The Q&A Archives: August Gardenias

Question: What are the must knows before I plant a tree August Gardenia in a pot? Soil, fertilizer, signs of distress, light, watering, iron supplements, fish emulsion? Anything else? How to get maximum blooms and a healthy plant. thank you.

Answer: Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' adapts well to growing in a container. It likes moist soil (allow the top 1/2 inch of potting soil to dry out before watering), morning sunshine and afternoon shade. It likes acidic soil ( such as Miracle-Gro potting soil) and if you feed with an acidified liquid fertilizer (Shultz's, Peter's or Miracle Gro), you won't need to use iron supplements or fish emulsion. To be on the safe side, use a half-strength dilution of a water soluable fertilizer and apply every 2-3 weeks. This will provide a constant source of nutrients without the fear of over-fertilizing. As long as your gardenia has adequate moisture, it should bloom without problem. If some of the buds dry up before opening, it indicates dry air: mist or hose the plant off each morning while the flower buds are forming and opening and all the flower buds should open for you.

Pinching out the tips while the plant is dormant will cause the plant to become bushier. Pinching usually promote heavier blooms the following year.

Best wishes with your gardenia!

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