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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to Care & Cultivate Orange Jasmine (Murraya Paniculata)

It's been sometime since my Orange Jasmine flowers bloomed. 
I hadn't noticed this as usually when they bloom its about few flowers in a cluster that there is nothing to shout about. Strange enough, this heavy bloom did take my attention and somehow I manage to take few pictures of them. 

The fragrance was flooding especially during the night, sort of gave that enchanted feeling whenever I pass by them. Wished I had them by my bedroom - but I doubt, I would consider sleeping with these as there were reports of their scent being poisonous or something. 

Probably, somethings are best when enjoyed little to moderation & I believe this is one of them. These flowers do not last more than a day as the petals fall out at dawn but new buds appear as soon as the old one collapses. 

Reminds me of those lovely lilies which last for a day - those spider lily where those too bloom during evening time.


Commonly known as Orange Jasmine, China Box or Mock Orange; Murraya paniculata appears to have strong citrus features however unlike most citrus foliage where they hold some citrus fragrance - this one does not have any fragrance on the fruit or rind or on it's leaves. 

However, the blooms does have a strong distinct fragrance during evening time and hence these are very much cultivated of the fragrance. Often cultivated as ornament plant for hedges and border as they are quite hardy and able to take heavy pruning. The stem appears to be semi-wood and will eventually hardened up when they get matured over the years.

Locally it is called Kemuning and these are also used as traditional medicines. Also some part of the roots and the wood are also utilized however it appears to be a vanishing trade as these woodworks and carpentry are lost  as passing of time. Wood works such as walking stick, wooden flute and such are passing away and replaced with plastic ware and working with such material can be time consuming as these wood are considered very strong and durable.



Being a Tropical Plant native surrounding regions of the Southern Asia - this plant does require good strong indirect bright sunshine, It can tolerate growing in shaded area however it must receive at least 6 hours of sunshine. It does not do well in heavy shaded area and may not bloom in such conditions. Also the leaves may turn yellow and also become leggy. Another factor in the lack of sunlight may cause the plant to become stress and can attract pest to heavily attack on them.

Hence do give a thought if your are not having open garden area as this would not so well as indoor plant - even placing them as a balcony potted plant can be challenging if they receive inadequate light.


Considering one of the most basic thing about planting material - this one doesn't require anything special - just any balanced potting mix will do. They seem to do fine in a medium or big potted plant - however they will do great if they are planted directly into the garden soil as these will require just that to produce those lovely blooms.

However if limitation occurs where you can only grow in pot - then a good balanced potting mix with rich amount of organic material and equal part of well drained soil which will help from root rot. 

Also unlike most Jasmine plants - this one have been commonly used as hedge border plant where they can be handle strong pruning and create a nice box-up design. However it does come with a price where you may have to discount the blooms - they often get trimmed out from the formation. 

Instance as such as these - they are often planted straight into open garden land where they are not in a pot - hence they appear hardy and able to take the heavy pruning.


It may require a good adequate watering - both morning and evening based on the size of the plant.
You can grow it in a nice medium or large size pot, the plant will behave and grow based on the size of the pot. However I would recommend this to grow freely on ground if you want lushful beautiful constant blooms.

Also this plant is a heavy feeder and do feed adequately during the flowering season.
However take note that over-watering can cause them to bud-drop especially during the rainy season, hence a well balance fast draining medium to ensure no root rot occurs.


One of the most challenging part for this shrub is pruning. They do grow extremely fast and become very unruly if not proper care is not given - especially when it comes to growth factor, this plant focus more on branching more stem and over growth rather than blooms which can be one of the down-side coming from this ever blooming plant.

However with the right pruning method and keeping it trimmed and manageable size - this one can be such a beauty. As shown here - the appearance of the blooms can last at least for few months until the next pruning session is done to maintain the blooming cycle from interruption.

This consideration applies very accurately when the plant is matured and had grown for years - that is if it is not flowering in its full potential. Other factors involving lighting / watering / feeding is also essential and necessary.


I had found this one seemed to be a hardy plant and have strong resistant to pest attack in comparison to many other floral plant. However this appearing to be very much like a citrus plant, they have similar pest problems with any other citrus plants. Often caterpillars are found at the new leaf shoots which can be quite damaging especially when the flower buds often formed in these tender areas.

Occasionally I had come across that if the plant is anyway stressed or lacking nutrients may face some damage on it's foliage but rarely fatal to the plant. 

Keeping the plant - Pruned and Compact does make the plant focused on its blooming cycle and also able to take immediate action if any unruly pest attack where pruning is much easily handled rather than spraying pesticide all over the plant.

Also I had found that caterpillars seemed to love the young tender shoots and buds that can cause considerable damage to the flowers - do keep an eye on butterflies when they visit on the blooms - most likely they may be laying eggs on them.

In may not be be very applicable around the Southeast regions where this plant is considered native however some other tropical regions where oranges and other citrus were farmed and cultivated can and may cause some serious issues if this plant is introduced without proper quarantine and protocol. It is best to check with local authorities if in doubt to avoid major outbreaks and complications. Also it is considered as an environmental weed in some parts of Australia and some regions.

Apart from this factor, other matters are very much similar with most tropical garden plants.


Propagation can be done but can be challenging to propagate if done wrongly - these are difficult to roots easily. Another alternative is seed propagation or marcotting - however it is too tedious that it would be much easier to just purchase the plant from a nursery that going through a lot trouble of trail and error in getting it right for the first time.

However it is known as birds do consume these seeds and propagated in the wild where it is found in its native regions.

If you are considered cultivating this particular Jasmine,  I would strongly recommend for you to cultivate these if you have the space and open bright sun for them to grow. The fragrance is very mesmerising and it is true - the fragrance is so much real like a Plumeria flowers, similar like a Bali theme garden emitting all over your garden.

Unlike most fragrant plants - Orange Jasmine has strong historic heritage over the centuries in some countries especially history and it's unique wood works were celebrated as culture and heritage.

Also, Do click on the link below for more information on Other Types of  Tropical Fragrant Flowers:


J.C. said...

I love Murraya Paniculata, the beautiful cluster of flowers and the fragrant. I placed mine near to the window and in the evening the fragrant would permeates into my living hall. It's smells so good! Great to see yours blooming, James.

Autumn Belle said...

When I see your lovely murraya, I remember that I had just bought a murraya seedling from Ipoh recently. It is still lying in a corner waiting for me to transfer to a nice 'home' from the plastic bag. Wow, when I was travelling home, it made the car smell so good. I just love the fragrance.

mr_subjunctive said...

One of my favorite houseplants, though they're basically impossible to find where I live anymore. Something about a citrus quarantine in Florida (Murraya isn't a Citrus, but it's in the same family, so the quarantine still applies, or something.).

Stephanie said...

Nice shots James! It's a lovely and pretty flower. I am sure the scent is superb as well. Smells like orange?

Noelle Johnson said...

I do love the fragrance of jasmine. I would love to have some by my bedroom window too!

Steve Asbell said...

I thought those flowers looked like citrus blooms... I looked around on google and can't find anything about it being poisonous. Your blog pops up though.

Ami said...

It does look like Citrus blossom :) I better that I love the smell of it!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

I bet the fragrance is incredible!

James David said...

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments.

Though its called orange jasmine, its doesn't smell anything close to a jasmine, rather The scent is very much smell like a frangipani.

I read somewhere in a web where a woman takes lot of this flower cutting and arrange it in her living. Somehow later she found that she started to have migrane and triggered a serious ailment because of its scent.

I can't really pinpoint and say where is the poison but its better to be safe than sorry. IF I do come across a good research piece concerning this plant, I would surely put it here for the reference.

Wendy said...

I could imagine the fragrance just by the title of this post! I think it's supposed to be good for the bedroom - from a "romantic" perspective. That's what a friend of my said anyway!

Anonymous said...

Hi James! I bought an orange jasmine last year and it bloomed beautifully. You're right about the fragrance. It's delightful! I'm waiting for mine to bloom...loved seeing these images.

James David said...

Thanks Wendy & Kanak for your lovely comments.
The flowers are slowly shedding their with petals and newer blooms are appearing.
The whole part is little with these white carpet.

Nandita Amin said...

I love your pictures of the orange jasmine...i have a plant in my garden which is covered with beautiful flowers when the monsoon sets in and the whole area is suffused with their heady fragrance. Hopefully they should bloom in about a month or so. enjoy your plant!

Mohammad Rouf said...

Thank you for the pictures of Murraya Paniculata. I have grown four of these plants from seeds coming from a flowering Murraya. The plants are one year old and about thirty-inch tall and slender and have not been flowering yet. Could you tell me how long would it to flower. I love these plants and and the fragrance is unparallel to any flowers that I know of including jasmine. My email is I will look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Mohammad Rouf

James David said...

Rouf - I think you may have to wait for another few years, you can speed up the process by pruning and feeding - that way the plant may shoot-up new shoots and age faster.
Another thing - this one needs good sunlight to bloom, so if you have kept it in a shade, it might really take a longer time for them to bloom.
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where i can buy an orange jasmine seedling?

James David said...

Where are you staying?

Anonymous said...


Kuan Yew said...

Sorry for bringing up this old post, can we use this plant as a screening hedge? I live in Kota Bharu. If not, could you suggest a few types of plants, with grow height of 6ft (max) that can be used as hedges. Flowering types would be a bonus. Fast growing too if possible.

Anonymous said...

Not flowering what should do

James David said...

Hi Kuan Yew,
Replying the messages

Sorry for bringing up this old post, can we use this plant as a screening hedge?
Yes you can

I live in Kota Bharu. If not, could you suggest a few types of plants, with grow height of 6ft (max) that can be used as hedges.
Golden Dewdrops and even bougainvillea

Flowering types would be a bonus. Fast growing too if possible.
Needs good sunlight for it to bloom - similar like a lime plant

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My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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