Tree type: shrub.
Description: Alexander Garden, an American physician and naturalist, discovered this plant, and it is in honor of him that it got its name. Belongs to the madder family. It is an evergreen small tree or shrub. There are approximately 250 species in the genus Gardenia.
- Origin: China, India, South Africa.
- Growing environment: greenhouse or home conditions.
- Leaf ornament: absent.
- Flowering: present.
- Aroma: yes.
- Care: Careful care is required.
Temperature regime: gardenia belongs to heat-loving plants, and in winter it must be kept at a temperature of 16-18 ° C, but not exceed 22 ° C. If the temperature is higher, then it is necessary to provide increased humidity. At this temperature in winter, vegetative shoots actively grow, which prevents flower buds from developing.
- Humidity level: moderate.
Lighting: Indirect sunlight coming from the South/East/West will serve as the best lighting. If the gardenia is located on the south side, then it is better to darken the sunlight a little. With a northern orientation, additional illumination is provided using fluorescent lamps. In winter, the plant should be placed in the brightest place in the room. In low light conditions, additional light can be created using LBU, LB lamps when calculating 4 units per square meter. The placement height is sixty to seventy centimeters.
Soil Type: Use a quality, fertile potting soil that retains water and absorbs it well. If you want to customize your soil composition, the following ratio is recommended: 2 parts garden soil, 2 parts humus, 1 part perlite or coarse sand, 1 part washed aquarium charcoal and fir bark can be added for best effect. There should always be a hole in the pot.
Watering: The soil should be evenly moist. In summer and spring, watering is plentiful, and in winter – moderate. Gardenia is badly affected by the drying of an earthen coma, but stagnation of water in the roots also affects negatively. To maintain optimal soil acidity, gardenia is watered once a month with water infused with peat.
Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble, lime-free fertilizer. You can also alternate mineral and organic fertilizers. Adult gardenias can be fed every week from spring to autumn. During spring and summer, preparations containing iron should be applied twice, due to which the pH level in the soil decreases slightly. Moreover, experts recommend fertilizing the plant two to three times a month with a weakly concentrated solution containing potassium and phosphorus from March to August. We must also not forget that magnesium is necessary for good growth, the presence of which should be in solutions of trace elements of fertilizers.
Harmful insects: there is a tendency to plant aphids, spider mites and thrips. When purchasing a plant, always carefully check it for the presence of parasites.
Reproduction: carried out in February-March, by planting slightly lignified cuttings. They are cut about ten centimeters high, and then planted in a substrate consisting of sand mixed in half with peat or river sand. Before propagating gardenia, it is recommended to keep the cuttings in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Cuttings should be rooted using phytohormones and using soil heating with a temperature of 25-27°C. After planting the cuttings, they can be covered with plastic wrap or a glass jar, but you need to ventilate them daily and spray them with warm soft water. Gardenia cuttings are difficult and take a long time to root.
Transplantation: carried out only when absolutely necessary after flowering or in early spring. The soil should be acidic with a pH level of 4.5-5.5. Good drainage is required. If you buy a ready-made soil mixture for gardenias, then soil for azaleas is best suited.
Care tips and tricks: Gardenia foliage turns pale yellow in direct summer sun and can scorch. Be sure to spray (several times a day). During budding, it is necessary to provide high humidity. For this purpose, the pot is placed in a tray with wet sphagnum or peat. When blooming buds, you need to spray only the air around the gardenia. Also during the flowering period, you can wipe the foliage with a soft cloth with warm water. When flowering is over, be sure to cut the shoots by half or two-thirds. Cut off shoots can be planted for further reproduction.