Cultivating gardenia - useful information and advice for healthy plants


In order for your gardenias to bloom splendidly, you need a certain amount of care. There are a number of things to consider, especially when watering.

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The viewer is attracted not only by the pretty white flowers, but also by their fragrance. The pretty house plant from the tropics is not related to jasmine, but jasmine roses are just as demanding when it comes to care. Take up the challenge, surround yourself with a classic and sensual flowering plant that adorns every flower window.

Plant Description

Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) are among the red plants. The name of the plant goes back to the Scottish doctor and scientist Alexander Garden, who worked in the 18th century and who was instrumental in discovering and determining the plant. Gardenias are native to Japan, Africa or southern China. There, the plant can grow to heights of up to ten meters. The lush green, glossy leaves form a nice contrast to the bright flowers, which initially appear white and later turn yellowish. Some species are cultivated as ornamental plants. The best known houseplant in our latitudes is the Gardenia Jasminoides.

Water gardenias properly

Uniform irrigation is important for gardenia. The gardener needs a little tact. The plants do not tolerate dry bales or waterlogging. Before each watering, the surface is allowed to dry slightly, but the soil is not allowed to dry out. This can be checked with the finger. A drainage of pottery shards on the bottom of the vessel protects against waterlogging. It is also important to ensure that the planter has sufficient drainage holes. The water should not accumulate in the planter either.

Tip: After each watering, check whether water has accumulated in the planter and remove it immediately if possible

Gardenia also places some demands on the irrigation water itself. The plant does not tolerate lime, so watering with tap water is taboo. Alternatively, rainwater or distilled water mixed with tap water low in lime can be used.

Attention: The irrigation water used should always be at room temperature.

Tips for watering gardenias in brief:

  • water regularly
  • Avoid dry bales
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • ensure high humidity
  • Rainwater instead of tap water

Properly fertilize gardenias

In general, the nutritional needs of gardenia can be seen as moderate. This changes during the flowering period. Then the plant needs regular fertilizers. The use of rhododendron fertilizer is recommended. The composition of these products most closely corresponds to the nutritional needs of the plant.

Tip: Always use lime-free fertilizer. Bonsai fertilizers or vegetable fertilizers are also good alternatives.
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Properly fertilize gardenias in brief:

  • every two weeks between spring and autumn
  • more common during flowering
  • use lime-free liquid fertilizer

Care instructions for the growth phase and flower formation

  • keep evenly moist, but not wet
  • Let the soil dry slightly
  • fertilize weekly
  • Spray leaves regularly
  • keep constant at room temperature
  • do not move
  • Avoid drafts

Do gardenias need to be cut?

Gardenias grow less than a meter in height as a houseplant and therefore do not necessarily have to be cut. However, pruning is advisable and the plant gets extremely well.

The best time to prune gardenia is in spring. It is cut back to an outside eye.

Tip: If the bark shows slight bulges, it can be a sleeping eye. The shoot is stimulated by the pruning.

After the cut, the plant grows evenly and appears bushy. Gardenias are fairly well tolerated by cuts and any wounds healed quickly. Use a sharp and aseptic cutting tool!

Gardenias as winter bloomers - how does it work?

Gardenias usually bloom in our latitudes in late summer. If you want to grow a winter flowering plant, you can try this by breaking out the buds in summer.

Overview of care tips for gardenias

care measureexplanation
to water"Gardenias must be watered evenly.
"The plant cannot stand waterlogging and dry bales.
"The soil should dry slightly between each watering.
"The plant loves high humidity.
"Calcareous water is not tolerated.
Fertilize"Fertilizers are administered regularly between spring and autumn.
"The need is particularly great during the flowering period.
"Bonsai fertilizers, vegetable fertilizers or rhododendron fertilizers are suitable.
To cut"A pruning in spring is a good way to stimulate growth and flowering.
"It is cut back to an outward eye.
"Gardenias are well tolerated by cutting.

Some gardenia species are presented

Only one of the approximately 250 types of gardenia is suitable as a potted plant for the window sill. This is the Gardenia jasminoides, originally from China. Various varieties have now been bred:

veitchii - avid winter bloomer
Plena - particularly dense, white flowers
Fortune - double flowers, reminiscent of camellias

There is no difference in the care of houseplants. All tips and advice given apply to all gardenia species listed.

Gardenia thunbergia, a forest guard, is less suitable for the windowsill than for the winter garden.

The gardenia for the garden - and it does exist

Gardenia Crown Jewel is a specialty. This variety was bred in the USA from the varieties Chuck Hayes and Kleims Hardy. This gardenia knows how to please the heart of the hobby gardener, it is comparatively easy to care for and as a frost-resistant gardenia species it is also an option for planting in the garden bed. The variety grows rather low and has funnel-shaped double flowers, which are generously produced and smell wonderful.