Today's topic is Gardenia Plant Care.
Gardenia is a genus of tropical flowering plants which
includes 142 species belonging to the Rubiaceae or coffee family.
It is native to subtropical and tropical regions in Africa and
Southern Asia. Several known species grow on the Hawaiian
Islands where it is known as Na'u or Nanu.
Gardenia plants are evergreen shrubs. The flowers, white or yellow,
develop into a single blossom or into a group of blossoms and have
a strong, long lasting scent.
|Gardenia 'Diamond's Fragrant Delight'|
Popular species include....
- Gardenia coronata
- Gardenia jasminoides
- Gardenia nitida
- Gardenia taitensis
In China, Gardenia jasminoides is called Zhi zi, and the Japanese
call it Kuchinashi. In both countries the yellow flowers are used as
a dye for clothes and food.
Gardenia taitensis is the National Flower of Tahiti.
Several decades ago in France, gardenia flowers were used by men
as boutonnieres for special occasions. Today gardenia flowers continue
to cater to special occasions of weddings and proms.
Jazz singer Billie Holiday called gardenia flowers her trademark.
She wore the flowers in her hair.
Gardenias can also be part of special floral presentations such as
floating water blooms.
Gardenia flowers with their delightful scent are also used to make
Caring for gardenia plants....
When purchasing gardenia plants it is better to start with small
developing plants than buying plants full of buds. Gardenia plants
will need time to adjust to the new environment of your home.
It's hear-breaking to purchase a plant full of buds just to watch the
plant drop bud after bud once you bring it home.
The smaller developing plants adjust easier to their new environment,
and once adjusted will continue the development of their buds and
Gardenia plants prefer partial sun and grow and flower very well under
Gardenias are considered subtropical and tropical plants and therefore
prefer night temperatures not lower than 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit
or 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.
Many gardenia plants are prone to root diseases. Growing them in clay
pots can reduce the risk as the soil dries out faster in clay pots.
It's best to water gardenia plants when the surface of the soil looks and
feels dry. When watering it's important to water gardenias thoroughly until
water drips through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Make sure there is no water left in the plant saucer after the drainage
process is complete.
Gardenia plants prefer acidic soil meaning the soil ph is less than 7.
If the soil is not acid enough, many nutrients, including iron, cannot be
absorbed by the roots and gardenia plants develop Chlorosis which
causes the leaves to turn yellow.
Some gardeners pour a small amount of vinegar at the top of the soil
to prevent or treat mild cases of Chlorosis.
It is not recommended to use "hard" tap water on your gardenias.
If your tap water is very hard, adding some vinegar to the water in your
watering can also lower the ph level of your tap water.
When it comes to fertilizing your gardenias, any fertilizer for flowering
plants can be used. It is best to use the fertilizer at 1/4 strength of the
Using a fertilizer designed for acid loving plants reduces the risk for
Humidity should be 50% or higher. If your humidity is low, misting the
plants daily or using a humidifier benefits your gardenias greatly.
Using a humidifier, especially during the colder months of the year, not
only benefits your plants, but your family and pets as well.