The gallant at night is a highly appreciated shrub not only for its pretty appearance, but also for its rare ability to embellish and flavor the afternoons and evenings of every garden or green space. If you want to know how to grow your own gallant at night and his care to have it in the best possible conditions, keep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article.
Characteristics of the frankincense plant
Also called lady of the night and with the scientific name of Cestrum nocturnum, the gallant at night is a shrub of the Solanaceae family that comes from the American continent. can reach heights up to five metersalthough it can be grown perfectly in a pot, where logically its size is much smaller.
Its leaves, oval and with long petioles, are of a pleasant light green colour, but the most beautiful are its clear, white or greenish-yellow inflorescences, which the plant forms in clusters of many flowers, which from the last hours of the day and throughout the night are especially fragrant. Night beau blooms from late spring and, if conditions are right, throughout the summer.
The branches of the bush are quite long and almost hanging when they grow up to 70 cm, which they can reach. It should be mentioned, however, that both the plant and its flowers and fruits are toxicso special care must be taken to keep children and pets away from it.
If you want to know more about Solanaceae: what they are and examples, we recommend this other article.
Location for the gallant of the night
If you don’t know where to plant a night lover, look for an outdoor area, preferably always in semi-shade. The night lover can tolerate exposure to full sun, but only in mild climates and without intense summers. In a semi-shaded area it will always develop better.
If it is about how to take care of a potted night lover, the instructions are basically the same: preferably place it outdoors and in semi-shade, always using a deep enough pot.
Floor for the gallant of the night
The Cestrum nocturnum It is not demanding in terms of soil, being the only important point, as in so many other species, since it must be offered a drainage as best as possible. Excess moisture in the soil is highly likely to cause root rot on this plant, so it is imperative that it be in well-drained soil or substrate and, if potted, have drainage holes.
A universal mixture with peat, coconut fiber and earthworm humus in equal parts will give great results, while on land it will be enough to look for light soil and aerate and loosen it. If it’s not enough, you can add perlite and vermiculite or dig a hole about 50 cm deep and fill it with potting mix.
We leave you these other two articles from EcologíaVerde on Perlite for plants: what it is, what it is for and how it is used and Vermiculite: what it is, uses and how to make it.
Irrigation for the gallant at night
Although he can’t stand flooding, the gallant at night needs a frequent watering keep some level of moisture in your soil, especially during the warmer months. Therefore:
- in the warm months: from spring to summer it is common to water every 48 hours.
- in the cold months: about two weekly waterings will suffice.
In a pot, it is important to remove the excess water from the dish about 10 minutes after watering.
Night beau subscriber
If we want the bush to produce a good number of its characteristic flowers and to develop well, during the spring and summer it is necessary to provide it with fertilizer. We recommend, as whenever possible, resorting to organic fertilizers such as compost, bokashi or earthworm humus, the latter especially beneficial for the garden.
In this way, you will be able to keep your plants healthy and strong without resorting to chemical products. Add a few inches of fertilizer to the soil every two weeks, around the base of the plant.
If you want to know more, here is information about Bokashi: what it is and how to make it or How to make earthworm humus.
Pruning and transplanting the gallant at night
Although it is not necessary to carry out pruning as such and regular maintenance is sufficient, removing dry and withered leaves, the bush can be pruned after the first annual flowering in order to promote a more abundant and vigorous second flowering.
It is vital, as always, to use well-sharpened and properly sterilized tools for each use.
Why do the leaves of the lady of the night turn yellow?
If you have a gallant at night with yellow and wrinkled leaves, it may be due, usually, to an excess of watering that causes waterlogging in the soil and damage to its roots. Reduce watering immediately and observe the evolution of the plant, checking the level of moisture in the soil before watering each time.
There are not many diseases of the night beau, since if it is not watered excessively the plant is not particularly susceptible to fungal attack. Like many other species, it is vulnerable to attack by aphids, whiteflies and red spidersbut these pests can be combated by the usual methods, such as potassium soap.
To learn more about the subject, visit these other EcologíaVerde articles on home remedies to eliminate aphids on plants or whitefly: how to eliminate it.
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