Gardenia (lat. Gardenia) is a shrub or small evergreen tree of the Marenov family. The homeland of gardenia is the tropical forests of South Africa, India, Japan and China. In nature, there are about 250 species of this plant. The genus of gardenias got its name in the 18th century in honor of the discoverer A. Garden.
In indoor culture, the most common Gardenia jasminoides, or jasmine, 50-70 cm high, with glossy leaves and fragrant flowers. By the way, under natural conditions, this type of gardenia grows up to 1.8 meters in height.
Indoor gardenia is a rather capricious plant, it is sensitive to changes in temperature, illumination, and requires high humidity. But with good care, its large flowers with a strong pleasant aroma will delight you on a gloomy winter morning.
Be careful: All parts of the gardenia are poisonous, especially the fruit.
1) Jasmine (G. Jasminoides ellis) - a beautiful shrub grows in nature about 2 m, in room conditions no more than 60-70 cm. It does not lose its attractiveness all year round. Elegant leathery, dark green leaves are placed in pairs, opposite each other. During the flowering period, which with proper care can last all summer, white star-shaped flowers, collected in inflorescences, flaunt at the edges of the green shoots. Luxurious flowers have a pleasant, rather pungent aroma.
2) Yellow or Gold (Gardenia carinata, kuta) - the flower got its name due to its unusual colors: first, white buds appear, then slowly change color to lemon, and at the end of flowering turn into orange. In nature, it grows up to 10 meters, at home it is much lower, it grows slowly, but be patient, over time this modest bush will transform into an elegant tree.
3) Citriodora (G. Citiodora) - is in demand among flower growers for its irresistible impeccable appearance and compactness. This small plant is covered with glossy lanceolate leaves. The flowers are snow-white, very small, about 1-2 cm, but the aroma, like other gardenias, is strong and rich.
Large white gardenia flowers, which look very similar to roses, with an excellent aroma, will not leave anyone indifferent. Terry buds are densely located on the stems of the plant, flowering continues from the beginning of summer to the autumn cold.
This, at first glance, a capricious and demanding plant, will add sophistication and beauty to any interior. Gardenia is thermophilic, prefers high humidity, does not like watering with hard water and drafts, temperature changes.
It is not advisable to rearrange it, it is better to immediately identify the flower to a permanent place. The best option would be western or southern rooms, sunlight should freely enter the apartment.
If you pay due attention to care and provide your wayward pet with optimal conditions, then keeping such a gorgeous flower at home will not be so difficult.
Lighting. For good development and flowering gardenia need a place with bright diffused light. From lack of lighting, buds and flowers fall off, and burns may appear on gardenia leaves in direct sunlight. In winter, when the sun is not so hot, it is better to place the gardenia near the southern windows.
Important: Do not rotate your gardenia pot during or before flowering. From a change in illumination, buds and flowers can fall off.
Temperature. Gardenia is very sensitive to temperature changes. If a pot with a plant is on a non-glazed balcony in the summer, it is better to bring it into the room at night. In spring and summer, the optimum temperature for keeping is in the range of 20-24 ° C, in the autumn-winter period - about 17 ° C. It is also important to monitor soil temperature in winter. Plant roots should not be overcooled.
Important: In the autumn-winter period, the plant needs a temperature of 16-18 ° C to form flower buds, not higher or lower.
Air humidity. The plant of the tropics - gardenia, thrives in warm and humid air. To increase the humidity, spray the bush, but so that the water does not get on the flowers. Or place the plant pot on an inverted saucer in the middle of a wide pan. Fill the pallet with moss or expanded clay to the height of the saucer and keep it constantly moist.
Watering. Gardenia is also very demanding for watering. Water for irrigation should be settled within a day or filtered. Also, the water must be acidified with lemon (a few drops of juice per liter jar) and warmed to room temperature. In spring and summer, water should be plentifully after the topsoil dries out. In autumn and winter, watered when the layer dries up by 1-1.5 cm.
10-15 minutes after watering, you need to drain the water from the sump so as not to provoke root rot.
Top dressing. For feeding, you can use liquid fertilizer for flowering houseplants. Top dressing is carried out from March to August every two weeks. In winter, the plant is not fed. In order not to lead to an excess of nutrition, do not rush to feed the flower immediately after purchase, let the first growing season pass. For nutrients to be well absorbed, maintain the acidity of the soil with acidified irrigation water.
Important: Do not feed the plant with a full dose, take half of that indicated on the package. Fertilizers containing calcium are contraindicated for adult plants.
Transfer. Gardenia is usually transplanted in the spring, in the event that the roots are cramped in the pot. The soil should be acidic (pH 4.5 - 5.0) and loose. You can use commercially available azalea soil. At the bottom of the pot, drainage from expanded clay or small chips from red bricks is required.
Young plants (up to 3 years old) are recommended to be reloaded annually, adults - once every three years. The transplant cannot be carried out during flowering or during budding.
Trimming and shaping. To get a pretty bush, the tips of the shoots are pinched in the spring, the extended branches are cut to 2/3 of the length, and the dried and weak ones are removed. To form a tree, the central shoot is cut off at a height of 10-15 cm, the side branches are removed. New shoots will grow from the top point, which also pinch as they grow.
Bloom. Gardenia usually blooms from June to October, but it can please with white fragrant flowers in winter. Fragrant flowers fill the entire space with a captivating scent similar to the scent of jasmine. The plant will delight the owners with the excellent appearance of its flowers for longer, subject to the temperature regime: 18-20 ° C during the day, 16 ° C at night.
Reproduction. Gardenia is propagated by cuttings and seeds. You can use top cuttings with 3-4 leaves left after pruning. Before planting, it is advisable to dust the lower part of the cutting with root or other root formation stimulant. Cuttings are planted in a mixture of peat and sand (in equal proportions), sprayed and covered with a jar or transparent bag.
It is necessary to monitor the temperature of the air and soil, it should be within 24-26 ° C. The cuttings are periodically ventilated, watered and sprayed with warm water. After rooting, young plants are planted in the ground - a loose and acidified substrate (soil for azaleas is suitable).
Diseases and pests. Damage by scabbard, aphids and spider mites is possible. The plant can shed its buds due to irregular watering, turning or moving the pot to another place. Leaves turn yellow from hard water or temperatures below 16 ° C.
To protect the flower, spray it with an insecticide, if the lesion is not severe, then once will be enough. With an actively progressive pest, repeat the procedure 2-3 times with an interval of 7-10 days.
Plants in winter. In winter, the gardenia should be placed in a well-lit area with temperatures between 18 ° C and 16 ° C. Reduce watering and protect from drafts. For the cold season, it is recommended to move the gardenia pot to the south side of the apartment so that your damsel receives full lighting.
Interesting facts. Gardenia is named after the Scottish M.D., naturalist and colonial botanist Alexander Garden.
In the homeland of a flower in Japan and China, a spectacular plant is not only admired, but also used as a medicine for various diseases. Decoctions are prepared from the roots and fruits, the resulting solution is used to lubricate wounds, burns, rinse the mouth with stomatitis and tonsillitis.
Also, this delicate flower of fabulous beauty is used in many countries for the preparation of medicines: antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic. Scented flower oil is used in cosmetology and perfumery. Some gardenia flowers are a wonderful tea flavor.
PHOTO OF GARDENIA