Spring witnesses a profusion of flowers with private residences in Delhi vying with each other to showcase beautiful flowers.
The flowers attract all forms of life in the capital city. Birds perch on the leafless branches and sing merrily the songs of spring, butterflies hover over scarlet flowers as they dance in Delhi’s cool spring breeze and humans too can often be found distracted during a walk or a drive through the city, gaping at the magnificence of tulips, roses, begonias, poppies, Jafri et al. However, the rise in mercury soon leads to the delicate flowers wilting. But all is not lost. The colour of blooms is still there, albeit in another avatar; that of sturdy summer flowers.
Below is a list, in no particular order, of some flowers that are good to grow in Delhi NCR.
- Sunflower or Surajmukhi
- Marigold or Genda
- Chameli or Jasmine
- Kamal or Lotus
- Mogra or Arabian Jasmine
- Raat ki Raani
I love all flowers- the heady fragrance of mogra, the beautiful red of hibiscus, the cheerful yellow of sunflower, the elegance of frangipani, the allure of jasmine, the vibrancy of bougainvillaea, the purity of genda…one can go on and on. But if I was asked to write in detail about only one, as I have been asked to, it would be Raat ki Rani. Who can say it for this flower better than this poet has?
कुछ अजीब ही बात है इस रातरानी के सुगंध में,
गुलाब तक की सुगंध भुला देती है…
जिस तरह से श्याम रंग में रंगी है राधा,
उसी प्रकर चाँद के रंग में रंगी है ये,
तभी तो कभी अमावस्या को खिल ना पाई है ये.
चंद समय तो गुजारिये इसके साथ जनाब,
इस की गंध आप को जरूर किसी भूले भटके की,
यादो में ले जाने की हिम्मत रखती है,
तभी तो ये रात की रानी कहलाती है
So, here goes the nitty gritty of this beautiful sun soaking plant.
Raat ki Rani
Some of its characteristics are:
- Perfect plant for outdoor garden or for a sunny balcony
- Easy to care for, grow and maintain
- Raat ki Rani flowers have a very strong scent
How to Grow Raat ki Rani Flower / Night Jasmine Plant
The Raat ki Rani plant can be grown in pots outdoors as well as in open ground in your garden. Pot grown plants should be fertilised at least twice a month for fuller growth.
Night Jasmine is a very hardy plant that can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions. It grows well in either full sun or partial shade, but will not thrive and flower in full shade. It requires 4- 6 hours of sunlight to grow well and produce flowers. Excessive heat may cause the leaves to wilt. Therefore, in extreme weather conditions, shift the plant to a place with partial shade.
Best Soil Type/Potting Mix for Raat ki Rani Plant
The Raat ki Rani plant likes a well draining, fertile, moist, slightly sandy soil with a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.5 The soil should therefore be rich in organic matter. You can use a mix of 35% soil, 30% sand and 35% organic compost for this plant. Use well rotted cow dung manure or vermi-compost for the organic compost. The addition of a small amount of Neem cake will act as an insecticide as well as fertiliser for the plant.
The Raat ki Rani plant produces greenish creamy white tubular flowers that open In the night. The plant produces flowers in large bundles or groups throughout the warm weather. It stops flowering only in the winter season or cold weather. The plant blooms from March to October. When the flowers die, they produce white berries which are an attraction for a variety of birds, which will come and visit your garden.
Pruning/Repotting of Raat Ki Rani Plant
Start with a small pot and as the plant grows, repot the plant in a larger pot according to the size of the rootball. Regular pruning of the plant is required to maintain its size and shape. Since it is a vine or climber it can be trained on a fence or trellis, but if left to it’s own devices it will become very unruly. The best time to prune in the Delhi area is during the start of the flowering season i.e. February to March or after flowering stops in September/October
Winter Care of Raat Ki Rani Plant
The Night Jasmine plant cannot tolerate frost very well and should be protected from this in areas prone to this weather. Luckily, the Delhi NCR area does not commonly have frost in the winter season. During extreme winter, the plant may shed all its leaves and appear dead. However, don’t throw away your plant as it will regrow its foliage in the spring season and delight you with new blooms.
Watering / Irrigating Raat Ki Rani
Although the Raat ki Rani tree can withstand overwatering and is also drought tolerant once established, prolonged overwatering or underwatering can kill the plant as it stimulates root rot or root dry-out. Water the plant only when the top 3-4 inches feel dry when a finger is inserted in the topsoil. Night Blooming Jasmine needs to be watered regularly in the summers while the frequency of water should be reduced in the winter season. Do not spray the leaves and flowers with water as it may stimulate fungus growth. Watering should be done preferably in the morning or in the evening time.
Raat Ki Rani Benefits
- The flowers create a very peaceful fragrant atmosphere and are considered very lucky as per Vaastu Shastra.
- Raat ki Rani flowers are thought to reduce mental stress and are believed to help in muscular diseases.
- Night Jasmine flowers are used by many women in Asian countries for hair styling and decoration.
- The flowers are used to make perfumes.
- The plant is believed to bring positivity to one’s life.
- They are very good insect repellents, especially for mosquitoes.