Gardenia has always been prized for its long-lasting fragrance. Its essence is used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, oils. The genus of this flower takes roots in the Rubiaceae family, and its closest relatives are bovardia and coffee. Gardenia got its name in honor of the scientist Alexander Garden, a physicist. Gardenia jasminoides, which has double-flowered camellia-like flowers, is native to southern China, and Gardenia thunbergia, which has single flowers, is from southern Africa. Despite all the thermophilicity of this flower, it is now available all year round thanks to greenhouse cultivation. However, it can be more difficult to order in winter.
A majestic gardenia. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Ross Bayton
Gardenia has a clear division into “estates”: the most expensive flowers are sold at the bud stage and must be opened manually, while holding them under water. Their inner middle petals are often carefully “sealed” with wax, and the inflorescences themselves are “clothed” in supportive collars and foliage. Cheaper varieties are smaller and at a later stage of opening, they use supporting “collars” made of plastic.
Description of gardenia
Gardénia (Latin Gardénia) – a genus of tropical plants of the Madder family.
The genus Gardenia (Gardenia J. Ellis.) Has about 250 plant species of the madder family, native to the subtropical forests of Japan and China.
Representatives of the genus are evergreens, shrubs, sometimes small trees; shoots are strong, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves opposite or 3 whorled, glossy, with stipules. Flowers are solitary, less often collected in scutes, axillary or apical, yellow, white, fragrant.
In indoor floriculture, one species is widespread – Gardenia jasmine. Gardenias are used as flower pot plants. They endure pruning, their crown is easy to mold, and at the same time, gardenias are very whimsical, do not allow sudden changes in temperature, especially in winter, and suffer from excessive soil moisture.
Gardenia can be grown as a single plant or in compositions.
Temperature: 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 air humidity must be maintained. Avoid sudden temperature fluctuations.
Lighting: Gardenia is photophilous; for good development and flowering, it needs full-fledged 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.
Watering: Abundant in spring and summer, the soil should be slightly damp. In winter, watering is more moderate. Gardenia does not tolerate overdrying an earthen coma, but 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.
Fertilizing watering during the period of active growth from March to August in two weeks, with liquid fertilizer for flowering indoor 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.
Air humidity: Gardenia needs constant spraying, but only with warm and soft water. Water during spraying should not come into contact with buds and flowers. It is best to place the gardenia pot on a tray of water.
Transfer: 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. Good drainage is a must. If you take a commercial potting mix, then the soil for azaleas is suitable.
Reproduction of gardenia
Propagation by cuttings, which 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, then you can place them in a weak solution of a root 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 earth and sand.
Possible difficulties in growing gardenia
Leaves are pale, old leaves gradually turn yellow, the plant grows poorly, does not bloom – lack of lighting – the gardenia should have a very bright place, protected from direct sunlight at noon; as well as nutrients – feed during the spring-summer period.
On the leaves, you can see chlorosis or yellowing in the form of streaks. – when alkalizing the soil – gardenia needs an acidic substrate. If the gardenia is transplanted after 2-3 years, then the top layer of the earth, which, as a rule, accumulates calcium salts in the form of a white crust, if watered with insufficiently soft water, can be replaced with fresh one annually.
Leaves wither, the plant wilts, buds and flowers crumble if the room is too cold – do not allow the temperature to drop below 15 ° C.
Leaves turn yellow and fall off or fall off, without having time to turn yellow – with insufficient watering – the soil should be slightly moist all the time, when watering with cold water.
Gardenia does not bloom or blooms poorly – if planted in soil containing lime and not acidic enough. If it is watered with hard water. If the temperature is significantly below 16 ° C or above 22 ° C, if the air in the room is too dry, if it is not light enough, if there is a strong lack of nutrients in the soil or their excess.
Quite often, gardenias are susceptible to attack by pests, these are aphids, thrips, scale insects and spider mites.… The plant affected by the pest grows poorly, does not bloom or loses flowers and buds, it is not uncommon for the leaves to turn yellow and fall off, the plant grows poorly.
When thrips is damaged, light grayish dots can be seen on the upper side of the leaf – traces of injections that attack the plant by aphids can be seen, they usually affect the tops of the shoots, buds, forming sticky secretions. If a red spider mite attacked the gardenia, then the leaves dry, and a cobweb forms under them and in the internodes, the insects themselves are difficult to notice. On plants affected by the scabbard, brown plaques, round or oval, are visible on the upper and lower sides of the leaf.
If pests are found, in any case, the plant should be sprayed with an insecticide (fitoverm, decis, actellik, intavir). With a small lesion, one spraying is enough, if the pest progresses strongly, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment up to 3 times, with a weekly interval.
Varieties and types of gardenia
It grows in the subtropical forests of China and Japan at an altitude of 250-500 m above sea level.
This is an evergreen shrub, at home reaching 2 m in height, in greenhouse and indoor conditions no more than 60-80 cm. Shoots are smooth, glabrous. Leaves up to 8 cm long, broadly lanceolate or obovate, pointed towards the base, whole-cut, glabrous, glossy, dark green.
Flowers are single or in few-flowered (3-5 pieces each) corymbose inflorescences located on the tops of shoots or leaf axils, most often white, and then yellowing. The flowers have a strong, pleasant scent. It blooms at different times of the year and even in winter (usually from July to October).
Various garden forms are available:
Сорт ‘Veitchii’ – with white double fragrant double flowers and dark green glossy leaves, highly valued for winter flowering – up to December inclusive;
Radicans rooting (Gardenia jasminoides var. radicans), referred to in various sources as ‘Radicans’ – with white double fragrant flowers;
Fortuniana – Fortune (Gardenia jasminoides var. Fortuniana), in different sources referred to as the ‘Fortuneana’ variety – with large camellia-like flowers, the diameter of a double flower reaches up to 10 cm;
Сорт ‘First Love’ – with large, up to 13 cm, terry whitish-cream fragrant flowers, flowering occurs in early spring and lasts all summer, can bloom twice;
Variety ‘Flore Pleno’ – with double large double flowers;
Сорт ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ – small in size, with white waxy flowers that bloom during spring and summer;
Variegata (Gardenia jasminoides var. variegata) – with whitish-yellowish spots on the leaves, and white double flowers.