Thursday, May 29, 2014

Secret Love, Purity and Joy: Gardenias

I am going to try to say as little as possible about these flowers that make one want to babble on and on.

They make great hedges.

In this picture are Oakleaf Hydrangea at left on its downhill slide toward pink then tan, Gardenias in the foreground and white Crape Myrtle just starting bloom.

Gardenias are usually reported to be difficult to grow. The leaves turn yellow and gardeners panic. Give them some water. Pick off the yellow leaves, they are old. New ones take their place. Gardenias like good soil, excellent drainage and bright light. A spritz of oil soap for white fly and sooty mold and they're good.

Last year I gave a good pruning to these six along the driveway that I enjoy on my hike to the mailbox. They are bigger than ever and just starting to bloom.

I picked some to put in the sunporch so we pass them as we come in and out. The heady, earthy fragrance is quite different to the sweet intoxicating scent of Brugmansia just outside and very unlike the lemony perfume of Magnolia farther from the house.

MIL called them Cape Jasmine. One of my favorite broadleaf evergreens, Gardenias.


  1. Gorgeous. Wish I could grow them in the UK.

  2. I was going to ask you what to do about the black on my gardenia and you answered the question. Would Murphy's oil soap be good to use in a spray, or how about Meyer's all-purpose cleaner (diluted of course)?

    Your gardenias are just beautiful and I know how wonderful the scent it, it is one of my favorites.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Murphy's worked for me, Rainey, diluted. I've used olive oil and soapy water, too. The black mold will roll off in sheets in a few days after it gets oiled.

    You know how easily Gardenias root, right? Pick a single flower or a bouquet and leave them in a bottle of water. Eventually they root. A 6" cutting will grow to a foot tall and have a flower in its second year.

  4. Up close they look like a mix between a rose and a magnolia. I have some but I think they may be miniatures. They smell heavenly don't they. Yours are beautiful. How often do they bloom? My old house had some and I never paid attention.

  5. So pretty. Something I can't grow here but wish I could.

  6. I wish everybody could grow gardenias.

    They start blooming at the end of May and last into July, Janie. It is a summer treat to look forward to.


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

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