Gardenia are very popular and a much-loved shrub, which originated from China. They thrive in the warm temperate climates.
The most popular varieties include:
- G. Augusta ‘Florida’, a glossy leaved evergreen shrub which grows to 1.2 -1.5 metres tall, it blooms pure white, heavily perfumed flowers. The blooms mainly occur in the warmer months.
- G. Augusta ‘Magnifica’ Resembles the G. Augusta ‘Florida’ but has larger flowers and grows to 1.5 – 2.0 metres tall.
- G. Augusta ‘Radicans’ is a prostrate ground cover with smaller leaves and flowers than the taller varieties, but is known to flower in greater profusion.
- G. x ‘Gold Magic’ has white flowers that turn to a lemon colour before falling.
- G. x ‘Aimee Yoshiba’ has a similar growth habit to ‘Florida’, with larger flowers, and larger, more open foliage.
Gardenias perform best in areas of semi shade – dappled light, or morning sun. Although, sometimes they can be seen growing in a full sun position. If this is the case and the sun is too intense, their foliage has to potential to burn resulting in damage to the flowers. The ideal soil is acidic which has been enriched with composted organic matter.
Gardenias grow quite well in containers. When planting in containers, select a pot of appropriate size. Use a Premium Potting Mix (like Debco Pot Power) and ensure that the pot can drain freely. Although the gardenia likes to be kept just moist, it must never be allowed to sit in a saucer or pool of water. Take great care in summer to ensure the plant is adequately watered, as they can dry out very quickly.
Gardenias tend to leach trace elements from the soil.
Patterned yellowing of the leaves may indicate manganese or magnesium deficiencies. These can be corrected by the addition of appropriate trace elements or using an enriched fertiliser.
Granular food can be used on bed planted gardenia. We suggest Osmocote + Organics Rose, Gardenias & Azaleas 800 grams.
It is important to prune back at least every second year after flowering has occurred, this will prevent the plant from become “leggy” and sparse.
Gardenia may be attacked by mealy bug – this insect must be eradicated by using a systemic spray such as ‘Confidor’
Scale (notably white wax scale) can be treated with ‘Pestoil’, otherwise seek advice from your local IGC store.