Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How often should a gardenia plant bloom?

I purchased a gardenia plant early last spring and it is pretty and green and has never bloomed. Is there a plant food that I can use to help this plant product blooms?

How often should a gardenia plant bloom?
There are several varieties of Gardenias from the large Garadenia jasminoides with large prolific fragrant blooms to the smaller leaf with smaller blossoms Gardenia jasminoides "radicans" and other cultivars. Some are better suited for partly shady areas while some others tolerate full sun etc. As for the not blooming, there can be several reasons for this. First I would ask if the plant has been pruned or trimmed and WHEN? Whenever pruning or trimming plants or ornamentals for flowering purposes, I use what Dr. Harry Ponder (world reknown horticulturist) has coined the "May Rule". Simply stated, the "May Rule" means if the plant blooms BEFORE May, it blooms on PRIOR seasons growth and should be pruned immediately after blooming such as an Azalea. If the plant, such as the gardenia, blooms AFTER May, it blooms on CURRENT season wood or new growth and should be pruned in early spring - March 15th is my target date here in Alabama. What does this mean? If a Gardenia for instance, was pruned in May or June, there is a good chance that the buds or setting buds will be clipped or pruned off by accident. They may only look like leaf buds when, in actuality, they are flower buds. Correct timing for pruning for flowering is key to prolific blooms. Fertilization: I see this problem many times each year, over and under fertilization. Many times I have customers which state that they used a fertilizer such as what was mentioned in another answer or simply used a granular fertilizer. Some fertilizer is better than none but many times people think that if a "little" will work, a "LOT" will create more blooms. This IS NOT true. If a plant is over fertilized, the plant will produce vigorous foliage with little to no buds or flowering. Most plants produce flowers as a means for reproduction - i.e. the plant flowers, the flower goes to seed, the seed falls to ground and thus, a new plant. If the plant is over fertilized, it has no need to propigate it self through flowering - thus no flowers are produced! Additionally when fertilizing, I agree whole heartedly that you need to use a balanced fertilizer 14-14-14 etc. with Iron. Gardenias need Iron. I prefer using a fertilizer with 6% Iron and other Micro-nutrients. I have been using 14-14-14 with 6% Fe and micro-nutrients for years and my customers are super happy with their prolific flowers and healthy foliage. Make sure that the fertilizer is spread around the entire root zone of the plant which extends beyond the dripline (outer edge of foliage) of the plant. Remember that with Fertilizer on ornamentals, sometimes "less is more". As for me, I am not much of a believer in "designer" fertilizers such as "Azalea food, Gardenia food, Rose food etc.". I use the same fertilizer on all my ornamentals with unbelievable results. Finally, many times people use what I call (hope I don't offend anyone with this and I actually took German in school and love the language) the "German planting method". The "German planting method" is planting a shrub "good-n-deep"! This is one of the worst things someone can do to plants. The plants need to be slightly above existing grade for nutrient absorbtion and aeration. When planting, the outer roots of the root ball from container plants need to be "massaged" to break up the circular growth pattern which is developing in the bucket. "Massaging" the outer root ball breaks up some of the root system so the roots have a better chance of "growing" or penetrating into the existing soil. I have seen many shrubs which just don't seem to do much of anything and upon closer inspection, the plant which has been in the ground for three or more years still has a root system the size and shape of the container it was grown in! I have seen plants five years old pulled out of the ground still with "ripples" around the edges and would easily fit right back into the plastic bucket - wild but true. I hope that one or more of the above mentioned remedies or practices will help to produce prolific flowers this year!
Reply:Perhaps when you purchased it , it was barely rooted - which means you should have blooms this year. They need night time temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees to set if you kept it in the house all winter it may not bloom again this year.

Gardenias like acidic soil, so use pine straw or pine bark mulch to help lower the PH. They also like humidity, so mist them (or lightly spray them with the garden hose).

When buying fertilizer remember the middle # is for blooms. #1 is for top growth (leaves), #2 for blooms, #3 for bottom growth (roots).

Hope this helps.
Reply:this may be because you live in a very warm climate. where do you live. they need the 50s and 60s to bloom and anything warmer may prevent bloom.

where do you live. is this gardenia inside. if it is then you will not get blooms unless it is very cold in there. these plants are common around california and need cool springs and summers to bloom
Reply:Gardenias generally bloom late May through June. Maybe it was too young to bloom last year.
Reply:It depends where you live I live in a warm climate and have mine in the ground in protected sunlight,I feed them miraclegro on occasion and forget them.They bloom spring and fall.They smell so good! But I did make the mistake of buying a plant from a big box store and it never bloomed get your plants from a local nursery
Reply:Yes, there is Food for Gardenias, try "Miracle Grow" with Chleated Iron...for Gardenias.

They Bloom once a year but, that's June to October! (Mine is Outdoors in the Ground but, did pretty good in a Large pot till I Planted it)

I'm on the West Coast (California) and mine start budding early but, the Actual Blooms open in June all thru the Summer.
Reply:My gardenia is currently in an east facing window.

It gets watered with miracid 1/4 tsp/ gallon as needed- which is every couple of days.

At night the curtain is closed with the gardenia is between the window and curtain where it is quite cool.

The cool temperature helps with setting the buds.

This plant is not huge but it has almost 30 buds. It is in a 8" clay pot.

When spring gets here, the gardenia will go out into medium shade (all the plants get kicked out of the house).

It will be blooming all the way through summer.

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