Night Blooming Jasmine
Cestrum nocturnum

syn. Night Jessamine

The plant called night blooming jasmine is not a member of the genus Jasminum but is a Cestrum. Cestrum nocturnum flowering and reproduction, potting and watering info.

This native of the West Indies is a rank growing shrub made up of tall green stems lined with largeish lance-shaped leaves which are thin and tend to droop. The foliage is a bright glossy green and attractive as long as the plant is properly watered.

Clusters of tubular greenish buds will form in the leaf axils during warm weather. These open into masses of tiny white flowers which are intensely fragrant in the evening.

The blooms on a well-grown plant will be so numerous as to bow the branches. Each bloom is too small to be showy on its own but en masse, they are striking. They are long and nodding like Nicotiana flowers.

Unusual white berries form after the blossoms fall.

Photo of Cestrum nocturnum berries.

I planted a bush of night jessamine in my zone 9a backyard (southern exposure) in full sun. It wilted every day no matter how much I watered it.

Once I finally gave up and moved it to a part-shade location at the edge of my woods, it took off like a shot. It quickly grew to a height of about 8 feet.

No more mid-day wilt.

In cold winters, it will die to the ground and return from the root in the spring. In the tropics, it is an evergreen, vase-shaped shrub.

In zone 8b or colder, I would keep it in a pot.


Potting Night Blooming Cestrum

Night blooming jasmine in a pot.

Night blooming jasmine is an easy plant to grow in a large pot. Do yourself a favor and use the Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix.

If you want to put it in the ground, add the Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil to the planting area if your soil is sandy.

Set the pot in a very bright location.

There are 2 ways to grow C. nocturnum in a container: as a bush or as a tree.

If you want a bushy plant, pinch the tips regularly when it is small to make it form new branches. This will give you the biggest flower show and the most fragrance.

If you want a tree, cut away all but the tallest, sturdiest stem. Do not pinch the tip. Just let it grow straight up until it reaches the height where you want the canopy to begin. Stake the stem to keep it straight.

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Now, pinch out the growing tip. The plant will begin to branch at this point.

Just keep pinching the new branches back until the "head" of the tree is as big and bushy as you want it to be. Periodically, clean the trunk of any sprouts by pinching these off with your fingernails while they are young.

When the tree flowers, the canopy will droop under the weight of the blossoms and it will become a lovely weeping tree.

Another way to train a night jessamine tree is to leave the 3 tallest stems and braid them. This makes a very strong trunk and is more visually interesting than a single trunk.

Watering Cestrum nocturnum

Picture of a night blooming jasmine shrub.

Here, night blooming jasmine is being grown as a shrub.

In sandy soil or a very sunny location, night blooming jasmine will need very regular watering.

You will know immediately if it isn't getting enough because it will wilt so badly.

This is because the leaves are thin. They are about as thick as the leaves of a pepper plant.

Once your night blooming jasmine has been in the ground for at least a year in properly conditioned soil (add soil moisture crystals or fragrance-free kitty litter) it will develop some drought tolerance.


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I don't water my in-ground plant at all except occasionally during the dry season.

My potted plant needed daily water during the summer. This is why I eventually gave it away.

Its repeat blooming habit and jasmine aroma make it well worth growing indoors.

My plant was kept outside on my porch in the scorching summer heat. An indoor plant would not need as much moisture.

Cuttings of night jasmine root easily in soil or water. The berries will also sometimes drop and start new plants. Look around the mother plant for seedlings.



Other Plants Commonly Called Jasmine:

Yellow Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum

Crape Jasmine Bush, Tabernaemontana divaricata

Confederate Jasmine Vine, the Most Popular Jasmine in the South

Carolina Jasmine, Yellow Jessamine Vine

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