Monday, May 11, 2009

How do you grow gardenia bushes?

I live in very hot inland Australian (up to 110 deg F) with virtually no humidity. Every second house has them growing in their gardens. If you live in a very hot area like mine (Zone9) grow them in morning sun only. They don't like frost so they need to be protected from it.

My garden books mention nothing about humidity even though they come from tropical areas, I think the frost is the biggest worry. They like well drained humid rich acid soil (although I don't think soil PH is to big a worry as the soils around here are slightly alkaline and they are thriving).

Don't over water just mulch heavily and don't let them completely dry out. (They are shallow rooted). Believe me no one is running around here misting them every day!

They are very hardy once established, so if you like them and have the right frost free spot give them a go.

How do you grow gardenia bushes?
Gardenias have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Because they originated in warm humid tropical areas, they demand high humidity to thrive. They flourish in acidic soils with good drainage. Potting soils developed especially for gardenias are available.
Reply:Plant and water... water... water.... once an evening when the sun is going down. Partial shade. Water... water... water... Feed if you want.
Reply:Morning sun, afternoon shade if you are in the Southern part of the US. They fry in full sun.
Reply:Assuming you live where gardenias are hardy, you can plant them in well-drained, semi-shady site. We had them in Atlanta that we planted and then sprayed with Miracid several times each summer. We had beautiful flowers and the shrubs grew fast.
Reply:Here you go!!: Gardenia needs are very exact:

Full sun, with some shade in summer (in hot areas)

An acid soil with a pH between 5 and 6

Keep soil moist, but not soggy

Humidity, or daily misting

Heavy feeding

**Cool night temperatures**

Plant in well conditioned soil containing peat moss %26amp; compost. Cultivating around the plants may damage their shallow roots, so plant should be mulched with 2 -3 inches of wood chips, sawdust or ground bark to keep the soil moist, cool and weed free. Feed the plants every 3 weeks during the growing season with a rhododendron-azalea food, or acidifying fertilizer. (Miracid)

Proper temperatures are necessary for a gardenia to bloom. This is the most critical aspect. Flower buds will fail to form if day temperatures are higher than 70degrees or night temperatures are over 65 degrees or less than 60 degrees. The ideal temperature ranges would be 65 to 70 degrees during the day and 60 to 62 degrees at night.

Gardenias can be pruned as far back as you like but cut plants back when they are dormant.

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