I want the gardenia fragrance indoors

Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)April 27, 2006

I have two gardenias blooming in my front flower beds. They only have a few blooms each, but there are so many buds, I look everyday for new flowers. Anyway, I want to bring in some of the flowers to put in vases so I can enjoy the scent inside. But, there are so many buds that in order to avoid cutting off unopened ones, I have to cut the flower off with a really short stem. That means they can only go in a bowl, instead of a vase with other flowers I have cut.

Any suggestions? Also, is it bad for the bush to cut off the flowers like that? I always thought all flowering bushes benefitted from removing opened blooms. Right? Wrong? Thanks for any answers.

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Unless you have a large one where you can actually head back to create longer stems without making much of a dent in the size of the bush, then you usually end up with those shorts stems. I always recall seeing gardenias floated in bowls of water or in bud vases or as a corsage or behind the ear... ;-) There are so many flowers like that, which is probably why roses are loved so due to many of them providing longer bloom stems. You could still bring in a stem with unopened and opened buds and the unopened ones may very well open on their own in a vase of water in the house (I think assuming it isn't too dry inside).

Usually the spent blooms dry up and drop off on their own but I think the idea for dead-heading was to not have energy spent forming seeds. I think for annuals or perennials, dead-heading might be a good idea to increase blooms but for shrubs, it can be a bit of a nuisance and probably not that necessary for a number of them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 1:58PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

Thanks, Jenny. I only thought to do it because it is extremely beneficial for my hibiscus. If I don't pull them off, I don't get as many flowers. I started leaving more of the flowers on the gardenia, and it is doing better, I think.
Again, thanks.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 2:12PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

My hibiscus drops its flowers off within about 1 - 2 days after blooming, although I've only once seen it attempt to form seeds, so maybe that helps it to self-clean better.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 3:01PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

The longer bloom stems of roses are basically the same woody branches of other flowering shrubs. If desire, you can cut a 12" long stem off your Gardenia branch and trim off all the leaves. Boy, I would not want to do that to my Gardenia shrub (explained below). However, for a rose shrub, such a cutting practice actually encourages more flowering.

Since some explorers found ever-blooming roses in China during the colonial days, roses have become extremely popular. All modern (hybrid/cultivar) roses are true ever bloomers. You may cut however many branches off. They will flower in weeks again. That is NOT true for Gardenias, Camellias, Azaleas, etc.

So the simple reason for their popularity is that roses really bloom for-ever. You can cut a lot of woody branches off with the roses. That does not cause your "next year" blooms at all. Some rose plants bloom to malnutrition, self-deprivation, and limpness. That is why I am not a big fan of modern cultivar roses. Many rose shrubs look sick out of the heavy burden of ever-blooming.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 4:48PM
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i find they have a very short vase life as far as the look of the flower goes but they continue to be fragrant even as they age to a yellowish color. cut them with the short stems and enjoy them while they are in flower - most cultivars will bloom only once per season anyway.
if you cut longer stems, either as cut flowers or pruning for a more compact or dense form, you can root them easily in soil and have more plants.
fwiw, i have never found a seedpod on any of my gardenias.
the bracts normally drop off on their own after the flower dies.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 2:48PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

These are not known to be tough. The classic southern approach is floating gardenias in large bowl. If left on the branch, they last up to 2 weeks.

Image below, an "aged" bloom -

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 6:35PM
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shic_2006(4a 5a)

I find an image of the old-fashioned way of floating gardenia radicans ...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 6:41PM
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