How to Plant Night Blooming Jasmine


Carried by evening breezes, the sweet aroma of the night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) is intoxicating. A large tropical vine-like shrub that bears tiny greenish-white flowers in clusters in the warm months, it is not overly frost-hardy and grows outdoors year round only in mild and subtropical regions. It needs a moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and not highly alkaline in pH (over 8.0). At least six hours of direct sun exposures and warm, humid weather are also important for best performance.

Step 1

Find a location in a full sun to partially shaded exposure, receiving from 4 to 12 hours of direct sunlight each day. In subtropical regions with little rainfall, seasonal droughts, or sandy soils, consider providing no more than eight hours of direct sunlight each day to lessen the stress caused by heat or dry soil.

Step 2

Provide a sturdy support structure upon which the sprawling, heavy branches may grow. A wooden fence, sturdy trellis or arbor, or tree stump will support the plant; allowing this vining shrub to sprawling across the ground will create an irregular, rambling shrub that may not flower profusely.

Step 3

Dig a hole as deep as the container the jasmine is growing in, and twice as wide. Create a hole that allows the plant to grow at the same soil depth but with loosened soil all around its root ball.

Step 4

Remove the plant from its container, taking care to diminish any stem breakage or cracking the root ball as it leaves the container. Sit the plant in the planting hole, rotating it as needed for best aesthetics or management of its stems upon a trellis or support structure.

Step 5

Replace the soil around the root ball, lightly tamping it with your hand or the end of the shovel handle until the hole is filled. Make sure the soil line matches the top of the root ball so the jasmine is at the same level as it was growing in the container. Do not pile excess soil atop the root ball nor the stems.

Step 6

Add water to the hole, ensuring the root ball and replaced soil are saturated, but drains away within 10 minutes. Scrape any soil into the hole if the watering further compacts the soil and the root ball is slightly exposed. Match the soil line of the filled hole with the top of the root ball.

Step 7

Place organic mulch atop the area around the newly planted jasmine. Put 3 to 4 inches of mulch atop the root ball and extended out 18 to 24 inches in all directions. The mulch will diminish weed competition, retain soil moisture and keep soil temperatures moderate.

Step 8

Monitor the soil moisture of the root ball and adjacent soil every two to three days, adding water when the soil is no longer damp to the touch. Add 2 to 5 gallons of water, enough so the plant does not wilt within 12 hours but not too much that the soil remains soggy or does not drain fully after 10 minutes. Based on weather conditions, the newly planted jasmine may need water daily for the first two weeks. Do not let the plant dry out during the first year.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cestrum nocturnum is not hardy to extended subfreezing temperatures. Grow it outdoors year round only in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 12. In Zone 8, it will fully die back to the ground and resprout in spring after the weather warms considerably. This vine-like shrub is fast-growing and will readily outgrow a container in a home. Even in the tropics, large containers may quickly become root-bound or top-heavy because of the extensive and heavy stems and foliage canopy.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • USDA Plants Profile: Cestrum nocturnum
  • Cestrum nocturnum

Who Can Help

  • Cestrum nocturnum
  • Plants of Hawaii: Cestrum nocturum
Keywords: Cestrum nocturnum, night jasmine, fragrant tropical vine

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.