Let's see those Gardenias!

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, ALJune 5, 2013

No idea how old this guy is, or exactly what kind, here when I moved in 6 years ago. Last summer I pulled all of the grass out from around it and put a leaf mulch, occasional kitchen scraps, lawnmower bag of grass. About a month ago, I put a fairly large deposit of scraps, and 4 bananas that had gotten too ripe, under the leaves. It's never bloomed this heavily before, definitely wafting downwind!

Trying to kill the Nandina strangling the base of it, and have liberated the 'denia from a lot of pieces of it, that's probably helping too although I'm not sure I'll win that battle. I've got a piece of sheet metal to smother the main patch, but the part that reaches over toward the Gardenia is really "in there." When I get a minute, I've been trying to get a clear spot between the 2 plants before I smother, but sheesh that's tough. There's a gas line there so I can't go a'shoveling.

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jeff_al

this is the heaviest bloomer of the ones i grow and also the earliest to bloom, usually early may.
it has shed most of this year's flowers but i have some pics from last year. this is 'daisy'.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:39PM
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bulzi(8a)

Gorgeous. So many plants hold a special moment in time. Gardenias holds many, many, many.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:29PM
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notascrename

as you can see, my gardenias are just starting to bloom well. I live in the end of a cove so my spring is a couple of weeks late. the pictures I've seen posted here suggest that more people need to learn how to prune, and start cuttings from their gardenias. interested in the how to, (it's easy), let me know. I took 200+ cuttings from these two plants last year. Jim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 4:29PM
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notascrename

Thought I'd throw in a pic of some of the cuttings. Cuttings taken last november. Jim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:36PM
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jeff_al

jim is right about gardenias being ridiculously easy to root.
i have had success just sticking a small branch into moist ground but it is easier to control the moisture by doing as his picture shows using containers.
i cut some flowers from my shrub of 'mystery' and gave them to our secretary. she left them in the vase for a couple of months. the leaves never yellowed or dropped and i could not believe the extensive root system that had developed!
as for pruning, i don't mind if their habit is not symetrical or formal. a lax form appeals to me and suits my garden style. i have also noticed that not all of the cultivars have the same natural form. 'august beauty' seems stiffly upright when compared to the more rounded and open form of 'mystery'.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 6:36PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Smell-O-Vision has officially kicked in! "Daisy " is lovely, Jeff. Purple, I know you're loving yours.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 5:36PM
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notascrename

Hey Jeff. I don't root the cuttings in those 6" pots , I root them over winter in the greenhouse and it would be hard to keep the humidity up for them, as well as take up too much space. I started 80 in this box last year. Jim

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:14PM
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jeff_al

ah... i see, jim. i should have figured you used a method like that when propagating so many of them. a local friend with an extensive collection of hydrangeas uses that same method to propagate his hydrangea cuttings. he has promised me two of those cultivars later as they get rooted: 'sabrina' and 'shamrock' (a.k.a. 'purple tiers')
looks like your gardenia shrub has exploded into bloom since your first picture post! don't you want to break out the cushions for the bench and sit there with the branches around you and just breathe deeply? :-)
gardenia 'mystery' is just coming into flower for me. i will post a pic of it tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:23PM
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jeff_al

a photo of the flower of gardenia 'mystery'.
this one is recovering from damage by a tree limb that fell on it so i did not take a photo of the entire shrub as it is self-conscious of its appearance right now. ;-)
the flowers are 6" wide, the leaves are 7" long and very glossy while the fragrance is very strong, much more so than that of the others i grow with smaller flowers.
maybe size matters? :-)

speculating that it may not be as cold-hardy as some other cultivars.



    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 12:12PM
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notascrename

Jeff, you sure you shouldn't call that thing Bonds?. I didn't know gardenia growth hormone (GGH) was available. Seriously, that bloom is huge. I hope you took advantage of the limb incident to take some cuttings,I know they'd be popular at a plant swap.Hint, Hint, Mine have a similar bloom but more in the 3" range

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:42PM
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