One of the most popular Warm-Climate summer-scented flowering shrubs is the gardenia. Although they will flower throughout spring and autumn, their major flowering is during summer. These shrubs have dark glossy green foliage and stunning crisp white flowers that have the strongest of perfumes. There are various cultivars that grow to various heights too. Gardenias make great hedging, rockery, potted plants, and garden specimen plants depending on which variety you choose.
Here are a few popular varieties and their heights they grow to:
- Gardenia Radicans: 50cm
- Gardenia Florida: 1m
- Gardenia Magnifica: 2m
- Gardenia True Love: 1m
One important factor to successful Gardenia growing is that they like acidic soil, meaning a pH of 5.5-6.5. Amend alkaline soils using sulphur powder.
How to grow Gardenias:
- Sunny to semi-shade – protection from hot western sun preferable.
- Organic rich well-drained soil. Use Rocky Point ActivGrow Soil Improver and gypsum if drainage is an issue.
- Mulch thickly with Rocky Point Tea Tree or Cypress Mulch.
- Fertilise regularly (every 6-8 weeks) during the growing season with a Camellia and Azalea fertiliser and Rocky Point ActivGrow Fertiliser Pellets.
- Liquid applications of liquid seaweed and liquid potash.
- Water deep and often during the spring and summer months.
- Pune after flowering to maintain bushy growth.
- If growing in pots, use Coco Pro Premium Potting Mix.
Pests and disease.
If you keep your Gardenias healthy with regular fertiliser and watering, you are less likely to have any pests and disease issues.
What to look out for Scale and Mealy Bug - If present apply a botanical plant-based oil and or a neem spray. Often black sooty mould will be present as a secondary infection of the insect’s presence. After treatment with an oil, the black sooty mould can be easily hosed off over time.