The Q&A Archives: Big Gardenia flowers!

Question: I have a very simple question, What type of fertilizer/soil should i use to get the biggest Gardenia flowers possible?

Answer: Start with a gardenia noted for large blooms such as 'Mystery'. Provide gritty, acidic soil (for fast drainage). For peak boom, fertilize throughout the growing season, applying an acid or high-nitrogen plant food every three to four weeks. In very hot weather, feed more often with dilute doses. If plants develop yellowed leaves, treat for chlorosis with iron chelate or iron sulfate. Prune off scraggly branches and pluck faded flowers.

My favorite, Gardenia jasminoides 'Mystery' has the largest flowers and leaves. The heaviest bloom is May to July; sometimes flowering continues to November. Plants eventually get 6 to 8 feet tall; they need pruning to control legginess.

Good luck with your gardenia!

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