30.8.10

Glorious Gardenias

Gardenia 'Miami Supreme'

Unquestionably, Gardenias are one of the grand garden plants of modern times. Their fragrance
is always evocative and personal, recalling some memory of where you first encountered it. For
so many people, the first Gardenia flower they encounter is as a corsage or in a wedding
arrangement. Some gardeners will try to grow the plants as windowsill plants, or as garden plants
in the southern subtropics. As with so many plants, this plant group has quirks, and once
understood, Gardenias are actually fairly easy to grow. It is providing the right conditions that
causes some headaches......

Most every gardenia I have grown likes acid soil, plenty of organic matter, a continuous
supply of fertilizer, and attention to pests. In other words, grow this plant like a tea rose !
Modern hybrid roses and Gardenias like the same growing conditions, so if you grow one, you
can grow both ! 

In Miami, good organic soil with controlled-release fertilizer mixed into it will be a good base to plant
your gardenias into. One local tactic is to mix coffee grounds into the soil, as much as you
can get ! Organic rose fertilizer is also excellent, and can be mixed into the soil with Dynamite or
 Osmocote. Grafted Gardenias will live longer in the nematode-rich soils than will ungrafted
Gardenias. Once planted, a soil drench with an insecticide product containing Merit will get the
plants off to a good, insect-free start. Plant your Gardenia where it will receive at least 4 hours
of direct sunshine, but with a little afternoon shade. Prune after flowering to make a nice bushy
plant, and remember to add liquid iron supplements to the soil 2 or 3 times per year.

There are many new Gardenias on the market, some of which have different shapes and colors,
including yellow, from Vietnam and southeast Asia. The Tahitian Gardenia is a good landscape
plant choice for Miami, and thrives in a good sunny area. Spend a little extra time on ground
preparation for your Gardenias, and the results will be worth the efforts. 

Craig Morell
Pinecrest Gardens 

Gardenia 'Vietnam'
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Gardenia 'Kleim's Hardy'

Gardenia taitensis-Tahitian Gardenia
Gardenia tubifera, photo: Top Tropicals

4 comments:

  1. Where can I buy a Miami Supreme Gardenia Tree online

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your interest in Gardenias ! Many sources have this plant available, especially eBay. You can also try Logees Greenhouses. They specialize in mail-order tropical plants.

    Good hunting !

    Craig Morell
    Pinecrest Gardens

    ReplyDelete
  3. WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO GET THE FERTALIZER YOU RECOMMEND FOR THE GARDENIAS.
    I WANT TO GET A PLEACHED HEDGE OF EITHER GARDENIA TUBIFERA OR A TAHITIAN DOUBLE STANDARD. AND I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF SURVIVAL

    THANK YOU-
    LUCIA

    ReplyDelete
  4. The best place to get good quality fertilizer is Diamond R Fertilizer in Homestead, their local phone number is 305-247-8800. They make an excellent fertilizer, formulation is 12-2-14 Container Palm special. It will grow a beautiful Gardenia plant for you. If you are unable to drive down to Homestead, perhaps they can send a bag to a hardware store or garden center near you.

    Craig Morell
    Pinecrest Gardens

    ReplyDelete