Trees, hedges and borders
With their sweet smelling, white flowers, gardenias are the perfect flowers for your patio on a summer evening. The light colour of the flowers means they come into their own at night, and their beautiful fragrance adds ambience to your outdoor entertaining. These evergreen shrubs have dark, glossy leaves and fare best in a spot where they receive morning sun and afternoon shade. If well cared for, they will flower all the way from spring until autumn.
Here are a few tips to help keep your gardenias in top shape :
- Gardenias like rich, well composted soil. Add plenty of bone meal and compost when planting to ensure healthy root development and good drainage.
- Keep the soil moist, but make sure it is never soggy as gardenias hate standing in pools of water.
- Feed your gardenia plants in spring with 3:1:5 fertiliser, and feed again in late summer. Mulch the soil with pine needles or bark chips – this ensures a slightly acidic soil in which gardenias thrive.
- If your gardenia shows signs of fungal disease (black patches on leaves), spray with Oleum or Malathion.
- Yellowing leaves could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Feed your plants with Epsom salts or Trelmix. If, however, the leaves remain yellow and keep dropping off the plant, this is sign that you are probably overwatering the plant.
Did you know? – There are 142 species of gardenia, and all are members of the coffee family. Don’t try drinking it though!