Night blooming jasmine
Night blooming jasmine is a shrub native to the islands of the Caribbean. It yields white flowers that produce a powerful, heady fragrance that can be sensed from up to 20 yards away. The blossoms only produce this smell at night, when they open to attract butterflies. Because night blooming jasmine is accustomed to tropical climates, it can be difficult to grow in northern regions. However, with proper care and diligence, this aromatic plant can make a wonderful addition to your home or garden.
Plant night blooming jasmine in an area that receives between four and six hours of sunlight a day. Some shade is required, as the leaves will wilt if left in full sunlight. Use a soil mixture made up of two parts peat moss to one part clean sand to allow proper drainage. Night blooming jasmine is best grown from a division or stem cutting, and should be watered immediately after planting to pack the soil around the plant.
Watering and Fertilizing
Water only when the soil has become dry. Night blooming jasmine can contract root rot if over-watered, which can kill the plant. Watering the jasmine thoroughly every four to five days is generally enough to keep the plant healthy. Increase the frequency of watering during summer months, when the soil will dry faster.
Use a fertiliser with high phosphorous content to encourage the growth of blossoms. All fertiliser is graded on an NPK scale, where N represents nitrogen content, P represents phosphorous and K stands for potassium. Look for fertiliser with 10-20-10 NPK or similar, and follow the instructions on the package for proper distribution.
Bring the night blooming jasmine inside during winter months, when the temperature begins to drop below 7.22 degrees C. Jasmine is a tropical plant, and cannot tolerate low temperatures. It can die if exposed to a freeze. Transplant the jasmine into a pot, and move inside for the duration of the winter. Be careful not to damage the roots during transplantation. Keep the jasmine in a greenhouse or a room with a constant temperature between 21.1 and 26.6 degrees C. Move the plant back outside in early spring after the final frost of the year.
Prune any dead branches or flowers from night blooming jasmine when necessary. Parts of the plant that are withered and dying will sap nutrients, and can reduce the number of blooms the jasmine will produce. Cut dead branches off as close to the boot as possible. Removing these excess branches and flowers will allow more light and air to access the centre of the plant, reducing the chance of disease.
- Urban Gardening; Arthur Van Langenberg and Ip Kung Sau; 2006
- The Evening Garden; H. Peter Loewer; 2002
- University of Florida: Cestrum Nocturnum