My Night Blooming Jasmine/Cestrum nocturnum is almost done with this year’s first flush of blooming. It grows in a sunny spot on the western part of my yard. After all that pruning last year, the blooms are something to be proud of this year. The shrub is about five and a half feet tall and I plan to keep it that way. The blooms are creamy and are produced in clusters, drooping down the branch on account of their weight. It is only during the night that the sweet, heady smell of the blooms is released. No wonder the plant is known as Raat ki Rani in Hindi. It means Queen Of The Night.
The tiny blooms remain open till about mid-morning. The plant produces three or four flushes of blooms in a year. After the flowering the plant produces tiny, white, poisonous berries. This native of the West Indies has weak stems so either staking or a trellis is important. Propagation is best through cuttings. And the rainy season is the best time for propagating this plant. But feeding the plant must be done after the monsoon is over. Here’s what I found in an old magazine about planting the night-blooming jasmine.
If you intend to grow the plant in the ground, dig a 60 cm. x 60 cm. pit that is 60 cm. deep. Fill it with a mixture of soil and manure: one part of well decomposed cow dung manure mixed with three parts of garden soil. The same soil and manure mixture can be used for planting in the pots or tubs. For better results add two handfuls of oil cake and one handful of bone meal to the mixture.