Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Planning with Gardenias for a Romantic June

Blooming June, 2009.

                In bud on a gift plant indoors today.

So why am I talking about Gardenias when the outdoor season starts in June? Care starts now. I'm about to start spreading compost around gardenias and roses. Buffy helped sift compost by knocking the hardward cloth I was using as a screen off the wheelbarrow and jumping in to stir the contents. We will collect some wood ashes to add potassium to our mix from the burn pile where we burned downed trees last month . Some Epsom salts for magnesium, bone meal for phosphorus.

                         We will mulch with pine straw, stored since fall in the stick house.

Gardenias near the north corner of the house need attention for sooty mold. Spraying with oil soap spray will take care of it. These are tall gardenias that I thought to prune up like little trees. The gardenias thought not and kept putting out new growth on the trunks, so they are now tall slender bushes.

I've learned from observation that yellowing may not indicate a systemic problem. At certain times of the year, scattered yellow leaves may form and drop. New leaves form. Drought may also cause yellow leaves. The greenish yellow cast in early spring usually just means they're growing in poor soil as these are and had a hard winter. There are three bushes here to form a little hedge. They need an extra helping of compost.

Half a dozen gardenias front the azalea walk. Walking to the mailbox in June is a delight when they are covered in blooms.

All outdoor gardenias in my garden were cuttings rooted from one bush that was here for decades.

June, 2010


  1. Love the fragrance! I have standard gardenias either side of the front door. So lovely to be greeted by that wonderful smell.

  2. I love that your Gardenias were propagated from and original. "Vintage" from years ago - how cool!

    (The fact that you have an "Azalea Walk" is incredible. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are my favorites - but tender here in the Midwest, or at least for me.)

  3. Neil Jean,

    Our gardenia has wilted leaves near the top. Thanks to this info on them. I already added compost a few weeks ago. We are in a drought so that might be the answer, have been watering it since I noticed the leaves.

  4. Love gardenias. I have three near the front door that I rooted 2 years ago. They've all grown to about 2' tall. I really hope they bloom this year. They're the large leaf variety, not a new hybrid. I rooted them from a shrub that's at least 40 years old.

  5. Thanks for the gardenia care tips...I knew mine needed something, just wasn't quite sure what.

  6. Love gardenias. Had some that flourished, then moved them and obviously they don't like the new spot. I'll keep trying, though - their scent is worth a little work!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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