Monday, June 9, 2008

Have You Considered the Viability of Growing Gardenias Indoors?

Gardenias are beautiful shrubs with green glossy leaves and in summer they bear flowers that have the most amazing perfume – it is pungent but light, aromatic and somewhat heady and is unforgettable once you have smelt its distinct emission of perfume. You walk along the streets and the fragrance is amazing.

Have you ever thought of growing your own gardenia bush? Your garden may not be suitable depending on the structure and drainage of the soil, but you can still grow gardenias – in pots. Apparently, gardenias actually thrive if grown in pots.

Select a vigorous variety of gardenia – Belmont or Miami Supreme. Ensure that they have not become root bound in their pots before you purchase them. Use a clay or terracotta pot 2 inches bigger than the rootball. They prefer an acidic soil (clayey). A good peat based potting soil is recommended and add time release fertilizer pellets and dry ironite. Apply Epsom salts and liquid iron chelate once a month. If they are placed outside in summer they can get the right amount of humidity and will thrive. Shift your potted gardenia after 2pm to a shadier environment.

Be careful of overwatering, over potting and over fertilizing, but, please don’t allow them to get too dry, either. Gardenias are prone to root disease which can be eliminated with the right supplementations as mentioned above. In winter bring your Gardenia indoors and place it in front of your sunniest window. Don’t fertilize in winter for that is when the plant is dormant and doesn’t need fertilizing. Gardenias are prone to aphids, but there is no need to use chemicals and poisons to treat them – just wash them off with the hose whenever you notice them.

If you love gardening and potted plants you are going to be absolutely thrilled if you can grow a gardenia bush successfully. Happy potting!

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