Flowering gardenia, also known as cape jasmine, is a perennial shrub commonly grown for its large, ornamental flowers, enticing fragrance and glossy foliage. The plant blooms during late spring and summer, producing numerous white, aromatic flowers that reach up to 4 inches in diameter. The scented blossoms attract butterflies and other beneficial insects to the garden. Native to tropical Asia, flowering gardenia plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11 only. In cooler areas of the country, the shrub is commonly grown as a houseplant.
Keep flowering gardenia in a location that receives four to six hours of bright sunlight each day. Maintain a constant temperature of 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and about 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Fill a shallow tray with pebbles, and then add water to the tray until the pebbles are almost completely submerged. Keep the gardenia's container on the tray to increase the relative humidity. Replenish the water whenever necessary.
Water flowering gardenia once every week to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Reduce watering frequency to once every two weeks during winter, when active growth ceases. Apply water directly to the soil to reduce the risk of fungal disease.
Feed once per month using an acid fertilizer to provide proper nutrition for flower development. Water before applying the fertilizer to prevent root burn. Apply according to the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage.
Prune flowering gardenia plant immediately after blooming ends to keep the plant aesthetically pleasing and healthy. Use pruning shears to remove overgrown, bare, damaged or diseased branches.
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