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Gardenia - Fragrance & Beauty you can grow at home!

By Karen England

"Mystery" Gardenia ( Gardenia augusta -formerly jasminoides) is the classic corsage flower that can be grown at home.

But if you want to grow your own, Sunshine Gardens carries wonderful gardenia plants and they will bloom, May through November, in full sun to part shade. According to Sunset Western Garden Book, "Mystery" Gardenias can grow quite large, 6"-8" high & wide, and they do not like to be crowded by other plants and competing roots. Do not plant the root ball too deep, keep it level or even a little high, compared with the existing soil. Suppress weeds by mulching with "Forest Humus" instead of cultivating for best results. Fertilize regularly with an acid fertilizer such as "Gro-Power" in order to counteract the effects of our alkaline water and soil. Prune to shape & hose regularly with jet spray to keep the shiny, leathery deep green foliage clean of scale and aphids. If necessary, also spray with "Jungle Rain" foliage cleaner to help control pests. 

Another variety to grow is "Veitchii Gardenia" or "Everblooming Gardenia" which is compact in size, 3" high by 6" wide, when compared to the "Mystery", but takes the same conditions and care. Both can be grown in containers successfully and, with tender loving care, can be grown indoors.

A beautiful centerpiece for a dinner or buffet table is to take a large clear glass cylindrical vase and float one or two gardenia blossoms, also pretty with the addition of a floating candle. Simple, fragrant and lovely.

Karen England is the "Queen of Edgehill Herb Farm".


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