Gardenia is a plant native to China that belongs to the Rubiaceae family. It has more than 100 different species, which are highly appreciated in the world of gardening thanks to their beautiful and fragrant flowers.
However, the gardenia is also known for not being an easy plant to care for. If you plan to get one of these beautiful plants for your home, do not let yourself be intimidated by the difficulties and join us in this EcologíaVerde article, in which we will see what are the main gardenia care.
Characteristics of the gardenia
We are talking about an evergreen shrub with an intense and bright green colour, which does not grow more than approximately one meter if it is planted in a pot, but which can reach larger dimensions in the ground or on the ground.
During late spring it produces rose-like flowers, in white tones, very aesthetic and with an intense and pleasant smell. There are many varieties of this species, specifically more than 100 varieties, so not all flowers are very similar to roses, but they are generally white and aromatic. Next, we discuss all basic gardenia care at home.
The most important requirement of the gardenia, and therefore the first that we are going to talk about, is that it is a acidophilic plant. This means that it needs soils with a more acidic pH than usual, in this case a value around 5. If the plant does not have a substrate or soil with adequate acidity, its leaves will begin to turn yellow and the plant will end up dying, so it’s a prerequisite.
There are specialized stores that sell acidic substrates for acid-loving plants, such as heather, chestnut or blonde peat. In addition, the gardenia will appreciate that the soil is rich in organic matter, so some compost in the mix is highly recommended. Finally, the soil or substrate must offer a good drainage.
This plant can be planted both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, we recommend placing it somewhere near a window or natural light sourcewhile outdoors it is appropriate to look for a zone of half shade. Keep in mind that it is a tropical plant, so frost will kill it if you plant it in the garden in cold weather.
watering the gardenias
The gardenia needs a constant but not excessive watering. Water it when the substrate begins to be too dry, but do not flood it or it could be attacked by fungi. The most important thing here is the water used: if you irrigate with tap water and in your area it is rich in lime, this would alter the acidic pH of its substrate or soil. Therefore, use bottled soft waters or even distilled water. If you don’t have access to any of these things, you can add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice to it to make it more acidic.
Here we tell you more about When to water the plants.
fertilizer for gardenias
In spring and summer you may pay your gardenia once a month to enhance its growth and flowering. Use fertilizer for acidophilic plants.
We recommend using organic fertilizer, of which you can discover everything, including how to do it, in this other EcologíaVerde article.
Prune a gardenia
In this aspect, the gardenia appreciates a maintenance pruning a year in winter, when you clean it of those leaves and branches in poor condition. You can also take the opportunity to remove branches that intersect with others or that are growing in unwanted directions.
Just after its flowering time in summer, it can be pinched, so that the plant blooms again in autumn.
When do gardenias bloom and how to make them bloom
As we have just explained, gardenias produce their pretty, scented flowers between late spring and summer. However, if you apply a pinch pruning after the main bloom, you can get it to bloom again in the fall, especially in warmer climates.
If despite this your gardenia does not produce a good flowering, it is probably due to some of the aspects of its care not being taken care of correctly. If you have respected all gardenia care points explained above and you live in a very warm area, what your plant may need is that you spray some water on its leaves on the hottest days, although do it with a very fine spray to prevent them from being covered by fungi.
Gardenia pests and diseases
There are two main problems that gardenia tends to face. These are the pests, diseases and conditions of gardenias which are more frequent:
- The first occurs when gardenia leaves are yellow when the plant is not found in a soil acid enough for it. As an emergency measure if this happens to you, you can apply a chelate fertilizer to the plant, which will help it while you solve the problem of acidifying the soil. Please note that this is only a temporary solution and in no way replaces the need for acidic soil.
- The second is the excess moisture, which causes the plant to be attacked by fungi. Don’t overwater your gardenia, and only do so when the substrate is dry.
- On the other hand, it is also common for this plant to be attacked by the aphid, the cochineal or the red spider, pests that are easily combated with potassium soap sprayed on the plant. Here you can learn about the best home remedies to eliminate the aphid and also the best ways to eliminate the cottony mealybug with treatments and home remedies.
If you want to read more articles similar to gardenia carewe recommend that you enter our category .
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