads all across your garden, turning summer nights into exotic holidays.
Grow the Night Blooming Jasmine in full sun for the most blooms, but it will grow in partial shade as well. It grows best in well-drained and sandy soils, with regular watering, but it will grow in most soils that are not waterlogged. It normally has no pest or disease problems, and it can be trimmed in spring to encourage new growth. In zone 8 and cooler parts of zone 9 it may die back in winter, but it resprouts quickly and still blooms well.
On hot summer evenings you can increase the pleasures of a sultry season by adding a sultry scent. Why not go all out and bring the powerful scent of the Night Scented Jasmine into your yard or house? Just one plant will fill your whole garden with an exotic, sultry fragrance, carrying hundreds of feet. The scent is rich and heavy, combining candied sugar and spice cake, with lilac overtones. The pale-yellow blooms close during the day and then open as dusk arrives, and the gentle scented touches of the daytime flowers transform into a Mata Hari of the garden. This easy-growing shrub is somewhere between a vine and a shrub, sprawling in a corner of your garden until summer comes around again. Flowering several times in the season, the flowers become small white berries if they have successfully seduced pollinators into visiting them for a night-time tryst. This sub-tropical plant is hardy to zone 9, but in cooler areas it makes a great houseplant, so everyone can enjoy its incredible fragrance, wherever in the country they live.
The Night Blooming Jasmine is a sprawling shrub or bushy vine, growing to about 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide, although plants in gardens generally don’t grow more than about 4 feet tall. It is evergreen, with long, narrow leaves up to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. They are smooth, glossy and bright green. They arch out in pairs on either side of the long stems. These stems grow rapidly and sprawl out or lean up against a support. Flowering happens several times during the warmer parts of the year, and flowers grow in clusters along the younger stems.
Each bloom is a slender tube with a flaring mouth, a greenish-yellow to white color, and about one inch long and ½ an inch wide when open at night. During the day the lobes close over, and then flare out at night into a 5-pointed star. The fragrance is very mild during the day, and very strong after dusk and through the night. If pollinated the flowers develop into clusters of small white berries. All parts of this plant, especially the berries, are toxic, with possible hallucinogenic properties as well.
This fast-growing plant is somewhere between a shrub and a vine. It can be grown as a sprawling shrub, trailing over a wall or leaning on larger plants, or it can be tied to a fence or trellis panel, as you choose. Potted indoors it will be an arching, bushy plant a couple of feet tall. It can also be grown as a larger plant outdoors, and then brought into a frost-free place when the night temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing.
The Night Blooming Jasmine is hardy to about 28 degrees, but it will often lose leaves and the stems can die back when it is exposed to frost. It grows very well in zone 10, and usually in zone 9 as well, with only a little possible damage. In zone 8 it will usually die back significantly, but re-sprout in spring and bloom well as a smaller bush.
Your Night Blooming Jasmine will grow best, and produce the most blooms, if grown in full sun. It will, however, grow well in partial shade, just a little less vigorously. It prefers open, sandy soils, but will grow easily in any well-drained soil.
There are usually no significant pests or diseases on the Night Blooming Jasmine, which is easy to grow both outdoors and indoors. It can be trimmed in spring to encourage plenty of long new stems, which carry the most flowers. Little else is needed for this easy plant, and it responds well to regular watering. Avoid keeping the ground too wet, especially in heavier soils.
The Night Blooming Jasmine is not a true jasmine, but a member of the potato family, called Cestrum nocturnum. It is native to the West Indies and the Caribbean, but it has been ‘natural’ across much of Asia for a long time after early introductions. Like many plants in the potato family (including the potato plant itself), it contains toxic alkaloids, but it is unclear exactly how toxic it is, with some cases of children eating the berries without any harm, and others becoming sick. There is no evidence that pets will eat it or not, and birds eat the berries greedily without any ill effects. In some cultures it is used as an hallucinogen, but again there has been very little study of this.
Enjoy sultry summer nights filled with potent perfume by growing a Night Blooming Jasmine in your yard or in a pot. This tree is rarely available, so order now while our stocks hold out – they will be gone soon.