Gardenia is a shrub with highly fragrant white and waxen flowers and glossy leaves. Gardenia has a venerable history of medicinal use in China. It is used to aid liver function, diabetes and to treat feverish colds and coughs. Taken externally it is applied to wounds, sprains and inflamed skin. In Japan and China the edible fruit is used as colouring while the flowers to flavour tea. In the West it is admired for the fragrant blossoms and found in bouquets, wreaths and corsages.
Germination Temperature (°F)
Water 2-3 times a week in Spring and Summer, once a week in Autumn and Winter. Use soft tepid water only and do not allow surface to dry out.
Water with sequestered iron once in early Spring and once again in Summer, then feed every 2 weeks with liquid house-plant food at half strength until Autumn.
Re-pot in early Spring for first 3 years into pot one size larger each time, up to a maximum pot size 18 cm. After just change top soil.
Take 3-4 inches tip cuttings in seed and cutting compost from mid to late Spring or early Autumn and from seeds.
Gardenias are lime hating and should be watered with soft water only and planted in lime-free compost. High temperature and humidity are essential to lengthen the flowering time.
Prune lightly in early Spring, be careful not to remove flower buds when pruning. Alternatively a more drastic prune after flowering by a half or 2/3 may encourage the plant to grow.
Do not use a vase for Gardenias because the stems of a cut Gardenias don't take up water well. It's delicate flowers are best displayed floating in a shallow bowl. Handle them with care to avoid bruising the petals.
Gardenia Jasminoides is a house-plant. It needs bright light but not scorching sun, about 4 hours of direct sunlight in Winter. In Summer provide a curtain filtered sunlight from South or West window. Keep it away from draughts. The plant will not bloom if light is too low. In Summer you can move the plant outdoors to a lightly shaded spot. Scale insects can be a problem. .
On table top close to windows and rooms that are warm and humid enough.
Spray daily in Spring and Summer with soft water avoid flowers and buds. To maintain high humidity, stand pot on saucer of pebbles almost covered with water.
Lime free compost.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.