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Gardenia - Care Guide
Caring for Gardenia augusta
Cape jasmine, Common gardenia
Gardenias are evergreen, frost tender, greenhouse or conservatory plants grown primarily for the exquisite scent of their large ivory-white flowers. In the sales area at the nursery these plants cause one to stop and look around for the source of the scent. The flowers are produced through the summer and on into the autumn.
Gardenias require ericaceous or lime free potting compost for best results. They can grow into quite large shrubs so will need progressive potting on over the years. Protection from direct sunlight is advisable to prevent leaf scorching and a reasonable level of humidity is required. While they will flower beautifully in an indoor conservatory they really need some dampness and humidity in a greenhouse to thrive. Frequent watering and the application of a monthly liquid fertiliser in the growing season will encourage good growth and flower production. In winter they need to be kept moist but not waterlogged. As smaller plants the pots are best stood on a tray or dish so that water can be drawn up into the plant as needed.
Once your plant is established it can be put outside onto the patio, in a place where it is in dappled shade, for the summer months. This will help in discouraging whitefly which are prone to enjoying gardenias. Mealy bug can also be a problem if left unchecked as in so many other evergreen conservatory plants.
Propagation is easiest from soft greenwood cuttings in early summer.
We offer two forms of G. augusta which is perhaps better known as G. jasminoides. This is the plant most commonly sold as a UK houseplant which so often sits in its original small pot on a windowsill in the kitchen until it dies of neglect for lack of being potted on. The flowers are camellia-like and creamy white.
G. augusta ‘Crown Jewel’ has larger double white perfumed flowers and is a bit hardier than G. augusta itself. It is however still very much a greenhouse plant.