Gardening

Everblooming Gardenias: The Most Heavenly Fragrance

Everblooming Gardenias: The Most Heavenly Fragrance

Everblooming Gardenias

Photo is compliments of Melandory

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Veitchii’, or more commonly called Everblooming Gardenias is an evergreen flowering plant that originated in Asia. It is most commonly found growing wild in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar and India, or in the US it is grown in outdoor gardens in locations like Louisiana and Mississippi (warm temperate and subtropical climates) , or in the rest of the US were the Hardiness Zones are below 8 it is definitely a house plant. I have this wonderful plant in my home in a location that gets light from a West window. With its shiny green leaves and heavily fragrant white summer flowers it is a gorgeous addition to my indoor plants.

Everblooming Gardenias are a low-growing bushy shrub mainly prized for its fragrant flowers which give out an absolutely heavenly perfume that will fill the room where they are located. Gardenia jasminoides is the only species of Gardenia grown indoors. It should be noted that this plant species is not a true Jasmine. As potted plants they rarely exceed 2 feet in height or spread, even though they are capable of growing much larger when grown outside in the garden. The 4 inch long leaves are shiny, dark green, leathery, lance-shaped and usually arranged in opposite pairs, though sometimes in whorls of three or more. The flowers, which may be fully double (with many petals or semi-double with only two layers of slightly arching petals), are about 2 to 4 inches across and appear, usually singly, from leaf axils near the ends of the shoots.

Everblooming Gardenia, blooms naturally during the summer months. Each flower may last only five to seven days, but the bloom can last for many months with proper care. Only a few flowers are generally open at any given time per plant. Happy plants may bloom a second time in the fall.

The plants can live up to 10 years, indoors, with proper care. Everblooming Gardenia is not a difficult plant to grow, although they require particular attention in order to flower.

How To Make Your Everblooming Gardenias Thirve

Pruning

Some early spring pruning is typically necessary to keep the shrub low and bushy.  Prune any long new shoot on young plants and cut out about half or even two-thirds of the old wood of the mature plants. Be careful, however, not to eliminate flower buds. The stems of the plants can always be cut back later after the flowers have died; remove faded blooms. Natural gas fumes will harm this plant, so growing gardenias near a gas stove or fireplace is not a good idea.

Light Requirements

Everblooming Gardenias do best in bright light, but you should always keep them out of direct sunlight.  Established plants can be moved outdoors in a shady, sheltered location for the summer months. Bring the plant indoors when temperatures fall below 60°F.

Temperature

The key to success in bringing Gardenia jasminoides into flower is to maintain a steady temperature of 61-62°F during the period when flower buds are forming; a sudden change in either direction is practically certain to cause the buds to drop. When plants are not forming flower buds, the range can be 60-75°F.

A high degree of humidity is also essential when flower buds are forming. To achieve this, stand the pots on trays of moist pebbles or peat moss and spray plants at least once a day with fine mist-spray, using water at room temperature. Be careful to not to wet the flowers if the plants are in bloom, water on the petals causes discoloration.  Fresh, moist (humid) circulating air is a necessity, especially during the winter. If the air is hot, stale, or dry you will have more issues with fungal issues.

Watering

Everblooming Gardenias do not have a well-defined rest period. They do grow less actively during the winter in areas where the winter months bring on considerable reduction of light. Under these conditions water moderately. During the summer, give enough at each watering to make the potting mixture moist throughout and allowing the top few inches or so of the potting mixture to dry out before watering again. During the winter months allow the top few inches or so of the potting mixture to dry out completely before watering again.  Always use slightly warm, preferable lime free water for these plants. Avoid using hard water for Everblooming Gardenias. If soft water is not available add some vinegar to the hard water to lower its pH.

Dry soil will cause the buds to drop. Check the soil at least every couple days. Keep it moist but not soggy, which can also cause buds to drop.

Potting and Re-potting

The potting medium should be rich, acidic, moisture-retentive, and well drained. Use a soil which has 6 or higher pH. Everblooming Gardenias is a lime hating plant, which means it does not tolerate alkaline soil. If the soil is not acidic enough you will have many plant problems.

Re-pot Everblooming Gardenias only when their roots have nearly filled the pot (as indicated by their appearance at the surface or outside the bottom drainage holes). These plants flower best when they are kept in pots that are just a little too small for vigorous stem growth. Ideally, any re-potting should only be done when the plants are beginning to grow in the spring and the root ball should be disturbed as little as possible.

Fertilize

Everblooming Gardenias require fertilizer to maintain dark green leaves. Use an iron chelate fertilizer and mix with an acidic soil mixture.

General Everblooming Gardenias Information

Pests and Diseases

Gardenias are subject to a wide range of pest and diseases: scales, aphids, spider mites, powdery mildew, and die back. Everblooming gardenias grown in soil that is too alkaline often develop chlorosis, an unattractive yellowing of the leaves. Resolving this requires you to amend the soil with organic matter while you avoid getting water on the plant’s leaves to help prevent disease and cultural problems. Insects may have to be treated by releasing predatory insects or applying horticultural oils.

Propagation

Everblooming Gardenias can be propagated from 3 inch long tip cuttings taken in early spring. Use a hormone rooting powder and plant them in small pots of moistened peat-based potting mixture suitable for lime hating plants. Place the potted cuttings in a heated propagating case or alternatively, or enclose them in plastic bags and keep them at a temperature of 59-64°F in bright light which is filtered through something like a translucent blind or curtain. Rooting should occur in four to six weeks. In late summer move the rooted cuttings into pots a size larger, containing the potting mixture recommended for mature plants. Water them moderately and feed them at least once a month until they are well developed.

Garden Uses

If you are in Hardiness Zones 8 and below you should consider this a house plant.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Rubiaceae
  • Cultivar: Veitchii
  • Plant Type: Shrub, broad leaf evergreen
  • Hardiness Zones: Zone 8 to 11
  • Light Requirements: Partial to full sun
  • Water Needs: Regular watering, weekly, or more often in extreme heat
  • Height: 3 to 4 feet high:
  • Width: 3 Feet
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Growth Habit: Round
  • Flower Attributes: Flowers for cutting, wonderfully fragrant, long bloom season
  • Flower Color: White
  • Flower Petal Number: Single, double, semi-double
  • Repeat Bloomer: Yes
  • Bloom Time: Spring through fall
  • Foliage Color: Dark green
  • pH Range: 5.5 to 6.5
  • Soil Drainage: Well drained
  • Bark Color: Chocolate

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