Gardenia

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Name: Gardenia
Scientific Name: Gardenia
Family: Rubiaceae

Soil: Prefers acidic, well drained soil. It can do well in regular Miracle Grow Potting that is mixed with sphagnum peat moss.
Sun: It likes a lot of sunlight, but should be protected from the blazing afternoon sun. Semi-shade is the best place for it.
Water: Water often if left outdoor. Keep soil moist..
Fertilizer: Use fertilizer for acid-loving plants. I will given it MirAcid, as well as food for Azalea, Camilla, and Rhododendron. I also feed it with some diluted IronPlus. I will also try some Dr. Qs acid food.
Care: Gardenia can be both easy and difficult until you get to know it better. It does not like freezing weather, so it is imperative to take it indoors on cold days.
Tips: Water and fertilize it often during spring and summer. It must be taken outdoors during the spring and summer days in order to form buds and new leaves.

Description:

I have a love-hate relationship with this fragile yet hardy plant. I think aside from the michelia alba, the gardenia has the strongest fragrance, if you count amount of fragrance put out per flower. There were a few of them growing outside my townhouse in Mililani, Hawaii. One time I picked one of those white and multi-layered flowers and put in a small glass next to my bed, my whole room smelled quite pleasantly for days.

I got a gardenia last year. Knowing that it likes sun light, I put it outside on the porch. It grew and produced flowers, though not many. When the winter chill began, I failed to bring it back soon enough; it lost almost all of its leaves. I brought it indoors. Though new leaves slowly formed, it looked rather sad the whole winter. When spring came, I moved it outdoors again. It seemed to sprint to life in the sun. After I gave it some food, the leaves are much more well-developed and well-formed.

I got my second gardenia earlier this year. Coming out of nursery, it had a few dozen new buds as well as partially opened flowers. Wanting to keep that pleasant fragrance indoors, I left it on my living room. A horrible things happened; those nice little buds started to drop, one after another. No matter what I did, nothing helped. Those little green creatures seemed to be in some suicide mode. Soon, nothing was left on the branches. The leaves, however, kept forming, both shiny and green.

After checking some online references, I found that the gardenia is very sensitive to fluctuations of temperature. I believe the problem resulted from a lack of direct morning sunlight. I moved it outdoors. It is doing much better now. With any lucks, it should flower again soon.

 

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