Do you feel like your outdoor space lacks a little something to set the mood? A fragrant addition to your garden can be a great way to create a pleasant ambience that will make you want to spend more time outdoors instead of in. And when it comes to scented plants, gardenias always come to mind first.
Due to their intoxicating scent, lovely, white flowers and evergreen leaves, the gardenia’s many varieties are some of the most popular shrubs. Starting from early spring, this hedge will reward you with flowers throughout the summer and into mid-fall. What more could you ask for? However, in order to enjoy this shrub in its full glory, you need to treat it right. So, here are a few tips on how to keep your gardenia happy and healthy.
Know Your Variety
While all gardenias generally have the same requirements, some varieties can have additional needs. With that being said, it’s helpful to know which variety grows in your garden. For instance, one of the most popular varieties, the Gardenia Florida can reach heights up to 1 metre, which is great if you use it as a hedge along the borders. To promote thick and bushy foliage, prune straggly growth in early spring and them prune again after flowering. On the other hand, if you want to use the Gardenia Florida as a small decorative element, you may want to prune it more often. Other popular types of gardenias are Radicans, Augusta, First Love, Mystery and Kleim’s Hardy.
Plant in the Right Spot
Gardenias have tropical origins, which means that they can handle the sun. However, they still need protection from the scorching mid-day sun. Considering this, north and east-facing spots are ideal because the plants can get a lot of morning light and some late afternoon light, but won’t be burned during the hottest part of the day. Also, make sure that your gardenia isn’t planted in a crowded spot where there are competing roots. With that being said, it’s best to place them along pathways, fences or the corners of your house.
Meet Its Water and Soil Requirements
Gardenias grow best in soil that is moist and well-drained. The trick is to keep the soil consistently damp but not soggy by watering your gardenias with 2cm of water each weak. Whenever it rains, skip one week of watering. Be careful not to overwater your plants as this can cause problems. As for the soil, in order to improve its drainage, you can apply a layer of organic mulch. Organic matter such as peat moss and manure can also provide the soil with nutrients that help improve the plants’ growth.