Queen of Night Plant: Night Blooming Jasmine Care

Queen of night plant or night blooming jasmine (Botanical name: Cestrum nocturnum) is a perennial shrub produces tubular white bloom that emit intense, romantic, intoxicating and heavenly smell in night.

The cestrum nocturnum is known as night-blooming cestrum, night-blooming jasmine, night jasmiine, night scented jessamine, night jessamine, lady of the night, queen of the night, raat ki rani, Raatraani or Raatriraani, Night Queen, Hasna Hena (Hāsnühānā ), (Bengali: হাসনুহানা) etc.

Night-Blooming Jasmine Flowers, raat ki raani floweers
Night-Blooming Jasmine Flowers

Spanish Jasmine | Arabian Jasmine | Jasmine care in winter | Jasmine propagation by cutting

The flowers of night-blooming jasmine are used for perfumes, medicinal applications and in religious ceremonies.

Cestrum nocturnum is grown in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, including Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China and the United States. In some countries, it is classed as a weed.

It can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11 and as a houseplant in other zones. In zones 8 and lower ones, it will freeze and die, but will come back the next season.

Tips For Growing Cestrum Nocturnum (Night-Blooming Jasmine / Raat Ki Rani)

The Cestrum nocturnum is easy-to-grow and care in warm climates that blooms multiple times begining the summer months.  This plant is vigorous and fast-growing. It can be easily grown in a pot or container like Arabian jasmine plant. The plant may need some care in cold environments.

Grow in Pot or Ground

The night scented jessamine grows best in garden bed, or it can also be grown in pots or containers. Choose a pot of size about 75 liter (20 gallon) with a number of holes to provide drainage. It is better to start with a smaller pot and transplant it in the next bigger size as the roots grow.

Position : Where to Plant

  1. Night blooming jasmine blooms only when weather is warm.
  2. The night blooming jasmine grows well in full sun light or partial shade.
  3. If yu are in frost areas, consider planting under a tree.
  4. If frost is expected, move the plant indoors or under shelter.
  5. The plant will die if exposed to frost but will grow again in the spring.


The night blooming jasmine thrives best in well draining rich soil with a neutral pH 6.6 to 7.5. However, I have grown this plant in a general purpose potting mix without caring for its pH. Add some river sand and compost (composting at home) or cow manure in the soil to make it sandy and nutrient rich.

Planting, Propagation Methods

The night-blooming jasmine can be grown from seeds, stem cuttings and air layering.

You can buy a small night blooming jasmine plant from your nursery. Transfer the small plant to a larger pot.

Plant Spacing

If you are planting more than one plant of night-blooming jasmine shrub, keep them about 3 feet apart.


Night-blooming jasmine needs moist soil at all times. Water regularly. Let the soil dry between watering. Over-watering can cause root rot.

To water the night-blooming jasmine indoors, water until it drains from the base of the pot, and then wait until the soil looks dry to water again.

Pruning : When to Prune Queen of the night plant

  1. Although the cestrum nocturnum is a bush but, if not pruned,  grows like a vine growing to a height of 2.4-4 m (8-12 ft). Prune the plant from time to time to keep its size and shape under control.
  2. You can pinch the tips of growing ends to encourage new branches and growth. The new branches will bloom fast.
  3. Cut the dead branches and flowers regularly.
  4. At the end of flowering season, prune it hard. Heavy pruning of night-blooming jasmine produces new growth with heavy clusters of blooms.

The Raat ki Raani Flowers

  1. The cestrum nocturnum blooms repeatedly from summer to fall to early winter.
  2. The plant produces small greenish-yellow flowers, hanging in tubular clusters, 2-2.5 cm long, ending in a star shape with 5 lobes. Some varieties produce yellowish flowers.
  3. The flowers produce berry like fruits 10 mm by 5 mm. 


Feed your plant in autumn, spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer. Spread the fertilizer around the base of the plant leaving 10 inch from the plant and water well. Every fortnight, you can feed with a liquid fertilizer like seaweed or fish emulsion fertilizer to promote heavier bloom.

Pest and Diseases

The cestrum nocturnum can be attacked by bugs like spider mites, aphids and white flies. They lay their eggs underside of leaves and forms a white cotton ball like structure. Wash the plant with a strong water spray of mild water solution containing insecticidal soap or detergent.

Night-Blooming Jasmine Fruist Berries
Night-Blooming Jasmine Fruits/Berries

The perfume

  1. The cestrum nocturnum flowers release a powerful, sweet perfume in night. The fragrance is so strong that it can be smelled even if it is growing in 3-4 house away from you. So it is not recommended to grow indoors due to its powerful perfume when in bloom, which one of your family members may not like.
  2. It is best to keep the raat ki rani outdoors, and only be taken indoors when there is frost outside.

Fruits and Seed Collection

Fruits or berries of cestrum nocturnum are about 5 mm diameter x 10 mm length, white in color.

To make seeds, let the berries mature on the plant in fall. When the berries are fully dry on the plant, remove them and take out the seeds from the dry seed pods. Store the seeds in a zip lock bag for sowing in the next season.

Propagation from Seeds

Seeds of Night-Blooming Jasmine
Seeds of Night-Blooming Jasmine
size: about 2 mm long
The seeds of cestrum nocturnum are very small, about 2 mm so they are surface sown to germinate. The seed germination requires a temperature of 75°F (23°C).

Following are the steps for making seeds of night blooming jasmine:

  1. Fill a small pot with seed planting soil and water it until water comes out the bottom.
  2. Put 2 seeds on the soil surface. Cover with a thin layer of soil and press down on the seeds gently.
  3. Place the pot where it receives full sun. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
  4. Pinch out the weaker seedling.
  5. When the seedling is at least 6 inches tall, transplant to a larger container.

Propagation From a Cutting

  1. It is easy to root a night-blooming jasmine from a stem cutting. The steps are similar to the propagation of jasmine (Arabian or chameli).
  2. Early in the morning, cut a semi hardwood thin stem, pencil length from the plant above a node.
  3. Do not take cutting which has flowers or buds.
  4. Remove lower set of leaves from the cutting. Put the cutting in a rooting media (optional) and insert into wet soil in a small pot. Enclose the pot in a polythene bag and tie the top.
  5. Place in shade. You can put 3-4 cuttings in the same pot to root.
  6. The cutting will be rooted in a coup;le of weeks.
  7. Transplant them in bigger pot.

Toxicity of Cestrum Nocturnum 

The night blooming jasmine is highly toxicto children, adults and pets if any part of the plant is ingested. It can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, rapid pulse, excess salivation, or other symptoms.

Some people, especially those with respiratory sensitivities or asthma, have reported difficulty breathing, irritation of the nose and throat, headache, nausea, or other symptoms when exposed to the blossom's powerful scent.


1. USDA Plants Profile: Cestrum nocturnum, plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CENO
2. Erowid Cestrum Vaults : Cestrum Health Concerns. Erowid.org (2008-08-27)
3. Patil CD, Patil SV, Salunke BK, Salunkhe RB , Bioefficacy of Plumbago zeylanica (Plumbaginaceae) and Cestrum nocturnum (Solanaceae) plant extracts against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicide) and nontarget fish Poecilia reticulata, Parasitol Res. 108 (5): 1253–1263 (2011)
4. Cestrum nocturnum, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cestrum_nocturnu 5. “Erowid Cestrum Vaults : Cestrum Health Concerns.” Erowid. Web. 07 May 2011. . Ratsch, Christian., The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and its Applications. Rochester: Park Street Press, 1998. Voogelbreinder, Snu, Garden of Eden: The Shamanic Use of Psychoactive Flora and Fauna, and the Study of Consciousness. Snu Voogelbreinder, 2009.
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