The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Gardenia

Family: Rubiaceae.

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Gardenia jasminoides
Gardenia Genus of about 200 species of evergreen trees and shrubs from open woodland or savanna in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Gardenia has very exacting growth requirements and numerous problems develop because of an unfavorable environment. Grow Gardenia in sun during the winter and partial shade in summer. Use an acid soil with a pH between 5 and 6. Keep the soil moist and use an acidifying fertilizer twice monthly from mid-winter to early autumn. Proper temperatures are necessary to force Gardenia into bloom. No flower buds set at night temperatures above 65 F. Keep small plants growing by providing night temperatures above 65 F. A night temperature above 65 F causes drop of flowers buds already formed. Ideal forcing temperatures are 65 to 70 F during the day and 60 to 62 F at night. The flowering response requires 14 hour nights. The plants require high humidity. Repot Gardenia in late winter or early spring. The flower buds drop due to low humidity or a sudden environmental change. Flower buds fail to form if day temperatures are higher than 70 F or night temperatures are less than 60 F. High soil pH causes chlorosis and lack of flower bud formation. Leaf drop, possibly delayed, can be caused by cold drafts, improper watering, excessive fertilization, or several consecutive dark cloudy days.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth in summer - minimum 60 F in winter.Brightly lit spot. Keep well away from direct sunlight. Keep compost moist at all times but never waterlogged. Reduce watering in winter. Use soft, tepid water. Misting is necessary. Propagation is by cuttings of half ripened wood taken between November and March. Use greenwood cuttings in spring or early summer. Rooting is better with bottom heat. Sow seed at 66-75 F (19-24 C) in spring.

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