Ask a Question forum: Gardenia soil

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Oxford, PA
aim_shaws
Dec 15, 2017 8:20 AM CST
Hello,

I just bought a flowering indoor Gardenia from a famed local garden and conservatory in Zone 6b. It seems to love where I put it, a sunny west window. I'd like to put in in a new container but I'm having real trouble finding a soil to use. I keep getting a recipe when I really only need about 3 cups of soil. Can someone please help me with a cost efficient soil or recipe. By cost efficient I mean I don't want to spend a lot of money for some expensive products that I only use a cup of.

In the picture the plant is in it's original container inside the terracotta pot. There's a lot of extra room.

Thanks

Amy

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Dec 16, 2017 6:01 AM CST
Hi & welcome! The phrase "indoor Gardenia" is what caught my attention. Gardenias are so famous for rarely doing well inside. If you have a spot with enough light, it can be doable. Did your plant come with its' botanical name? There are multiple kinds of Gardenias, but none of which I'm aware that has a reputation for being "the indoor kind."

I don't mean to be discouraging, just realistic. To sniff a Gardenia IS worth a lot of effort, if needed, to reach that goal.

Is it's current pot unglazed clay with painted decoration, or is it coated/sealed with something? It looks fantastic in the pic! I see the one open bloom. Are there more buds coming along? Unglazed clay pots can allow roots access to so much more oxygen, making it so much less likely that root suffocation/rot (overwatering) can occur. If I could afford them, I would put all of my plants in unglazed clay pots.

I put bananas at the base of my Gardenias often, they are hardy outdoor shrubs here. G. jasminoides: Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) This causes some blooms every time, even if it's not late spring, when the profuse annual blooming occurs. The last one was about 2 weeks ago.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 16, 2017 3:00 PM CST
As Tiffany wrote, Gardenias are very fussy in most home environments. They need a lot of very bright, but mostly indirect sunlight and they are very temperature sensitive. Gardenia buds will blast or fall off if temperatures between 55 and 65 are not strictly maintained. It is also important to keep the soil damp by watering as soon as the top soil surface feels almost dry.

I don't recommend repotting it or otherwise disturbing the roots, especially while it is in flower or bud. Repotting will likely disturb its flowering cycle which is difficult enough as it is. Keep it in its nursery pot and keep your expectations low for getting it to re-flower.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Oxford, PA
aim_shaws
Dec 16, 2017 4:02 PM CST


Purpleinopp, the scientific name is gardenia veitchii (cape jasmine) and yes the pot is unglazed, just painted on the outside. But it isn't in the pot just the nursery pot as you mentioned, Will. There are buds ready to bloom so I guess I'll let it go for a while and not repot it yet. It seems very happy there and growing. Any recommendations on feeding?

Thank you both
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 16, 2017 5:24 PM CST
It should not be fed at this time. It doesn't take much to upset a Gardenia in bloom. Pay strict attention to temperature and water until it has finished blooming, but don't do anything else. After that, more light and higher temps are okay. Come spring, you could consider repotting, but only if it is very potbound. Spring is also a good time to prune back leggy winter growth substantailly. That will help keep the plant full and compact when new summer growth comes in.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 16, 2017 5:28 PM CST
I forgot to respond fully about feeding your Gardenia. Although I don't recommend fertilizing or repotting now, related to both is that Gardenias prefer an acidic soil. That is best achieved by using something like MiraAcid fertilizer starting in the spring.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Oxford, PA
aim_shaws
Dec 16, 2017 8:26 PM CST
Thanks a lot. I hope I can keep it happy and healthy

lynshewhittengmail
Mar 28, 2018 4:44 AM CST
What is best soil recipe for gardenia?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 28, 2018 5:36 PM CST
The best soil recipe for a gardenia is the one that it is already growing in. In most instances, it is a mistake to replace the soil or to move the plant to a larger pot. I recommend that you leave it alone, especially if it is in bud or bloom.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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