Cestrum nocturnum, more commonly known as night blooming jasmine, is a flowering evergreen shrub native to the Caribbean. It is prized by gardeners for its delicate white tubular blooms and its strong heady fragrance. In the daytime the shiny deep green leaves will look lively in the sunlight and the plant will attract butterflies to your garden. Jasmine is particularly prized for paths, gardens and patios where it can be enjoyed after dark, as it releases its sweet perfume after the sun has set and the white blossoms are particularly striking when bathed in moonlight.
Plant jasmine directly into the ground if you live in U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 8 through 11--in other words, a warm tropical climate. Jasmine can also be grown in a large planter if you live in zones 7 or below, or if you want to keep the plant more compact. While jasmine can tolerate light shade, it prefers full sun, and direct light will encourage more and larger blossoms.
Provide your plants with a sandy light-weight soil or growing medium that drains well. If you are planting jasmine in the ground and want it to reach its full height--up to 12 feet--provide a trellis or plant it near a fence where it will find support.
Keep the soil moist, but not muddy. Give it a thick layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, grass clippings or straw.
Fertilize jasmine plants once a month from March through September. Use an all-purpose water soluble fertilizer, or one rich in phosphorus, such as 10-20-10.
Prune jasmine plants regularly to promote fullness and bushiness. If you want your plants to stay compact, prune more vigorously whenever necessary. If you want your plant to reach its full height, prune the branch tips lightly once in awhile to encourage new growth.
Protect your jasmine from frosts, as it is not tolerant of the cold. Bring planters indoors over winter in colder climates and leave them in a sunny window, or bring them in for shelter temporarily whenever a frost is expected. Cover your jasmine with a makeshift tent of clear plastic sheeting or a cardboard box you live in a warm zone and a rare frost is expected.