The gardenia is a lovely plant that not only offers you beauty but also natural fragrance. Gardenias come in different forms, and you can find them as ground covers, shrubs or even potted plants. The sweet smell emanating from their beautiful flowers is what makes gardenias very popular for plant lovers. In addition to their beauty and fragrance, established gardenias do well even in very cold weather and are able to resist frost.
The gardenia is known to thrive when it is exposed to the morning sun, after which it is partly shaded for the rest of the day. This means that it may not do very well when exposed to the midday sun or the hot afternoon sun, as the heat tends to burn the soft flowers. It is therefore advisable that they be grown in an area that receives shade after 11 am.
An essential aspect of growing gardenias is to ensure that the soil is moist all the time. To keep the soil around the gardenia moist, you can use cow manure, sugar cane or straw. A wetting agent can be added to each bucket of mulch to ensure that as much water as possible is absorbed when watering the plant. Mulching ensures your gardenias produce an abundance of flowers and that the plant has a beautiful rich dark green color.
Gardenias are excellent when planted in containers. If you want your gardenia to thrive, ensure that you plant it in a container of the right size. The container should also be able to drain properly. This is because gardenia does not like to be kept wet. However, ensure that the soil is moist at all times. This means that extra attention should be given to gardenia during the hot summer days as they tend to dry out very fast. A potting mix that is free of lime should be used to ensure that the pH is acidic. A mix of camellia and azalea would be suitable.
Gardenia can only do well in moist soils. This means that you should water your gardenias regularly to ensure that they remain healthy and are able to produce an abundance of flowers. Installing a drip irrigation system along the roots of your gardenias would ensure that the soils are moist all the time.
To get the best crop of gardenia, you have to apply fertilizer generously. It is interesting to note that gardenias are actually a part of a group of plants including roses and hibiscus that require plenty of fertilizer to grow well. You should use fertilizer used for acid loving plants. For best results, you should either use a liquid or a slow release fertilizer. Fertilizer is best applied during the growing season, which spans between October and March.
Gardenia is normally infested by caterpillars, aphids and hibiscus beetles. The best way therefore to save your gardenias the agony of pests is to detect them as early as possible. You can then use organic PestOil, which not only kills the pests but also disables any resultant diseases brought about by the pests. Pestoil should be sprayed every three weeks to get the best results.