Fun Flower Facts

All About Gardenias

May 24, 2016

Gardenias, which are most commonly known for their wonderfully scented and waxy white flowers that bring life to a garden starting in early spring, are the perfect solution for anyone interested in finding out how to make their yard and home really pop. But unless you’ve had your fair share of experience with gardening, it’s important to take the time to learn about this species before attempting to plant any. To help you out, we’re sharing everything you need to know about these highly popular plants below.

white gardenia flower

Gardenia Flower Meaning

Gardenias, which were named after Alexander Garden of Charleston, South Carolina, are known to symbolize love, refinement and purity. Additionally, some other meanings associated with this bloom include trust, renewal, clarity and hope. Given their reputation for most commonly being known to represent the first three traits of love, refinement and purity, it is no surprise that gardenias are often included in wedding floral arrangements. During the Victorian times, history explains that gardenias were used to send messages (especially messages of a secret love) between people, and today, they are still the perfect gift to give someone special.

 

How To Plant and Grow Gardenias

Depending on your geographical location as well as your personal preferences, you get to decide whether you will plant your gardenias indoors or outdoors. A few things to keep in mind when planting and growing gardenias are as follows:

Outdoor Gardenias

  1. If you live in a rather hot climate, choose a location in your garden that receives full sun during the day, but some afternoon shade.
  2. Plant your gardenias in spring or fall, and plan for each plant to be about three to six feet apart from each other.
  3. When digging into your soil, go only as deep as the root ball and no more than two to three times as wide as it. After taking the plant out of its container and placing it in the hole, fill it halfway with soil and then water. Once the water has drained, you can fill the remainder of the hole with soil and water again.

gardenia-plant-in-basketIndoor Gardenias

  1. Choose a location for your gardenia prior to bringing it into your home and avoid moving it around once things are all set – gardenias are not fans of switching spots too often!
  2. Find a place in your home that receives plenty of light (without it being too direct) and is known for being humid. If your home normally doesn’t feel humid, you may need to use a humidifier to create the environment potted gardenias need.
  3. Keep your gardenias in a room where the temperature ranges from about 55 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gardenia Care

To ensure that your gardenias thrive throughout their growing season, follow these care instructions:

  1. Always keep soil well-drained and at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 regardless of whether they are in a pot or in your outdoor garden.
  2. Never let your gardenias completely dry out before watering again and set yourself up on a schedule where you water them regularly.
  3. Add about two to four inches of mulch around your gardenias to help retain moisture and control weeds that will take up all the water.
  4. Prune gardenia plants in early spring to give them a nice shape for the season, then again once the plant goes dormant at the end of the season.
  5. Fertilize gardenias frequently, but be careful not to over fertilize as this could stunt plant growth and cause damage.

Preventing Gardenia Pests

Like all plants and flowers, gardenias are also known for attracting their fair share of pests – some common ones include:

  • Whiteflies
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Scale insects

graceful-gardenia-plant

The best way to truly protect your gardenias from being taken over by pests like these is to follow the proper care instructions and keep them healthy – making sure that the environment is the right temperature and has the right moisture levels are two key factors in keeping pests away!

By following this guide to growing and caring for gardenias, we think you’ll be very happy with the results! Now, get out there and get planting!