Cestrum Nocturnum, or night blooming jasmine, is not a true jasmine of the Jasminum genus. Thanks to its heavenly, nocturnal fragrance, this diminutive flowering shrub bears the name of its similarly scented counterparts. Although the white flowers are small and unremarkable, the night blooming jasmine is a perfect choice for a moon garden or landscapes enjoyed after dark. This 12 foot tall shrub is hardy only in the warmer climate zones 10 to 11 and blooms throughout the spring and summer. Note the warning section for information about toxicity.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Choose a site with full sun or part shade with good drainage. Since the shrub may reach heights of 12 feet, allow adequate distance from fences or home exteriors for best results. Distance from living areas provides another benefit, as the evening scent is so pervasive that it may be overwhelming if directly under a window or beside a porch.
Prepare the planting site by adding composted pine bark. Incorporate 2 inches of compost to a depth of 8 inches and mix well.
Plant container-grown night blooming jasmine in the fall. Gently remove the root ball of the shrub from the container and loosen the roots, making vertical cuts up to 2 inches deep at four equidistant points along the sides if necessary. Dig a hole up to five times as wide as the shrub, but only as deep as the ball is tall. Set the shrub into the hole and back fill around the roots, tamping lightly as you fill. The top of the ball should sit just at or below the surface. Space shrubs at least 8 feet apart.
Add a layer of organic mulch, such as pine needles or wood chips, up to 3 inches deep over the planting area. Mulch will retain moisture, discourage weed growth and protect the establishing roots.
Water newly planted shrubs over the root ball to keep soil moist, but not soggy. Each site differs in drainage speeds and soil composition, so pay attention to the moisture content while the shrub is becoming established.
The flowers and fruit of the night blooming jasmine are poisonous to people and animals. Extremely toxic, these plant parts can cause serious illness or even death if ingested. Get help immediately if flowers or fruit are ingested.