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Can I grow night-blooming jasmine in Kentucky?

Letitia Asked

Can I grow night-blooming jasmine in northern Kentucky? Do I have to plant it every year or keep it in a pot and take it inside? I love the smell of this plant so please tell me how to keep it. I want to train it on a trellis outside if this is possible.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Letitia: Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) is native to the West Indies. It is grown year-round in USDA hardiness zones 9-11. It is considered a tropical for Kentucky gardeners.

We can certainly grow and enjoy the sweet scent of the flowers during the warmer months but it will not survive in the garden during the winter months. You can bring the plant inside to over-winter and then take it back outside after the frost-free date passes. Indoors it should be grown in the sunniest window possible- South-facing would be ideal. It will not likely bloom indoors but the idea is to keep it alive so it can be taken back outside. If you do this you will want to avoid placing it in direct sunlight when it goes back outside.

Place it in the shade initially and then gradually move it into the full sun. If you do not have space or desire to bring the plant inside to over-winter, you can always purchase a new one each year. Some plants are worth the yearly investment and in my opinion, this is one deserves to be on the list.

In a few short weeks, the garden centers will be filled with tropical plants. Night blooming jasmine is happiest growing where it will get 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. It can be grown in the ground or in a container. If grown in a container, fill it with good quality potting soil and be sure there are drainage holes.

It will be happy to have a trellis to grow on. Happy gardening!

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