Intro: The large white gardenia flower has a strong, sweet scent. Gardenia flowers come in many different shapes and sizes, but they are always white. Gardenia plant leaves are dark green and waxy. Flowers start to bloom mid-spring and extend into the summer. For a container garden, choose a gardenia variety that will grow well in plant containers (smaller varieties grow to about 2 feet tall), and provide acidic soil between 5.0 and 6.0. Potting soils have been developed especially for gardenias.
Scientific Name: Gardenia species
Plant Type: Perennial evergreen shrub grown for its flowers
Light: Full sun to light shade, depending on the variety.
Water: When it comes to watering your gardenia flowers, keep potting soil moist but never soggy. Don’t let water touch the flowers or they will turn brown.
Zone: Hardy from Zones 8 to 10. They thrive between 65 and 75 degrees. Bring gardenias grown in colder climates indoors for the winter.
Fertilizer: Fertilize monthly with acidifying fertilizer.
Pests and Diseases: Watch for white flies, aphids, thrips, scales and mealybugs. Diseases may include different types of fungus, root rot and bacterial problems.
Propagation: To propagate gardenia plants, take cuttings or divide the roots. When taking cuttings of gardenia, make sure to cut 5 inches and at least two sets of leaves on the tip. Remove any extra leaves on the cutting and plant it in a sand and peat mixture. Cover the gardenia cutting with a plastic bag with several slits cut into it to keep humidity high. Let the gardenia cutting root for at least six weeks and keep it at about 75 degrees. Plant gardenia flowers in the balcony garden in the fall.
Misc. Info: The difficult-to-grow Gardenia jasminoides is grown as a houseplant and kept in indoor gardens. This gardenia species does well in warm, humid areas that do not receive direct sunlight.
Bud drop, when flower buds fall off without blooming, can be an irritating problem with gardenia plants. Gardenias are finicky plants, so you may experience bud drop if the humidity is too low, if you are over- or underwatering your plant, giving it insufficient light, temperatures are too high or if the temperature fluctuates.
Prune your gardenias in early spring to create a nice shape to the bush, and deadhead to encourage more blooms.
The gardenia is the national flower of Pakistan.