The exotic, fragrant gardenia graces gardens across the south and has long-been a favorite of brides everywhere. But raising gardenias isn’t for the faint of heart or for the gardener looking for little or no maintenance plants and flowers.
Gardenias are a part of the rubiaceae family which also includes coffee. There are over 200 species of gardenias with only a handful of these being grown in the United Sates. Gardenias are grown most successfully in zones 7 to 10. They can be grown indoors in other climates if treated properly.
GROWING & CARING FOR GARDENIAS
Gardenias are picky about their growing conditions, but once established, gardenias grow into beautiful fragrant plants. Many in the South are more like shrubs which gracefully landscape homes throughout the region.
Gardenias need full sun outdoors and plenty of bright indirect sunlight if grown indoors. The soil needs to be acidic, fertile and loamy (which means it will drain well). Humid, moist conditions are favorable, but if the gardenia’s roots are too wet, they will drop their blooms. It is important that you do not mist your gardenia. The moisture on the leaves can cause fungal growth and mildew.
- Gardenias need plenty of space between plants to allow for good circulation to prevent fungal growth and mildew.
- Gardenias come in a variety of colors including pink and yellow, but white is by far the most prevalent color
- Gardenias are used in making perfume
- Gardenias symbolize love, purity and happiness
Gardenias should be purchased from a trusted source. Their cost will range from $15 to $50; making it an investment deserving of your TLC.