Want to enjoy aromatherapy on hot summer nights? Bring home Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac). Or in Urdu, call it the gorgeous “motia” plant.
Arabian jasmine is a small bush with evergreen leaves. Flowers only show up in summers, making it highly popular in the Indus Plain. People love it for it’s exotic, sweet fragrance that fills the air on warm summer evenings.
Ikram Khan, a professional gardener at a local nursery in Karachi, tells us how to grow and take of the Arabian Jasmine.
Prefer sunny spots, but can go well in well-lit shady places as well. Low-light will just kill the plant or result in spindly growth and yellowing of the leaves.
It is important to give adequate water, but don’t overwater otherwise the roots will rot very quickly. Preferably water the plant daily in the evening just before the sun sets so the roots get maximum time to soak up water during the night.
Arabian Jasmine likes it dry sometimes so you can easily skip watering twice a week.
Clay or terracotta material is what you need for jasmine plants. You can’t afford to have water staying in the soil. For a well-drained soil you need pot material to help you get the excess water out.
To maintain a healthy balance of nutrients for the plant, make sure to have 50 percent soil and 50 percent garden manure. Repot the plant every year before summers and refresh the soil. If it’s implanted in the ground, don’t worry about the soil too much since the roots can get a supply of nutrients from the earth. Just in case you want to have lush bushes or enjoy a nice supply of pearly blooms, fertilize the plant in spring just before new growth appears.
Flowering plants are easily attacked by insects and pests. But there is nothing to worry about when you have neem trees around you. Grab some neem leaves and boil them; then spray the concentrated neem water thoroughly on the bushes and vines. Do it daily for a week or two and you will see a difference.
Never use pesticides in settings where people are in close contact with plants; either take plants to the nursery or isolate them to human-less zones if you spray them with chemicals.
- Tooba Ghani