Behind this fragrant tropical flower, a not very good reputation of a capricious and difficult to grow at home plant has been fixed. Gardenia is really difficult to plant and care for, and a small inaccuracy in agricultural techniques can easily negate all the efforts expended. However, if you correctly approach the issue and choice of variety, you can greatly facilitate this task and achieve your goal. And it, given the exquisite appearance and stunning jasmine aroma of the flower, long appreciated and used in the manufacture of cosmetic and perfume products, is worth it. And, of course, it is also important “on the shore” to learn how to care for capricious gardenia at home and achieve its favor.
In the wild, gardenia is an evergreen shrub that can sometimes have a tree-like shape. It belongs to the Madder family. It grows in tropical and subtropical forests of China, India, Indonesia, and is found in Japan. It is a compact shrub with a smooth stem and short branches with leathery shiny leaves of rich green color.
Flowering is long, beginning in mid-summer and ending in October. With proper planting and proper care during this period, its shoots are completely strewn with numerous flowers in varying degrees of budding. Outwardly, they have a resemblance to roses, it will not yield to the queen of flowers and in a subtle pleasant aroma. The elegance of appearance allows you to use gardenia in the design of interior solutions of various styles.
The closest relative of this tropical flower is coffee.
Types of gardenia with photos
Botanists describe about 250 species, among which the most acceptable for home cultivation is Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia jasminoides) native to the southern provinces of China. The second, almost unused name of the variety is the gardenia of Augustus. Its twin inflorescences bear a resemblance to camellia. They are trying to grow at home and the African variety of gardenia thunbergia (Gardenia thunbergia), characterized by solitary inflorescences. You should know that the second variety is more whimsical. In addition, knowledge of how to care for gardenia is not enough without a number of subjective conditions (for example, the absence of windows of the desired orientation or their shading by trees).
As a result of the long cultivation of the jasmine variety, many varieties have appeared, of which the most popular and suitable for growing in rooms and greenhouses can be distinguished.
- Beauty is a tall variety with large terry waxy flowers that bloom throughout the summer season and until the last Days of October. In greenhouses, it can reach a height of 2 meters.
- Chuck Hkees is a semi-terry very fragrant variety with ivory flowers. Flowering is summer, quite short. It is characterized by increased resistance to cold.
- Amy – stands out for the lighter color of the foliage. Flowers are terry, have an almost perfect shape, which makes them look like artificial. Highly valued for its ability to bloom twice a year.
- Misteri is a tall large-flowered variety with leaves of a very dark color. Terry inflorescences have a flat shape, up to 13 cm in diameter. Forms a very strong bush with a tendency to vertical growth. It can also bloom a second time.
- Belmond is a large-flowered and dense-flowered, has a high tolerance to temperature drops and diseases. The diameter of the inflorescences with a stunning aroma reaches 10 cm.
- Variegata is a slow-growing compact shrub with rounded variegated leaves that have transitions from green to light beige. A good option for pot growing at home.
- Radicans is a dwarf varietal line, which is an ideal option for bonsai. The width of the crown exceeds its height. The leaves are small, leathery, with a waxy sheen, the flowers are terry, small. Flowering occurs later than in other varieties of jasmine gardenia.
- Radican Variegata is a variety derived from the previous one with more grown characteristics. It grows extremely slowly, making it an excellent candidate for bonsai, the green leaves have a light cream stripe along the edge of the edge. Flowering is late, short, in the summer.
- Golden Magic – white corollas of inflorescences have a characteristic transition to a golden-yellow color. It blooms spectacularly and continuously.
Features of buying gardenia
Despite the increased demands of the flower on heat, nowadays you can buy it all year round, although in winter it is certainly more difficult to do this. For the copies sold, there is a pronounced division into “estates” according to the category of their value among producers. The most expensive specimens are put up for sale in the bud stage, which requires help for its opening. This should be done under a warm, but not hot shower.
Moving gardenia to the house (or any other place) is much more stressful for it than for many other plants, so many specimens die already at this stage. According to florists, drugs such as Epin, Zircon or HB101 can help her survive stress. Dosage and frequency must be observed according to the attached instructions.
In expensive specimens, the inner petals are often neatly sealed with wax, which requires the same careful removal. On top, the buds may have supporting collars of leaves. In cheaper varieties (or producers), the buds are usually smaller and more open, they are worn more often with plastic collars.
When buying a gardenia as a gift, you should think very carefully about whether the giftee will be able to cope with this flower and provide it with the care that it needs. Otherwise, there will be only disappointments from the gift.
Care at home of gardenia
Each item of the requirements for agricultural technology is in this case important and requires strict implementation.
The flower loves full-fledged lighting throughout the day, but it reacts poorly to direct midday rays. Ideal would be a very bright, but not hot place on a window facing west or southwest, on which a thin tracing paper is pasted for protection from direct sun at noon. In winter, the tracing paper can be removed. The window should not be shaded by trees growing behind it.
Gardenia is extremely sensitive not only to the intensity of lighting, but also to its directionality. During the period of budding and flowering, it can not only be rearranged in another place, but even turned relative to the light source. Buds can be dangerous.
The love of a flower in warmth does not mean that it needs to be kept in a hot room. There is a certain range of comfort, which directly depends on the time of year and the stage of vegetative development. In the spring-summer period, the optimal temperature lies in the range of + 20 … + 24 C. In winter, it should be gradually reduced by 4-5 ° C relative to the summer. The minimum temperature threshold is + 16C. During the period of laying buds, it rises to + 18 … + 20 C. In any layout, the roots should never be in cold soil (colder than indoor air). Especially dangerous for culture are sharp fluctuations in temperature readings. In winter, the plant lacks light, and cooler conditions can partially compensate for it.
Gardenia categorically does not tolerate drafts, reacting to them by dropping buds and buds. It is better to ventilate the room with the help of forced ventilation directed in the other direction.
High and uniform humidity is one of the conditions for the successful development and flowering of the plant. It makes especially high demands on humidity during the period of laying buds. With dry air, the process can stop in development, and the buds that have begun to form can be dangerous. A pallet filled with sphagnum or moistened claydite will help solve the problem, but the pot with the flower itself should not touch their bottom. Regular spraying of foliage is recommended, however, water should not fall on flowers or unopened buds (ugly spots may appear).
For watering, warm and soft water should be used, it is desirable that it be settled, boiled or filtered. In summer, watering should be stable to keep the soil moderately moist. Overflow is extremely undesirable. The plant loves a warm shower, but at this time you need to close the earthen ball. In the winter season, watering is reduced to moderate, but the earthen clump should never be overdried.
It is necessary to provide additional nutrition during the period of active vegetation and flowering, in spring and summer (1-2 times a month). Use liquid complex fertilizers for flowering crops, but in half of the dosage recommended in the instructions.
The culture not only tolerates pruning well, but also periodically needs it. Prune the shoots after the end of flowering, leaving half or a third of them. During the period of active growth, you can pinch the tops of non-flowering shoots to stimulate the growth of new ones.
The trimmed parts of the stems can be used as apical cuttings for propagation.
What kind of land does a gardenia need?
Calcareous and alkaline soils do not suit it, high acidity indicators from pH = 5 and slightly higher are needed. When transplanting gardenia after purchase, you need to try to preserve its soil lump as much as possible, for sprinkling to which it is recommended to buy a ready-made substrate for azaleas. Experimenting with the compilation of your own soil mixture for a start is better not worth it. With later transplants, you can add a composition of equal parts of three types of earth (coniferous, turf, leaf) and quartz sand.
How to transplant gardenia after purchase?
First of all, there is no need to rush to do this. Let the plant stand and adapt to new conditions (additional adaptation measures are written above). After that, you should make sure that the plant is cramped (usually this happens), taking it out carefully with a single lump of earth inspecting it. If many roots are visible on the outside of the coma, the gardenia should be transferred to another container, completely preserving the substrate and pouring up to the volume of the finished soil mixture for azaleas.
The frequency of a planned transplant is usually two years. The new container should be wider than the previous one by 2 cm In order to painlessly and correctly transplant gardenia, you need to handle its root system as carefully as possible, preserving the earthen lump. This is done in early spring before the beginning of active vegetation and the release of buds. During flowering, transplantation is categorically not recommended and can only be justified by the threat of death. The flower will not only throw off the buds, but may also die. Good drainage must be provided!
As a result of planned pruning, an excellent material for vegetative reproduction remains – apical cuttings. They should have a length of about 10 cm. For their rooting, a warm nutrient substrate (see above) and any stimulator of root formation are used. Arrangement of mini-heating with the help of a can or a transparent package will speed up the process. It is permissible to keep cuttings in water, but in this case they may not give roots. After the cuttings double the height, it is pinched. You need to be prepared for the fact that the process will be long and not always successful.
Of the pests, thrips, aphids, shield mites and spider mites were most often seen. The cause of the first three is most often infection from neighboring crops, and the appearance of a tick can provoke too dry and hot content. Control methods are traditional with the use of insecticides. If the number of pests progresses, treatment is carried out three times with a week break.
- Very slow development, lack of flowering, pallor of foliage. The flower lacks power and light.
- Gardenia leaves turn yellow or are covered with yellow spots-streaks. There is not enough acidity of the soil, the soil must be acidified.
- The flower droops loses its buds, the leaves become sluggish. It is necessary to control the temperature regime, most likely, it is below normal.
- Leaves fall off, sometimes remaining green. Coldwater irrigation, lack of moisture.
- Gardenia dries up. There may be various adverse factors, the most frequent are dry air, lack of humidification.
- Reset buds and flowers. Drafts or rearranges the pot from place to place, a sharp change in the intensity of lighting.
Benefits of Gardenia
In areas where the plant grows in the wild, it is used to prepare decoctions and infusions. Their action is directed against pulmonary diseases, herpes, infections of the oral cavity, externally for the healing of wounds, tumors, eczema, burns. Chinese herbalists widely use gardenia as an antiseptic and diuretic, as well as to solve sexual problems in men.