May 24, 2011

Gardenias for a Romantic June

Gardenias are just coming into bloom here. The bushes with early morning sun are first to open. The shadier ones that get evening sun are full of buds but few blooms this early.

My MIL called them 'Cape Jasmine.' Gardenias were introduced to the American South after cultivated plants were found in South Africa by a sea captain, hence the name common Cape Jasmine not to be confused with Crape Jasmine. They are  actually native to China.

Gardenias grow to 7 feet. Very small plants may have dozens of blooms.

Gardenias are easily grown. Do  not panic when old leaves turn yellow, nor love them to death with too much care. They are easy to root in a bottle of water in June or July, or in soil.

Common pests are whitefly, sooty mold and mealybug.
I use oil soap spray. Alcohol swabs work for mealybug. 

The flowers are beautiful. Creamy white thick petals that
unfurl in a whorled bud then open completely. Their
beauty is only surpassed by the incredible fragrance.
The fragrance is not just at night; it lasts all day.

1 comment:

Pauline said...

Your Gardenia is beautiful, wish we could grow them outside here, but have to make do with them as an indoor plant. The fragrance is wonderful, lucky you to have this all day in your garden.

I Blog Here & Here too