The Q&A Archives: Growing Gardenias

Question: I have received a Gardenia as a gift. Can you tell me where and how to plant this lovely plant? I would like to plant it outside or in a pot which ever is best

Answer: Gardenias are tender plants that grow outdoors only in warm-winter climates, but can be grown as houseplants everywhere. Your region would be marginal for growing a gardenia outdoors, so why not plant it in a container and keep it indoors over the fall and winter months, then take it outdoors to enjoy the weather during the spring and summer months? Gardenias prefer acidic soil, so add some peatmoss to the potting soil in your container prior to planting. Then water well and keep the soil moist, but not soggy wet. Outdoors give your plant full sunshine, with some shade from hot afternoon sun during the hottest months of the summer. Indoors, give your plant bright light and mist the leaves every few days to increase humidity around the plant. You can safely take your plant outdoors in the spring when nighttime temperatures remain above 50F, and leave it outdoors until temperatures begin to cool off in the autumn.

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