The Beginner's Guide To Growing And Caring For Gardenias

Gardenia is a genus of flowering shrubs and trees. It is a common sight in regions with tropical and subtropical climates. The immense popularity of gardenias arises from their fragrant blossoms and rich green foliage. There are more than 250 species of gardenia. Of these, popular ones in the United States include August Beauty, Kleim's Hardy, Radicans, and Aimee Yashioka. These evergreens have a flowering period that commences mid-spring and lasts up to the middle of summer. 

Care of Gardenias

Gardenias love sunshine and grow best when exposed to the sun, except during the summer season when they need partial shade. Ideally, gardenia plants should face the morning sun. They grow best in a daytime temperature range of 68 F- 74 F. Gardenias near windows or as potted plants on a patio will allow you to enjoy their fragrance. Fall and spring are the ideal times for planting gardenias.

Gardenias flourish in acidic soil with pH below 7.0. Test the soil pH, if the soil is too basic in nature, then add sulfur to bring the pH down in the range of 5.0 - 6.0. Moist soil and good drainage are other essential requirements. Gardenias are shallow-rooted plants and require space for the roots to spread.

Planting Gardenias

Crowding these plants with other shrubs or plants can affect their growth. Leave a space of at least three feet between two gardenia shrubs. Do not allow weeds to grow around the plant as these compete for moisture and nutrition. 

Prepare a hole that is as deep as the root ball of the plant and at least twice as wide. This rule remains the same even if you're planting gardenias in pots. Place the root ball in the hole. Fill half the hole with a mix of compost and soil. Water it.

This will moisten the soil and remove air pockets. Wait till the water drains away. Fill up the hole and water again. Apply a layer of organic mulch such as saw dust, wood chips, or pine needles. This layer should be at least two inches thick.

This mulch will retain moisture and encourage the plant's roots to spread. Keep the base of the plant free of mulch to enable easy percolation of water to the roots. 

Dangers of Overwatering

Avoid watering the leaves and flowers too heavily as the wetness can lead to fungal growth. The plants need frequent watering when in bloom. As a rule of thumb, weekly watering equivalent to one inch of rainfall suffices for this plant. Add acidifying fertilizer every month during the growth period. For fully-grown plants, add fertilizer twice a year, in spring and summer.

An attack by pests such as mealybugs and aphids should be treated with horticultural oil. You can prune gardenias once every two years to shape them and maintain their size with respect to the space available in your garden.

The best time to prune these elegant white-flowered plants is when they have finished blooming for the year. This is usually when summer season is drawing to a close. For more information, contact a company such as High Camp Supply with any questions or concerns you might have.

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Hosting Fall Parties

Fall is an amazingly beautiful time of the year. This fun season is a great time to host parties at your home. This can especially be the case if you live in an area of the country that experiences excruciatingly hot summers. When hosting fall parties, consider decorating your place with lovely flowers from a local florist. For instance, you might want to buy a colorful floral arrangement to place on the center of your dining room table. You may also wish to invest in a couple of hanging baskets for your front porch. On this blog, I hope you will discover the benefits of utilizing a florist to help you decorate for all sorts of fall events.

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