I’ve always thought of the gardenia as the southern belle in my garden, loving the warm nights and summer heat so prevalent in the south. Visions of a flower-filled courtyard in the moonlight, a heady fragrance in the evening air. A lovely lady wearing one in her hair. A gentlemen’s boutonniere.
These glossy evergreen shrubs are happy to grow here in our climate. A few things about gardenias worth mention:
-Get the grafted ones. They were originally developed for nematode resistance in the southern states, but it was discovered that grafted plants will utilize nutrients more efficiently, making them greener, more floriferous and vigorous.
– Food. Give them acid fertilizer regularly and you will be rewarded with many more flowers. Liquid food every 2 weeks, or granular monthly is best during the growing season (March – October).
– Plant them with acidic Planting Mix. It has great drainage, right out of the bag. Use it straight in containers, or mixed 50/50 with your native soil in the ground. While you’re at it, throw in your first dose of fertilizer.
-Flowers are most prolific when the nights are warm, so pick a nice warm spot. I like to put them near a walkway or window to best enjoy the wonderful fragrance. And yes, I bring the flowers inside- how could you not?
We like to stock these plants most of the year, but now is the best time to see them in bloom. Once you smell those flowers….come on by to see what I mean. Our staff is ready to tell you more if you have any questions.