Gardenia is one of the most attractive flowers for its heavenly fragrance, snow-white petals, and ability to bear Southern heat.
Although it’s rewarding to watch Gardenias blooming not only once but twice annually, be careful because they’re not the easiest to cultivate.
Tag along to find the optimal conditions for growing and taking care of your gardenias like a pro.
What Are The Gardenia Light Requirements?
The Gardenia bush requires acidic soil rich in organic matter and fertilizers. Direct sunlight and high temperature are no-brainers for a Southern plant like ours. Finally, consistent watering of at least one inch a week is essential.
4 Optimal Conditions for Growing Gardenias
To last for more than one season and bloom twice, Gardenias demand specific measures while growing. These heat-loving plants require slightly acidic, organically rich, and well-drained soil.
As they’re southern plants, they thrive in full sun to get direct exposure.
Here are the requirements you need to check before growing a Gardenia flower:
Sunlight is the most important factor when it comes to growing Gardenias. These Southern flowers are full sun hardy, which means they can handle and even thrive in direct sunlight. That’s why we recommend that you expose your Gardenia to full sun.
However, you need to protect the plant’s leaves from burning in the sun months, aka June, July, and August. You can do so by exposing the plan to morning and afternoon sun only and putting it in the shade when it’s full midday sun.
Gardenias thrive in slightly acidic soil, typically from 5 to 6.5 pH. Making sure that your soil is within the range is crucial for the well-being of the Gardenia. Use a soil test found at a nearby home improvement center, online, or from your extension service.
Optimally, your soil should be organically rich with good water retention. If you have particularly heavy clay soil that won’t allow the roots to breathe properly, mix with the right amount of compost.
As opposed to heavy soil that causes waterlogged soil, sandy soil dries out quickly and doesn’t retain water. Both cases aren’t healthy for the Gardenia Sun.
The Gardenia Sun is a subtropical plant and grows best in high humidity and temperature areas. Although most Gardenias are hardy in zones 8–9, a few are hardy in zones 10 and 11. Also, zone 7 hardy Gardenias are rare but certainly not lacking.
Consistent moisture is essential for Gardenias as they aren’t drought-tolerant. To get the optimal amount of moisture for the gardenias, you need to consider three factors:
As a rule of thumb, make sure the Gardenias have access to at least 1 inch of water per week. If your growing area isn’t usually exposed to rainwater, make sure to water the plants deeply once a week.
Check twice that your soil will absorb the water without suffocating the plant.
Organic matter and fertilizers help in keeping the water level up at an appropriate altitude to the shrubs. Use a slow-release Gardenia fertilizer designed for acidic plants to keep the soil rich and the roots well-irrigated.