Cestrum Nocturnum (Night Blooming jasmine/ Raat ki Rani) is a perennial shrub primarily grown for the intense, intoxicating and heavenly smell of its small, tubular white bloom. The fragrance is so powerful that it can be smelled from a long distance. Night blooming jasmine blooms only when the weather is warm. It dies to ground if exposed to frost but shows new growth in the spring. Its stem is vine-like and grows up to 13 feet tall so timely pruning is required. The plant is native to West Indies and tropical America. It can be easily grown in a pot or container.
Tips for Growing Cestrum Nocturnum (Night Blooming Jasmine/ Raat Ki Rani)
Cestrum Nocturnum (Night Blooming jasmine/ Raat ki Rani) can be purchased in large containers from home and garden centers or is easily started from rooted stem cuttings. Take cuttings from existing Night Blooming jasmine early in the morning. Cut 4-5 inches of semi-hardwood, current or past season’s growth on the upper part of the plant. Avoid taking cuttings which have buds or flowers on it. Clip leaves from cuttings leaving only 1 or 2 sets leaves on it. Put cuttings in rooting media or just put in the water or soil until roots come out the cuttings. Cover the container with cuttings with the plastic bag and keep in the place which receives indirect sunlight. Water enough to keep the soil moist. Once cuttings are rooted, transplant them in bigger pot or container.
Choose a medium to large sized ( 20 -30 gallon) pot with adequate drainage. A 30-gallon clay or ceramic pot is ideal for this spreading shrub. You can choose plastic container too. Transplant in bigger container/ pot as a plant matures. Place the container beneath the window or at patio so that you can enjoy sweet fragrance.
Use sandy or red garden soil to grow Night Blooming Jasmine. Make sure soil is well drained and aerated. Tamp down the soil to eliminate air pockets around the roots.
Though Night Blooming jasmine blooms in a night, it requires at least 6 hrs of sunlight or light partial shade each day to bloom and good growth. Avoid excessive sun exposure too as it cause leaves to wilt.
Keep the soil moist. Water only when the soil has become dry. Do not over water as it can cause root to rot and mold to grow. Increase frequency of watering during summer months.
C. nocturnum can be fertilized bi-weekly with a weak dilution of seaweed and fish emulsion. Or use normal purpose compost/fertilizer.
Prune night-blooming jasmine’s vine-like stems as needed to control the size and shape of the plant. Prune out the dead branches and bloomed flowers regularly. If you prefer bushy plant then pinch off the tips of stem using your thumb and forefinger. This cause plant to branch out and encourage new growth.
Keep an eye on Mealy bugs infestation, as Cestrum is prone to their attack. Mostly Mealy bug lay their eggs and hide at an underside of leaves and forms a white cotton ball-like structure. Wash plant with detergent mixed water until they are removed completely or use insecticide for quick results.
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