Gardenias are classic landscape plants that even non-gardeners are somewhat familiar with. They're known for their hallmark jasmine-scented flowers that might just take you back to Southern summers when the porch-swings were swinging and the mosquitos were thirsty.
Many gardeners will tell you that a landscape isn't complete without a few, and we would tend to agree. But these bloomers know what they like in their planting location. Therefore, we've laid out some basic tips below that should help them succeed in your garden.
Gardenia Care Tips for Success:
Gardenias need slightly acidic soil (or at the very least neutral).
Before planting your gardenia(s), check your soil pH. An acidic pH of 5-6.5 is optimal. However, a neutral pH of 7 will also work in most instances. If it's any higher, though, it will prevent your gardenia from absorbing essential nutrients. This results in yellowing and loss of leaves, as well as the expiration of your plant.
If your pH is too high, try supplementing the soil with peat moss and applying elemental sulfur.
Plant your gardenia only as deep as the root ball is tall, but dig the hole 2-3 times the width of the root ball.
Digging a wider hole loosens up the soil around your new plant's roots. Therefore, it's able to spread out more easily and establish itself quicker.
If your soil has slow-drainage, you can dig a shallower hole that will allow your plant to sit 3-4 inches slightly above the ground.
Gardenias need reliable moisture, but not constant sogginess.
You'll need to water your plant on average 2-3 times per week for the first growing season. However, if you're regularly experiencing wet weather, you probably won't need to provide any supplementary water.
If you're going through a period of intense heat and/or drought, you may need to provide water 3-4 times per week.
Don't plant in heavy shade.
Gardenias like and need sun quite a bit. We recommend somewhere between 3-6 hours of direct sun for best results. Less exposure than that will result in less dense foliage and fewer blooms.