Cestrum nocturnum - Night Blooming Jasmine
Everyone loves Night Blooming Jasmine. Famous for its sweet evening fragrance, Cestrum nocturnum is a vigorous handsome shrub. Its shiny green stems grow straight up like bamboo, then curve gracefully. Prune it any shape you want. This is a terrific plant for tall narrow places.
In early summer, a profusion of tiny cream colored blooms appear. Come evening, their sweet fragrance gets everyone's attention. Snow white berries appear in autumn and last well into winter, even prettier than the flowers.
Native to the West Indies, Cestrum thrives in warm zones 9-11, needs filtered sun and moist soil. It will tolerate dry conditions and survive in the shade, but looks best in a bright spot with regular water. In cool climates, grow it in a large container to overwinter indoors. It won't sure vive a hard freeze, but grows easily from cuttings and will zoom back to full height in a season.
The fragrance is sweet but not overpowering. This is a lovely plant near a bedroom window, or anywhere people sit to enjoy the summer evening.
Fill a pot with a mixture of equal parts coarse sand, compost, and peat moss. Water the mixture and allow to drain. Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil, gently pressing down to ensure that seeds make good contact with the soil and lightly cover with soil mix. Cover your pot with plastic wrap and a rubber band to keep in heat and moisture. Seeds will not germinate until soil is consistently 75°. Use a spray bottle to keep soil consistently moist but not soaking wet. Don’t use harder water pressure, this can dislodge small seeds and bury them to deeply to germinate. Place your pot in a warm, sunny space and please be patient. Seeds can easily take 4 to 6 weeks to germinate.