Gardenia Care Instructions

Must-follow Instructions for Gardenia Care

Gardenia - the mere mention of the flower fills your mind with fragrant thoughts. Doesn't it? Small, pretty flowers that attract many an on-looker. Find out more about gardenia care instructions here in the following write-up...
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Who doesn't love flowers? Flowers are of various varieties. Flowers add to the beauty of any environment, be it an engagement, or a wedding, or a birthday party or any occasion that comes to your mind. Flowers are always the first preference when it comes to decorations. The simple reason is that, flowers can change the look and feel of the place. Ornamental flowers are very attractive and thus very popular. One such flower is the gardenia. It belongs to the family of flowering plants of the genus Rubiaceae. They are mostly found in abundance in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Australia, etc. where the climate is suitable.

What are Gardenias?
Gardenias are evergreen shrubs with small flowers growing in clusters. The color of the flower ranges from creamy white to a pale yellow. Originally from China and Japan, they are very popular in the southern part of the United States, where they are used as ornamental decorations. Their leaves are dark green and have a glossy look, which make the flowers to stand out to grab the attention of the onlookers. They are also very fragrant and so attractive that people are drawn to them. There are about 250 species of gardenia.

Gardenias are such plants that can thrive indoors as well as outdoors. They can also be grown in greenhouses. The only thing required is that they need to be tended accordingly. Caring for a gardenia plant can be a bit tricky. For a plant to grow and produce flowers it requires a suitable climate and temperature. Gardenias can grow in any soil, as they are adaptive to the type of soil they are planted in. Depending on the species, the plant can grow up to a height of eight feet. When grown outside, they will grow happily even in partial shade, but when it comes to grow them indoors, they require maximum sunlight. The best time to plant this flower sapling is around spring or fall when the temperature is appropriate.

Gardenia in a Pot
Gardenias can also be grown in bushes, by pruning them according to the size required. But one has to be careful when pruning them. Gardenias should be pruned only after the flowering season ends. Planting the sapling in a pot requires special care. One must take care to avoid excess humidity, as it may prove harmful for the plant. Potted plants can be kept in a bright area but extreme or direct exposure to the sunlight must be avoided. Putting pebbles at the bottom of the pot and filling it half with water, before adding the soil, can help retain moisture. But take care that there is no standing water, as dampness may attract fungal growth.

Gardenia Care Instructions for Watering
Gardenias need a lot of water but one must be careful not to let the water stagnate as it may lead to rotting of the plant. They grow well in loose, well-drained organic soil. In order to plant a gardenia, one must check out the pH value of the soil. Under watering is also equally harmful as the plant may wither. Allow water to flow freely if it is planted in the garden. But if it is potted, use a water spray. Water the plant on a regular basis.

Care for Gardenia Planted in Soil
Gardenia bushes can also be planted in soil, which should be suitable for the growth of the plant. With the onset of autumn, the leaves will become dull and turn yellow, which is a natural process. However if you notice the leaves turning yellow right from the beginning, then the plant may be getting inadequate nutrition. This can also affect the flowering of the bush, which may produce unhealthy flowers, which turn brown soon after blooming. To avoid this, make sure you use a proper fertilizer for the plant. A routine analysis of the roots also helps prevent this problem.

Gardenia Care During Winter
Gardenias originated in China, where the winters are mild. As the temperature of winters may vary from place to place one needs to take care while gardening. In order to grow these flowering plants in the winter one must provide them with ample sunlight. Keep the pot in such a place where the plant is dappled with sunlight.

Gardenia - Diseases and their Remedies
Plants, like human beings, too suffer from diseases. If left unattended, the disease can spread leading to the destruction of the plant. Following is the list of a diseases and their remedies.
  • Canker: This disease is caused by a fungus Phomopsis gardeniae. The symptoms of this disease are bloating of the stem, appearance of greenish yellow patches, which tend to affect the plant's growth. These patches lead to the slow death of the plant. The remedy for this is to remove the affected parts.
  • Bacterial Leaf Spot: As the name suggests, this disease is caused by the bacterium- Pseudomonas gardeniae, Xanthomonas campestris cv. Maculifolium-gardeniae. This bacteria attacks the tender leaves, leaving small, round spots which after a period of time turn into big lesions. This infection may lead to premature falling of leaves. In order to avoid this infection, it's advisable not to water the plant from the top, but to allow free flow of water.
  • Bud Drop: This is caused due to extreme climatic conditions. It mainly occurs due to low intensity of light, especially during winters when the sunlight is low or due to extreme night temperatures. In order to avoid bud drops, the soil must be well watered and be able to maintain moisture, but it should not be clogged.
  • Parasites: The main parasite that attacks this bush is fungus. Fungal growth can be seen on the leaves as well as stems of the shrub. They appear as yellow colored outgrowths and can harm the plant, leading to its degeneration. Avoiding extremely damp situations can eliminate fungal diseases.
You should also take proper care while pruning. Growing gardenias can be a pleasurable experience as they are plants that need low maintenance. But they need to be tended with gentle loving care in order to reap floral benefits. Follow these gardenia care instructions and see your plant bloom in health.