Gardenia plant belongs to the madder family, and comes from Japan and China. Gardenia flower is a very beautiful plant. In natural conditions it grows as brushwood up to a meter and a half in height, one can find gardenia bush growing freely. The leaves are thick, bright-green, shiny, with pointed ends. The leaves are up to 10 cm long. The flowers are mostly snow-white, large, 7-10 cm in diameter. Depending on the type of gardenia flowers can be either double or plain. What a pleasure is to look at this beautiful white gardenia plant!
House gardenia flower is a jasmine-type gardenia or, as it is often called jasmine gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides). The other common names of this plant are cape jasmine, or Gardenia Augusta, or Gardenia Veitchii – a beautiful white gardenia flower. One more of its names is August Beauty Gardenia. The plant is called jasmine-type because of the delicate fragrance of the flowers. Gardenia care requires many works to do and a lot of patience to have. So before you bring Gardenia Jasminoides home, think over whether you will be able to stand its fragrance in the closed premises. If there is no problem with it, the house plant Gardenia flowers will decorate any interior.
Apart from common gardenia flowers, there are also special cultivated frost proof gardenia plants. Their feature is improved cold resistance. Frost proof gardenia prefers full sun, so you should consider it when planting and growing one.
Another rather well-known gardenia varieties are dwarf gardenia, gardenia thunbergia, daisy gardenia (also referred to as gardenia radicans), and more. All of them can be bushes, shrubs, little trees (besides, gardenia bonsai figures are very popular among those who like this art.
GARDENIA CARE INDOORS. GROWING GARDENIA
Unfortunately, growing gardenia flower cannot be called simple, as it requires special technology. Gardenia fragrance is a common topic for florists to speak of. This flower is rather capricious and demanding for care. Air temperature for gardenia plant should be not lower than 15-18 degrees but not higher than 24-25 degrees above zero. You should be the most careful in winter. Gardenia roots must not be overchilled. To guarantee this, gardenia flower must not be put on a cold windowsill, you better put the pot on the foam plastic or take some other warming support. Don’t take gardenia augusta to the balcony in summer. Gardenia doesn’t like sharp temperature changes.Air humidity must be high but you should sprinkle the gardenia bush very carefully especially in the period of buds initiation and blossoming. Drops at sprinkling should be very tiny and not fall onto the buds and flowers, i.e. you should sprinkle only the air around the plant, but not the plant itself. It is easier to put the house plant Gardenia Jasminoides on the pebble in the tray with water or in the damp moss (sand), but in the way that the pot doesn’t touch the water. Thus, water evaporation will create the necessary humidity around the plant but the roots won’t be wet all the time.
Gardenia Jasminoides requires abundant watering with soft warm water but don’t forget to remove the excess moisture from the tray. You should be especially careful about watering while the plant is blossoming. Don’t let the soil be over-dried or over-wet. The soil must be always damp but never wet. If you violate this rule gardenia can lose the buds. You can also notice your gardenia leaves turning yellow – it can be of the same reason.Gardenia care involves bright light needed for the plant to grow well. But you should remember that direct sunrays at noon influence jasmine-type gardenia too bad, it is better to shadow the plant at this period. A short answer to the question: How should gardenia care be performed? The answer is simple: the best care of gardenia jasminoides is moderateness in everything. Even the shift of the pot can influence gardenia flower (especially when it is blossoming), the plant can lose buds as well as in the case with wrong watering. You should not forget about nourishing when growing gardenia plants. In spring and in summer the plant should be nourished every 7-10 days with special gardenia fertilizer in lessened concentration that include phosphorus and potassium but no calcium. The plant does not need nourishing in autumn and in winter. Gardenia fertilizer is available in common florist shops.One more fact of gardenia care is that in order to have a beautiful plant gardenia pruning should be done properly. If you want to have a thick gardenia bush you should nip the tops of young plant’s sprouts, but in case of the old gardenia plant weak sprouts must be removed after blossoming and other sprouts must be cut at the necessary length. Usually the one-third of the sprout is cut. In house conditions you can grow a stem tree of gardenia. For this side branches are cut and the top is left. When the plant reaches the necessary height you should nip the top point of growth and cut the other sprouts making a crown.
As this plant comes from Japan as well, Gardenia Augusta (or August Beauty Gardenia) is a popular plant to use in the art of bonsai. This art requires knowledge about all the processes of gardenia growth. Gardenia bonsai is frequent guest on various exhibitions, and beautiful decorations of many houses. As for this gardenia pruning done properly is a key to success.
Transplantation of adult gardenia flower is made in spring once in 2-3 years when the roots feel tight in the old pot. The young plant is moved into a bigger pot every year.
Growing gardenia plant needs neutral or weak-acid soil (acidity not more than 5). Of the ready soils sold in the shops the earth for azalea and roses is the most suitable.
As for frost proof gardenia plant mentioned above, it requires at least an inch of rain or similar water per week. However, as it grows up and establishes, frost proof gardenia requires much less water, it becomes drought tolerant. As for light conditions, the best variant for it would be sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Enough air circulation is also very important for frost proof gardenia. Well, other gardenia varieties need the same air conditions as well.
The easiest way of reproducing gardenia bush is through stem cutting. At the beginning of spring the top cuttings 8-10 cm long are cut with a sharp knife under the very node. You should leave 3-4 leaves on the top of the cutting, removing the others. After this it is desirable to plunge the cutting in the phytohormone solution for several seconds and plant it into a sand-and-peat mixture, sprinkle and cover with a film. The best temperature for rootage is 25 degrees above zero. Don’t forget to water and sprinkle and open for airing every day. After the cuttings are rooted and begin to grow they should be planted in the permanent place in the soil consisting of equal parts of peat, sod, coniferous, leaf earth and sand or the soil for azalea (roses). Besides cutting, gardenia flower can be reproduced by seeds. The quality of gardenia seeds is crucial. Gardenia seeds bought in the shop can be old and their germinating capability can be low, but the plant itself can make you happy with the boll of seeds. Gardenia seeds are better to be sowed in the soil (the same as for cuttings) in spring. The layer of soil above the seeds must be 3-5 mm. the soil after the seeds are sowed should be pressed a bit and damped. The seeds grow in a greenhouse or covered with a film at the temperature of 25 degrees, with regular damping of the soil and sprinkling in about a month, but the plant grown from the seeds will blossom not before 2 years.
GARDENIA DISEASES AND PESTS. GARDENIA YELLOW LEAVES
As all the plants gardenia flower can be ailing if you pay not enough attention to its needs. One of the most common gardenia diseases is yellow leaves on a plant. For instance, sharp temperature changes, the soil not properly chosen, direct sunrays can be the reasons for the plant not blossoming but becoming yellow. Though gardenia yellow leaves look impressive as well, you shouldn’t let it go.What to do with yellow leaves on gardenia jasminoides? If the leaves become small and of yellow shade the soil should be acidated a little. It is achieved by adding several drops of lemon juice into the water. If the leaves become very yellow, your care of jasmine-type gardenia should be directed on excluding sharp temperature changes and removing excessive acidity of the soil. In this case the plant is watered by a weak solution of ferrous sulfate. Then you will see complete yellow leaves on gardenia flower wither and fall, and the new ones and leaves which only began to turn yellow will recover their natural color. Gardenia yellow leaves are a common problem of florists, as it requires experience. However, if you do what you read here, it’ll be no problem.You should be careful when watering and sprinkling the gardenia jasminoides. Gardenia plant care sometimes requires even more patience than care of other house plants. If water falls on the buds the brown spots can appear on the flowers. During blossoming you’d better not change the position of gardenia to the light. Otherwise Gardenia Augusta can lose the buds. Gardenia plants can be attacked by red spider and armored scales. The easiest way to fight these pests is keeping the plant clean and enough damp, looking it over very often. The affected leaves must be cut off immediately. Red spider likes dry warm air, that’s why the preventive measures are frequent sprinkling the air around the plant or increasing the air moisture by other means. If the spider has appeared, gardenia bushes should be treated by system insecticides. The treatment must be repeated in a week in order that the pests were destroyed completely. Armored scales should be washed off by a cotton tampon with a soap solution. After the treatment you should wash the gardenia leaves with clean water. Repeat the procedure after a week. If the pests appear again the treatment will have to be repeated up to the moment of their complete extermination from your gardenia flower.
GARDENIA OIL. MEDICAL PROPERTIES OF GARDENIA PLANT.
It was said above how to grow gardenia jasminoides – a very beautiful and fragrant flower, but in its homeland (China and Japan) they do not only admire gardenia but also use it to cure various diseases. As a rule decoctions from gardenia fruit and roots are made for medical purposes. Gardenia is efficient when curing different inflammatory processes: injures, sores, stomatitis, tonsillitis, etc. Women use gardenia to get rid of mastitis. It is used as an antifebrile during the flu and fever. If there are problems with gastrointestinal tract, biliary tracts, liver and kidneys gardenia also helps. Gardenia decoctions are considered to help at fatigue, insomnia and headaches.Gardenia oil is widely used in fragrance industry and cosmetology. Getting gardenia essential oil from the fresh gardenia bushes is quite difficult, and the properties of gardenia oil are so valuable that the price of real gardenia essential oil can reach several hundred dollars per ounce – it’s even more expensive than attar of roses.