Gardenia is not the easiest plant to grow, but its beauty is worth the efforts. Gardenia flower is popular among perfume makers due to its prominent fragrance. The flower’s delicate beauty and brilliant white color will make any garden look beautiful.
Are you interested in planting gardenia? Here is everything you must know about planting this fragrant flower at home.
Types of Gardenia Flower
Gardenia is one of the most popular flowers from tropical regions. Hailing from Africa, Oceania, Australasia, and South Asia, this flower has been developed into numerous varieties. Some of the most common include:
Crown Jewel is a type of African gardenia. It has double rosette blooms with dark, leathery leaves. The flower is small but very fragrant, and able to withstand a cold climate.
Golden Magic has rare gardenia color, ranging from soft yellow to gold. The flower is small and ideal for a container garden.
Scent Amazing Cape Jasmine
This gardenia is a shrub type, with compact foliage and small, single blooms. The plant blooms from summer to fall in sporadic patterns.
Miami Supreme is a large-bloom variety, and the flowers only show up from spring to summer. The flowers look like roses and emanate strong fragrance.
Another large variety, Belmont is a favorite for indoor planting. Belmont has rose-like blooms with ivory white color. The fragrance is strong, and the foliage is lustrous.
Buttons are small white gardenia plants with single-layer blooms. This variety is slightly more tolerant to heat than other types.
Chuck Hayes is a favorite for outdoor planting because it can handle frost. It blooms from spring to summer, and sometimes to fall.
Radicans are perhaps the hardiest variety among others. The flower was created to handle drought and cold. It is also a dwarf variety, making it perfect for containers or ground covering.
Steps to Plant Gardenia Outdoor
Many gardenia varieties cannot handle frost, so make sure you choose a cold-resistant plant for outdoor planting. Start by buying healthy starter plant, which has characteristics such as compact foliage and green, shiny leaves. Here are the steps to plant your gardenia:
Choose the right spot
Pick a spot in the garden that receives full sun, but with partial shade. The soil must be rich, well-drained, and loose, with a pH range of 5 to 6.
Work the soil up
If the soil is poor, work it up with peat moss, manure, or compost. Avoid planting near concrete, since the material can increase the surrounding soil’s pH level.
Plant the flower properly
Dig a hole with a diameter that is twice of the root ball’s size. Plant the gardenia until the root ball is half covered by soil, and water it thoroughly. Cover the rest of the root ball and pack it before watering it again.
Mulch the plant
Mulching will protect your gardenia from frost and weed. Use pine leaves if possible, because they can keep the soil acidity at a healthy level.
Fall or spring is an ideal time to plant gardenia. Make sure you provide at least 3 inches (8 cm) of space between each plant. If you want to enjoy a great fragrance, plant gardenias near your windows or door.
How to Care for Gardenia
Gardenia flower care requires proper watering, pruning, and fertilizing. Here are several methods to keep your plant healthy:
Gardenia needs moist soil to grow healthily, but excessive watering can cause a fungal problem. Keep the soil moist, but avoid wet leaves (water from the bottom). Gardenia needs daily watering when growing, but you can cut it back when the plant is past blooming season.
Growing gardenia gets enough nutrients from organic matters in the soil. However, once the plant is established, fertilize it twice a year (ideally every March and October). Choose water-soluble fertilizer, with a component such as 6-6-6 or 10-10-10.
Deadhead and prune
Once your gardenia goes past the blooming season, remove all the dead flowers. Prune the decayed or yellowed leaves, and leave the healthy ones.
These methods apply for pot or container gardenias. If you plant gardenias in pots, place them near the window or anywhere with a natural light source.
Common Gardenia Pests
Gardenias are prone to pest problems. There are several common pests that you have to be aware of. They are:
Aphids can cause decayed leaves, stunted growths, and poor-looking flowers. You can pick up aphids manually if they appear in small numbers. Other solutions include horticultural soap/oil and regular pesticide.
Scales are small insects that look like a fungal infection at first glance. Scales consume saps and cause wilted, yellowed, or decayed plants. Use an insecticide to remove scales since they reproduce quickly.
Citrus whiteflies in small numbers don’t cause large damage. However, when they are abundant, they can cause mold and stunt the plant’s growth. Use horticultural oil or soap regularly to remove the smallest presence of whiteflies.
When the pests infect most of your gardenias, remove them immediately to be sterilized. Treat the other healthy plants with pesticide or insecticide.
Gardenia Flower Meaning
Gardenia is exclusively white, which makes it a symbol of purity and innocence. However, the elegant form and strong fragrance make it popular as wedding bouquets. It reflects hope and protection, which are good wishes for anyone who steps into marriage.
Gardenia flower meaning is also related to more innocent relationship, such as between friends and family members. This flower is popular as a gift, which reflects trust and friendship. Giving this flower to loved ones inform that you trust them.
Gardenia is mostly white, but rare pink gardenia is often sold as a more intimate expression. Painted gardenias are often used to convey more specific sentiments. Red gardenia reflects passionate love, while blue gardenia means calmness.
Finally, the white color and delicate shape of gardenia reflect self-reflection and intuition. Having this flower in a small pot will induce creativity, clarity, and thoughtfulness in daily life.
Gardenia combines delicate beauty with beautiful foliage and great fragrance. Gardenia flower decorates your garden and pots from spring to fall. It requires delicate treatment, but once established, the plant is quite easy to work with. Make sure to use proper planting and maintenance steps to get beautiful blooms.