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Home arrow Flowers & Herbs arrow Wednesday Q & A: Gardenias
Wednesday Q & A: Gardenias Print E-mail
Written by Heleigh Bostwick    Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Q: My office-grown gardenia won’t flower. What can I do?

A: Now often listed as G. augusta ‘Fortuniana’ or even as G. fortunei, Gardenia jasminoides var. fortuniana and its cultivars are chiefly greenhouse-grown for the floral trade and are often not very rewarding when grown in the home or office.

In winter, the plant should be kept at 45 to 50 degrees F. in indirect sun with fairly dry soil to discourage growth. In spring, prune the plant lightly, move it to a warmer and brighter location, and resume watering. During the summer, feed it regularly with fertilizer for acid-loving plants or with fish emulsion.

Ensure that your gardenia is exposed to moist air by placing the pot on a tray containing pebbles and water. To develop flower buds, gardenias require at least a half-day of sun and nights cooler than 70 degrees. Any variation from these conditions is likely to result in bud drop.


Q: How do I propagate a gardenia using cuttings from a large gardenia bush?

A: In order to propagate the gardenia, use greenwood and semi-ripe cuttings taken as nodal stem-tip cuttings in late spring or early summer. Root one cutting per cell tray or pot. They tend to root in six to eight weeks and should be kept in humid conditions with temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees. They should flower in 12-18 months.