Things to Know About the Night-Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Updated on May 19, 2018
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The night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) is aptly named because its white-yellow, tubular flowers bloom at night; the flowers close during the day. It belongs to the Solanaceae family, also known as the nightshade or potato family of plants. It is known for its scent and is quite possibly the strongest scented plant in the world. When in bloom, the flowers release a scent of sweet perfume that pervades the area within 300-500 ft of the plant.

It is a sub-tropical plant that was first discovered growing in the West Indies and was quite possibly brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century. It can now be found growing in subtropical regions around the world and even in temperate climates, where the winter temperatures do not fall below -10oC (though it may well lose all the new growth and leaves at such low temperatures). Ideally, it grows outside in USDA zones 9-10.

Other Names for the Night Blooming Jasmine

Cestrum means "a pointed tool," commonly used in art, and nocturnum means "night."

  • Lady of the Night
  • Night Jasmine
  • Night Jessamine
  • Night-Blooming Jessamine
  • Dama de Noche
  • Galan de Noche
  • Night Blooming Cestrum
  • Night Queen
  • Queen of the Night

night blooming jasmine in flower (night time)
night blooming jasmine in flower (night time)

Facts You Should Know About the Night-Blooming Jasmine

  • Cestrum nocturnum can be grown in cooler climates as a house or conservatory plant.
  • I'm not saying you will never need to use air fresheners again, but you certainly won't need them when this plant is in flower. However, as gorgeous as its scent may be, you may soon find it to be overpowering in such close quarters.
  • They can reach 10-12 feet in height and have a spread of 6 feet in ideal growing conditions. Prune back into shape after flowering.
  • Night-blooming jasmines flower up to four times per year, after which, they produce white berries full of seeds.
  • If grown as a houseplant, chances are that the flowers will never pollinate, unless you do it by hand with an artist's brush or similar tool. Cestrum nocturnum is self-pollinating and does not need another plant for cross-pollination. Common pollinators include bats and moths.
  • All Cestrum nocturnum plants flower at the same time. If yours is in flower, you can be sure that every other one in the neighborhood is in flower at the same time.

cestrum nocturnum (night blooming jasmine) in the daytime with its flowers closed
cestrum nocturnum (night blooming jasmine) in the daytime with its flowers closed

Propagating Night-Blooming Jasmine

There are two common methods of propagating Cestrum.

Using Clippings From Pruning

The night-blooming jasmine roots readily in water. Alternatively, you can simply plant the clippings after pruning in a pot of compost and leave it in a sunny spot. Water it on a consistent basis, and you should see new growth appear within weeks. If you live in a cooler climate (I live in the equivalent of a USDA Zone 10), you may want to cover your pot with polythene (polyethylene) to keep the moisture in until you see new shoots appear. This is a sign that propagation was successful.

Using Seeds From the Berries

If you have pollinated your flowers and they produce berries, leave them on the plant until they shrivel up and fall off. Once this happens, push the seeds into the surface of a pot of compost, water well, and keep in a warm place. You may see new shoots within a few weeks. I have to admit that so far, I have been unsuccessful in propagating Cestrum by seed. However, unless you are trying to develop a new cultivar, it's really not worth the effort of seeding when you can easily root the clippings.

cestrum nocturnum covered in berries containing seed (usually 4 or 5 seeds per berry)
cestrum nocturnum covered in berries containing seed (usually 4 or 5 seeds per berry)

General Tips for Growing Night-Blooming Jasmine

  • If there is a night-blooming jasmine already growing in your neighborhood, you might like to ask the owner for a cutting. If not, don't worry because you can easily find them at your local nursery or online on sites like Amazon.
  • They like sunlight, but not all day. An east or west facing position is fine for them.
  • Water well in the summer, but leave them on the dry side in winter.
  • Replace their compost every year if grown in pots. Cestrum nocturnum are hungry plants that can soon sap all the nutrients out of the compost.
  • Night-blooming jasmine make very good insect repellants, especially for mosquitoes. I think this is more likely to be because their powerful scent attracts moths and bats that feed on smaller insects.

a softwood branch of night blooming jasmine which make great cuttings
a softwood branch of night blooming jasmine which make great cuttings
rooted cuttings so night blooming jasmine
rooted cuttings so night blooming jasmine

Questions & Answers

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      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Night blooming jasmine sounds like an easy plant to grow. The fact of it repelling mosquitoes as well as having a nice fragrance is reason enough to consider planting it. Thanks for all of this good information.

      • IzzyM profile image
        Author

        IzzyM 2 weeks ago from UK

        It is best to remove flowers from any cuttings you take. The plant will put all its effort into making seed instead of roots.

      • profile image

        Karisma Toribio 12 months ago

        Can you name my plant?I guess it belongs to dama de noche breed...Thanks!

      • profile image

        stella 2 years ago

        Is it true that this plants attract spirits?

      • IzzyM profile image
        Author

        IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

        I can tell you now it will grow in certain parts of the UK so long as there isn't a severe frost below minus 10 and it is planted in a position that is sheltered from the prevailing winds. By far your best bet would be to grow it in a pot indoors and place it out in the summer. But you are right to want one - it is a fantastic plant.

      • Movie Master profile image

        Movie Master 7 years ago from United Kingdom

        Lovely hub, great photos, I must find out if this jasmine grows in the UK, I want one!

      • crystolite profile image

        Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

        Nice hub with wonderful photos that is very attractive.

      • rainmist profile image

        rainmist 7 years ago from Las Vegas

        It's charm resides in it's aroma .

        I like aroma of most flowers !

      • IzzyM profile image
        Author

        IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

        Steve thanks for that - that is great information! Anytime I have opened to seed heads on the plant while they are unshrivelled, the seeds inside are still white, you must have picked a better time than me to find the seeds black and mature.

      • profile image

        Steve 7 years ago

        With regards to growing Cestrum Nocturnum from seed, I have been very successful germinating from seed with almost a 100% success rate. However, I don't leave the berry on the plant until it strivels, as suggested but instead harvest by opening the white berry. The seeds are quite large black seeds, an almost shocking contrast between the colour of the berry, (nothing 'standard' about this plant). Planted in a propergator at around 24C, they usually germinate within 2 weeks but could take longer.

      • snakebaby profile image

        Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

        Yes, I can tell, hehe...It is hard to find a proper job, same here. I want to write more, but afraid it would spoil my health, so now I consider teaching Chinese my top priority, plus singing. One day I think I may master the famous song "what a beautiful jasmine" (throw in a keyword for you here :)

      • IzzyM profile image
        Author

        IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

        Thanks snakebaby :)

        I do this full-time as I've been unable to find a 'proper' job. I adore plants, can you tell? lol

      • snakebaby profile image

        Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

        Izzym, you always write good hubs, product or not, this Jasmine is yet another one! I've seen you constantly publish hubs, I'm curious how you manage the time, how do you find the time to write so much? Do you write full time? I easily get tired :(

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