Caring for gardenias (Gardenia spp.) Requires special yard tools for successful growth. When cared for properly, gardenias reach heights up to 6 feet with an equal spread. Gardenia shrubs develop best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11 in light to partial shade. Plant gardenias in well-drained dirt and water frequently.
PH Soil Test
Gardenias need acidic soil, ranging between 5.0 and 6.0 on the pH scale. Perform a pH test on your own soil before buying gardenias because lowering pH soil amounts may take as much as a year, based on the method you use. Spread elemental sulfur at least 6 inches deep into the soil at a speed of 1 1/2 lbs per 100 square feet to lower the pH level by 1.0. Perform another pH soil test three to four months after the first application and apply more, if necessary. Iron sulfur reacts with the soil three to four weeks following application and takes 12 1/2 lbs per 100 square feet to reduce the pH level by 1.0. Do not apply iron sulfur in one application if you need more than 9 lbs per 100 square feet. Split the software to avoid reaching high levels of soluble salts.
The ideal time to plant gardenias is at the spring or fall. You will need a scoop to dig the planting hole and nourishment after planting. Assess the root ball and use the scoop to dig the planting hole two to three times wider than your measurements. Dig the hole only as deep as the root ball and fill it halfway with soil. Water the planting hole and completely fill the hole with dirt once the water has drained. Acid-loving plants need fertilizer in the time of planting and again in June. Fertilizers may cause damage if implemented in fall because they stimulate growth and expose the plant during winter weather. Gardenias need regular watering. Spread mulch over the planting site helps keep moisture in the soil.
Gardenias need pruning once the flowering season is over so that you avoid pruning away creating buds. Pruning controls the dimension, shape and proportions of this plant in regard to your own landscape. Measure the branches of this gardenia plant and use hand pruning shears if the divisions are less than 1/2 inch diameter. Use lopping shears for divisions between 1/2 and one inch in diameter and pruning saws for bigger branches. Remove straggly, diseased or dead branches and faded flowers to promote wholesome growth. If your gardenia bush needs heavy pruning, prune the tree in the spring before leakage starts. Prune gardenias immediately after a storm if they have been hurt and avoid after summer pruning to maintain the gardenia safe from regrowth during the winter.
Propagating gardenias from stem cutting creates new plants more quickly than starting them from seed. Gardenia bushes may take up to three years to create blooms if you plant from seed, but less than one year when you grow them from stem cuttings. Budding knives remove buds and stems used for propagating. Cut a 4- to 6-inch piece of wood that’s between six and eight weeks old. Remove all the leaves in the timber except for two to three clusters. Dip the stems in a rooting hormone and also store them in a moist rooting medium, such as equal parts of peat moss and perlite, until roots develop. Rooting hormone encourages root growth in gardenia cuttings. Wrap the cuttings using plastic bags to keep them from drying out and transplant them into planters once roots have already attained 1 inch long, usually after three to fourteen days.