Monday, March 19, 2012

Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Gardenia in Bloom 2011
 I have always loved gardenias because they look so elegant and smell like I am dancing a waltz.  Gardenias can be a little tricky to keep flourishing in your yard.  I've tried them a few times.  This is my third effort and so far, my most successful.  I have been able to keep this one alive for 4 years so far.  Gardenias need bright light, high humidity, and well drained soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5.  Normally, I would not bother with the pH, these can be really tough plants to keep going.  I water these sweethearts to keep them going and I am not fond of watering.  I believe in xeriscaping whenever possible.  This is also one of my plants I never forget to feed fertilizer every spring.  
Scraggly Gardenia - 2012
Gardenia in Bud 2012
I used to have 3 gardenia plants, then about 3 years ago I was down to one gardenia. Things are looking a bit iffy now.  My last gardenia plant is terribly, terribly sad.  I trimmed it way back hoping it will begin to fill in.  It does appear to be filling in.  Thank goodness. I have a few photos to show you today so you can see what's going on here.  Before we go any further.  We'll go over what's right and what's not right in the world of gardenia's on the sunny side of Susan.  I'm still researching the growth I see below and what I need to do to fix it.  I see good growth and I also saw no air plants or Spanish moss growing on the gardenia this year!  This was TERRIFIC to see.  Last year I spent many days picking air plants off and moss of the gardenia and checking it daily.  I learned from my tree guy that when pruning the gardenia that it is absolutely necessary to trim it flush with the joint.  If you trim it and leave any nubs at the joint, it gives the Spanish moss and air plants a little "seat" to rest on and take hold on your plant.  I am a much more careful pruner now.
Gardenia Filling In - 3/17/2012

Growth on the stems of Gardenia - 3/17/2012

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