Learning to care for your gardenia at home
Rooting or jasmine gardenia is one of the most beautiful indoor plants. But if a gardenia settles on the windowsill, care at home for it should be constant and very attentive..
In nature, this culture forms large shrubs or even trees. During flowering, they spread a magnificent fragrance for many meters around, and the most lush peonies and roses can envy gardenia flowers..
The first stories about the amazing gardenias that adorn the chambers of the Chinese emperors date back to the Song dynasty, which existed about a thousand years ago. Although gardenias could show themselves to the fullest in the palace, even then the gardeners tried to achieve the maximum lush flowering, preventing the growth of the crown. This is how gardenias became spectacular miniature bonsai. In Europe, where culture first appeared in the second half of the 18th century, it was also limited in growth by cutting and shaping the crown..
How to care for your gardenia at home? This question haunts modern flower growers who have decided to decorate their collection with an amazing, but capricious flower..
Today, in addition to these techniques, specially bred indoor varieties are available to flower growers. These plants are relatively small in size, and gardenia maintenance in terms of pruning is a little easier, but still the culture does not cease to be demanding and difficult to grow..
Conditions of detention and features of caring for a room gardenia at home
A decorative species native to Southeast Asia, in nature, it prefers to live in warmth, needs acidified, aerated soils, loves the sun, but at midday it can suffer from too bright rays.
The optimal arrangement of gardenia pots is with windows facing south or west. True, in the first case, especially in the summer, the plant will have to be covered from the scorching rays. In winter, gardenia is not limited to “sunbathing”, on the contrary, it is placed in the sunniest places.
Like many evergreen species, the indoor gardenia has its own range of temperatures that are comfortable for growth and flowering:
- In summer, during the daytime, the air in the room can warm up to 21-24 ° C, and at night it may cool slightly to 15-18 ° C.
- In winter, gardenia flower care at home varies and the room temperature drops to 16 ° C. Minimum allowed to cool the room to 10 ° C.
It is possible to maintain the temperatures necessary for the plant by airing, but at the same time, the flower should not be allowed to fall under the jets of cold air. This will negatively affect the formation of buds, and in some cases the gardenia simply discards the existing flowers, and the flower buds dry out..
An equally unpleasant effect can be observed if the room is not humid and hot enough. To saturate the air near the plant with water vapor, you can use household appliances or put the pot in a tray with moistened expanded clay so that the roots do not have direct contact with water.
To keep foliage healthy and fresh:
- use regular irrigation of the crown with warm filtered water;
- wipe the sheet plates with a damp cloth;
- when caring for the gardenia, arrange a warm shower for it, preventing the substrate in the pot from getting wet.
Watering and fertilizing gardenias for home care
In spring and summer, the soil is kept moist, but does not allow moisture to accumulate in the pan under the pot. This irrigation regime helps the gardenia maintain vigor during active vegetation and flowering. For the cold season, watering is reduced. This is caused by the almost complete cessation of flower growth and a decrease in its moisture requirement. If at home, when caring for a room gardenia, this feature of the plant is not taken into account, there is a risk of flower loss due to decay of peripheral roots and the spread of infection..
Since gardenia thrives in acidified soil, a small amount of citric acid can be periodically added to the irrigation water. Just a few drops per liter of warm, settled water will improve the absorption of nutrients from the soil.
It is more convenient and rational to use complex mixtures and means for flowering, like gardenia azaleas. Such dressings are carried out according to the instructions for a particular product. But along with replenishing the nutrient composition of the soil for gardenias, it is useful to arrange weekly foliar feeding with microelements. Even in winter, the plant will benefit from such a procedure if signs of chlorosis are found on the foliage. But the intake of minerals from the soil alone is not enough, therefore, it must be fed. This is done only in the spring-summer period, 4–6 weeks after transplantation..
Caring for gardenia after purchase has its own characteristics. Plants for sale are planted in soil saturated with prolonged-release fertilizers, so they bloom for a long time and without additional soil fertilization throughout the growing season.
But if such a gardenia has been in an excessively wet peat mixture for a long time, or its roots are so entangled with a clod of earth that the roots stick out of the drainage holes, urgent measures will have to be taken to care for the gardenia and save it. And here you cannot do without a transplant, which is carried out in the spring before the start of active growth..
Transplant and other gardenia care measures
A sign of the need to transfer gardenia to a new pot is the complete braiding of the earthy coma with a thin network of roots..
It means that:
- soil nutrition will soon be insufficient for the full development and flowering of the bush;
- the plant will stop growing, its decorative effect will be significantly reduced;
- gardenia will bloom less or even refuse to open the buds.
The transplant is carried out by carefully transferring the lump into a larger pot. The free space is covered with fresh soil for gardenias or azaleas. If the transshipment is carried out during emergency care of the gardenia after its purchase, it is better to cut the flowers on the crown so that they do not exhaust an already weakened specimen.
Pruning helps keep the gardenia in a home-friendly shape. They begin to pinch or cut off excess shoots from the second year of the flower’s life. You should not be afraid of something like in the photo, caring for a gardenia at home..
After wilting, the flowers must be cut, dried or overgrown stems are removed.
Since the buds are laid on the tops of new branches, the formation of the crown causes branching of the shoots and at the same time helps to lay the future lush and long flowering.
The cut parts of the twigs can be used for rooting. Cuttings with several leaves for a couple of centimeters are immersed in water, where a little root stimulator is added beforehand. After the appearance of its own roots, the young gardenia is transplanted into a light nutritious substrate. With proper care, gardenia at home will bloom next year..