Gardenia is an elegant and sweet-smelling flowering shrub with white rose-like blossoms and deep-green foliage that lasts through the year.
If you’re growing these plants in your garden, you have to give them the proper care in various aspects. Soil, temperature, and sunlight are some of the areas you have to make right for them.
Here, let us show you how to take care of gardenias. Further down, we’ll also share helpful tips so you can have them standing proud and fantastic at your home!
Growing Gardenia Plants
The evergreen plant can be put indoors or outdoors. They prefer a temperature that’s relatively warm between 60℉ and 82℉.
They love bright and partial sunlight. Keep in mind that you mustn’t grow them under the full heat of the sun because their leaves will wilt and dry, eventually causing them to die.
Now the soil has to be acidic from 5 to 6.5 on the pH scale. However, if you’ve tested the soil to have a higher pH, apply agricultural sulfur to the planting hole to correct it.
Furthermore, gardenia needs fertile and well-draining soil to absorb the most nutrients and remain healthy. To do this, work compost or organic matter into the soil before you plant them.
As for its fertilizer needs, the plant needs to be fed frequently to grow fast and healthy. However, use only one that’s formulated for acid-favoring plants to suit them.
It’s ideal to give them fertilizer in the middle of March or late June. Also, apply less than the recommended dosage on the label to prevent overfeeding them.
Care Tips for Gardenias
You have to spread mulch around the plant to control weeds and retain moisture. Note that the mulch should be two to four inches thick.
Water them enough to slightly wet the top surface of the soil. Doing this weekly should suffice most of the time, but you have to do more than that if the soil has dried.
Pruning is not a matter of absolute urgency for gardenias. Doing that every other year is fine, and for this, you have to target wilted blooms and straggling leaves using sharp garden shears.
Want to propagate or breed gardenias? Spring is the best time to do this.
For this, you will have to cut from the plant’s stem and allow the roots to grow out at the base. Give the roots ample time to grow before winter because they would have to be dormant then to survive.
And, quite unfortunately, gardenias are pest-prone, requiring high maintenance. Pests that can affect them include aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, scale insects, and spider mites.
But you can combat them using organic neem oil and insecticidal soap, which won’t harm the plants, people, and the planet.