The Q&A Archives: First Love Gardenia

Question: Noticed that there is a grafted variety of the First Love Gardenia offered. Is there any advantage in chosing this over the regular variety?

Answer: Grafting is a technique where two plant species are combined by joining the root stock of one plant with the above-ground stock of another. The result is a superior plant that blends together the best characteristics of both plants. In the case of our new gardenias, varieties of Gardenia jasminoides, a native of China, have been grafted to Gardenia thunbergia, a South African native.

Gardenia jasminoides includes most of the well-known gardenia varieties (with most of these cultivars having been created by growers). Gardenia thunbergia provides below-ground support with its ability to grow in colder, wetter, clay soils and still take up important nutrients such as iron, magnesium and sulfur. This ability heads off the very common yellowing of leaves and keeps the plant healthy and green. The root stock also provides for more and larger flowers and can help protect the plant against nematodes, which can attack its roots.

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