I am barefoot, walking in a beautiful and vast moonlit garden. A gentle breeze permeates the humid, night air with heavenly scents of evening primrose, jasmine, hibiscus and gardenias. I am alone but the sounds of flowing water and soft splashing from the frogs in my pond comfort me. The scent coming from my gardenias near me are intoxicating and deeply alluring. I lean down to inhale the scent from a gardenia flower, so fragile but glowing and some soft and wet hits my face. It startles me and I open my eyes to realize it was only a dream and I have fallen asleep in my lounge chair on the lawn and the sprinkler has drenched me! Crap, what a disappointment…LOL.
Hello my gardening friends. I hope all is well with your gardens. The weather here has been unseasonably cool and my warm weather loving plants are anxious for a little warmth. I personally am suffering from a bit of homesickness for all of my favorite southern flowering plants, in particular, Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides).
I recently purchased two miniature plants called: Gardenia jasminoides ‘Radicans’. Because I live in Zone 6B, near Lake Ontario, I am going to keep them in large containers so I can bring them in during the harsh winters here. The indoor temperatures for over wintering are between 65 -70 during the day and 10 degrees cooler at night. I will be using a humidifier at night to keep the leaves moist and provide the plants with lighting from my growing lamps. This particular variety is usually hardy for Zone 8-11 and will grow about 12 in tall and 3 ft wide and will bloom in this summer (typically May-July). They make excellent Border and woodland garden plants and I have included them in several garden designs in Northern and Southern gardens.
A few additional tips about Gardenias:
– They flourish in very high humidity
– Cape Jasmine/Common Gardenia grows between 4 to 8 feet in height and spread
– Need to be planted in loose, well drained ,slightly acidic & rich soil with a pH around 5-6
– Feed after blooming with a acidic fertilizer
– Remove dead flowers to encourage new bud growth
– Pruning should be done in spring
– Need partial shade – full sun
– Water weekly if less than an inch of rain falls or more during high heat -do not over water
– Adding a thick layer of mulch to keep the roots cool
– Check you plants regularly for white flies, aphids, spider mites, scales, thrifts, mealybugs and for signs of bud drop, a common disease for this plant.
I will keep you posted on the plants progress. Enjoy your weekend!