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Madder family. Homeland South Africa, China, India. These evergreen shrubs or small trees, about 250 species of gardenia can be found in nature.
Gardenia jasmine Gardenia jasminoides is common as a houseplant. This is a shrub that grows up to 1.5 - 1.8 m in height in nature or in a greenhouse, at home it forms a dense bush no more than 50 cm in height. Gardenia jasmine has glossy green leaves of a broad-lanceolate shape, up to 10 cm long. Flowers are either single or collected in 4-6 pieces in corymbose inflorescences. The flowers are about 5-7 cm in diameter, double or semi-double, white with a pleasant aroma. Blooms mainly in summer or autumn.
Caring for gardenias consists in spraying, if it is very hot and dry, to remove faded flowers, which turn yellow as they age. In the spring, with the beginning of growth, the gardenia can be cut to form the crown of the bush. Gardenia leaves can be treated with leaf polish, but preferably based on plant components.
Gardenia is considered a difficult and capricious plant; it takes a lot of effort to achieve abundant flowering. For example, when purchasing or making up a soil mixture by yourself, it is better to check its acidity in advance; for this, a little soil is poured into an empty pot and poured with water, when the water drains, you can set the pH with litmus paper. If you want to water your gardenia with rainwater, it is best to boil it. In winter, you need to make sure that the windowsill does not blow and the soil in the pot does not become too cold.
For questions about growing Gardenia, see the Plants FAQ.
Home gardenia care
Gardenia is quite thermophilic, in winter it is kept at a temperature of about 17-18 ° C, at least 16 ° C, preferably not higher than 22 ° C, at a higher temperature, a very high humidity must be maintained. Avoid sudden temperature fluctuations.
Gardenia is photophilous, for good development and flowering it needs full lighting, with protection from direct sunlight in summer during the hot hours of the day. In direct summer sun, gardenia leaves turn pale yellow or burns in the form of brown spots. In winter, you need to put the plant in the brightest place, and direct sunlight is no longer scary.
In spring - in summer it is plentiful, the soil should be slightly damp in the depth of the pot, but have time to dry out in the upper 4-5 cm of soil. In winter, watering is moderate, making sure that the soil is well dried, but not completely to a dusty state. Gardenia does not tolerate overdrying an earthen coma, and stagnation of water in the roots should be avoided. Water for gardenia irrigation should be lukewarm at any time of the year and always soft. Better to use filtered water or boiled rainwater. If this is difficult for you, or even boiled water is too hard in your area, we recommend using preparations from the aquarium department. Pet stores sell aquarium water softeners that make tap water usable for fish and watering flowers for an hour.
Fertilizing watering during the period of active growth from March to August in two weeks, with liquid fertilizer for flowering house plants (potash fertilizers). The dose of fertilizer is taken half as much as recommended in the instructions. Twice during the spring-summer period (approximately in March and June), iron-containing preparations are introduced, which somewhat lower the pH level in the soil.
With good care, gardenia blooms very abundantly for a long time.
Gardenia needs to be sprayed if the air humidity is below 40%, but only with warm and soft water. Water during spraying should not come into contact with buds and flowers. In winter, keep the plant away from the hot air of the batteries. Gardenias respond well to hot showers. It is better to cover the soil in the pot with a foil to avoid waterlogging, or dry thoroughly after a shower. The water temperature is from 50 to 65 degrees. This procedure avoids the appearance of spider mites.
In the spring, usually two years later. Gardenia does not tolerate soil containing lime, it needs an acidic soil mixture with a pH of 4.5 - 5.5. Soil - 1 part sod, 1 part coniferous, 1 part leaf, 1 part peat land and 1 part sand or vermiculite. Good drainage is a must. If you use store-bought soil, then the soil for azaleas is suitable.
Cuttings that are cut in February - March. The cuttings are rooted using phytohormones and with soil heating up to 25-27 ° C. Cuttings are periodically sprayed. Gardenia cuttings take a long time to take root. If you root them in water, you can place them in a weak solution of a root formation stimulator (epin, root, heteroauxin), but the solution is effective no more than 3 days. Before rooting in the soil, the tip of the cutting should be dipped in stimulant powder, and then planted in a mixture of peat, coniferous soil and sand.