Gardenia jasminoides Radican’
Gardenia Radican InformationNote: these information applies to other gardenias also; ex: August Beauty
Hardiness:USDA Zone 8
Flowering: summer; when indoor, may flower off and on entire year; fragrance is strong and creamy.
Sun Exposure: filtered bright light. Gardenias are tricky plant (though I heard the frost proof hardy ones are easy). They love light, no light=drying leaf+leggy plant, but if you place them in direct sunlight outside, they will almost immediately drop their leaves (in just a couple of hours). Growing them in Zone 6, I keep them continuously indoor by a bright window.
Watering: do NOT over water. This will kill plant, especially the finicky gardenia. With it indoors, I water around once a week, or whenever the soil looks dry or feel dry. I don’t let the soil dry out though. Gardenias will let you KNOW its dry by droopy leaves. I found it best as always to be more on the dry side than the wet, even when my gardenia gets droopy leaves when I slack on watering, after you water, in a couple of hours, the leaves would perk up again. Remember: too much water may have the same symptoms as too little water: droopy, yellow, dried/curled leaves.
Humidity: gardenia must have humidity, or it will be droopy and its leaves will turn yellowish. To increase humidity, I place it in above a tray of pebbles (so that the water below the pebble can increase surrounding air humidity while still allowing the pot to be above the water-not waterlogged).
Fertilizing: gardenia responds well to fertilizer. They are heavy feeders. Look for a fertilizer for acid-loving plants (Miracle-Gro has one). I fertilize at half the concentration recommended, but gives fertilizer more often. Beware of salt burn: gardenia likes acidic soil, so access salt from fertilizer and watering (with hard water) may burn the plant. Symptoms are curled/dried leave edges; yellow leaves. If salt burn occurs or to prevent salt burn, try deep watering the plant and leaching. I am currently searching for easy instructions to leach or deep water plants.
Pests: seems to attract white fly like no other…Tip: spray once in the winter and once in spring with an summer horticulture oil (ex: Bonide All Seasons Horticulture Oil). This suffocates the eggs/larvae stages of the white fly and is quite effective and safe. Spraying in the winter makes the possibility of a white fly break out much less prevalent. Spraying in spring reinforces prevention and kills any possible larvae/egg that bypassed the prevention scheme. If you see lots of larvae on the back of the leaves (tiny opaque white oval spots), spraying summer oil (especially ON THE BACK side of the leaves) really helps in getting rid of these pests.