small trumpet shaped flowers of the night blooming
jasmine offer unequaled fragrance to the nighttime
fragrance is something that I treasure -- coming under
the spell of the smell. While I have often been seen
sticking my nose in a David Austin rose or carrying
around a gardenia blossom, it is the night blooming
jasmine I place on my olfactory throne.
have planted a dozen or so in various places at the
garden where nighttime guests might gather. During the
day it will go practically unnoticed but at night get
close enough for just a hint of the fragrance and you
will be drawn in as if under some hypnotic trance.
doesn’t have flowers the size of dinner plates or a
rainbow array of colors. The truth is you will probably
be like me and try to figure out a host of companion
plants to grow at the base of the plant to give it some
the name suggests, the miracle occurs at night when you
can’t even see what is happening. My first encounter
with night blooming jasmine was in the beachside town of
Negril on the west coast of Jamaica. I have been
addicted to the plant and fragrance since.
is incredible that these small yellow, trumpet-shaped
flowers release that much scent into the nighttime air.
My children, now grown up and living on their own, still
relish every opportunity they have to partake of the
experience — they’ve built up quite a bank of
blooming jasmine is known botanically as Cestrum
nocturnum. You will not find it in the family with the
highly aromatic Sambac jamine or the old fashioned
Confederate jasmine. No indeed — you will find it in
the Solanaceae with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and
various noxious weeds.
is an easy-to-grow plant as long as the soil is
well-drained. It is considered an upright shrub that can
reach 6 to 8 feet. You can prune it however you’d like
to shape or to fit your confines. Watch the soil
moisture in the heat of the summer and feed monthly with
a light application of a slow released fertilizer with
minor nutrients. This is even more important for
container-grown plants that are watered daily. Feed
these with a dilute water-soluble fertilizer every two
biggest challenge as a gardener will be finding your
plants. They are easy to find via mail-order and many
garden center will get in a few. At our garden, we grew
them from small plugs and offered them during our spring
plant sale. When you do get yours, plant them in moist,
well-drained soil. It needs plenty of light to bloom its
best but will do fine even in filtered light.
night jasmine is native to the West Indies and is cold
hardy from zones 8 to 11. It will usually come back from
the roots when temperatures hit the middle teens
provided winter drainage is good. Be sure and give a
protective layer of mulch. In colder regions, grow in
containers that you protect or treat as an
annual. They are also easy to propagate by
we are growing this plant for its nighttime blossoms of
fragrance, we need to grow it where its performance will
be enjoyed. At the Columbus Botanical Garden we have a
lot of outdoor weddings, so we have some planted around
a windmill palm close to our big Southern-style veranda.
In the patio area we are growing them behind Redhead
you will give the night jasmine a try, you’ll be glad
you did. Like me, you too will make that commitment to
never be without one.