The raatrani or night blooming jasmine is a scent you can’t forget. The rather plain flowers of this tree open at night and the heady fragrance can waft on the warm breeze for quite some distance. I absolutely love the scent and was thus interested in growing the plant since there doesn’t seem to be one growing locally in my area, but the decision was made when I discovered that the fragrance of the flowers have a deterrent effect on mosquitoes as well as the extracts of the leaves having larvicidal properties against many mosquito species.
To be honest, I haven’t made any extracts and such yet, but I do intend to. Regardless, this is one very easy grower and smells absolutely fantastic. I will blog abut tutorials on how to use the flowers/leaves to repel mosquitoes once I figure it out.
How to grow raatrani/night blooming jasmine?
What I have here are rooted cuttings. These are quite small and should adapt to life in the ground or pot, depending on what you choose. This is a fast grower and the size of the original cutting is going to become irrelevant pretty fast.
If you are planning to grow the tree in the ground, and this is probably the better idea, pretty much any soil should be fine and planting next to a compound wall at some distance away from the home may be better. The tree can be prolific and get pretty big with a LOT of flowers and the fragrance can get overpowering if you have planted it just outside someone’s window.
Prune mercilessly. Cut back much of the new growth to encourage a lot of branching (and thus flowering) and make the stem sturdier.
If you grow it in a pot, this should be fine to grow in a balcony. Try not to overpot the plant. This is a fast grower and will simply explode with growth the more root space you give it. However, you may not want a too big plant in your home. I would suggest giving it a pot only slightly bigger than the roots need and you can keep changing the pot to bigger as needed. This plant does just fine even if root bound.
If you are growing it in a pot, you may want to prune it pretty heavily to make it more bushy – the more branches there are, the more flowers it will have. No particular science to it. Somewhat like citrus trees, this one also grows a bit on the untidy side and pruning is all about what shape you want to give it. It grows fast enough to forgive misakes without too much fuss. With some effort, you could probably grow it into a kind of hedge around a property. You will need more cuttings – I have plenty, but you will too. This plant is very easy to propagate from cuttings. You can take the trimmed branches, stick them in moist soil and give it a bit of humidity and they will just continue to grow.
Because of its fast growth, the raatrani appreciates regular fertilization. However, it should be fine with some neglect too and not fertilizing too often may help keep the growth under control.
The plant flowers in warm weather. The fruit looks a bit like peas.