How to Grow and Care for Gardenia Plants
With their fragrant flowers and shinny green leaves, Gardenias can enhance the curb appeal of any outdoor space. Their vibrant foliage can provide greenery all year round and this the main reason why they are commonly found in the gardens of many passionate gardeners who want to have a bountiful garden all four seasons. As part of the madder or Rubiaceae family, the Gardenia plant can grow in either shrubs, which with proper care can reach 1.5 m in height. The plant was named after Alexander Garden, a Scottish botanist and physician, but they’re not native to Scotland, instead they were originally thriving only in forests in Japan and China. These days there are more than 200 known gardenia species cultivated throughout the world.
Most gardenia species are delicate plants that require special care to reach their full potential. When cared for properly, they produce bushes of dark green foliage that can add texture and variety to your garden. The lovely blossoms of the Gardenia plant usually have a creamy white hue, but some species have yellow flowers with hints of purple spots. The flowers blossom in late winter or early spring and during this blossoming period a large orange berry is produced that although has a bitter taste, looks very sweet and appealing against the dark green background. To enjoy in the beautiful sight of blooming Gardenias, you first need to learn more about the planting and growing requirements of these ornamental plants.
- Soil Conditions
Gardenias can thrive as both regular garden plants or potted shrubs, but need a soil with specific features to develop healthy roots. They’re best grown in well-drained soil that has an acidic level between 4.5 to 5.5 pH. However, you have to make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry, otherwise your Gardenias will develop soggy roots. The best way to ensure your plants will retain moisture yet not get too wet is by adding peat moss to the soil, which has acidic properties, so is the ideal choice for acid loving plants.
While Gardenias thrive in humidity, too much water can damage their leaves and flowers. Avoid overwatering your plants since this can cause fungi to grow on the leaves and ruin their distinctive oval shape. Also, when planting Gardenias, make sure the plants are spaced properly from one another leaving them enough room for air flow can prevent fungal issues. A great gardening tip is to plant them in a pot filled with pebbles. This means that watering will be done through the pebbles that can prevent overwatering, while at the same time deliver the required amount of moisture to the plants.
- Light and Temperature
Gardenias need plenty of sunshine, so you would like to plant them in areas of your garden that get considerable amount of sun light throughout the day. In addition beaming sun light, temperature is another essential factor that can have a major influence on the growing conditions of the Gardenia plant. It grows best on temperatures between 18 and 21°C during the day and at night their ideal temperature would be around 15-18°C.