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new to gardenias

Posted by jessikaandsamson 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 7, 06 at 10:11

hi all...i've been looking here and there for info on growing gardenias. i've ALWAYS loved these sweetly scented flowers and they hold a lot of sentimental memories for me. i bought one from home depot yesterday in a 3 gallon pot. it's an august beauty? (or something like that) the tag says part sun for it and i THINK i have the perfect spot for it. i would like to put it on the north or east side of my house, under one of my bedroom windows so that i can smell the scent at night. which spot would be best? i have my roses on the southeast corner of my house and they have absolutely flourished there. the north side would be ideal, if that would work. it would probably get about 2-3 hours of morning sunshine and then again in the afternoon a couple hours of afternoon sunshine. the reason that the east side isn't quite as ideal is because we have small hedges planted along the front (east) of the house and i would have to either dig one up or put it in between two and it wouldn't have much room.

so, would it do well on the north side or would east be better? if it was on the eastern side it wouldn't get any afternoon sun at all.

OR, would it be better off in a pot? i looked at them while i was at home depot yesterday and they had some BIG ones (i'd say 6-10 gallons) that were reasonably priced. what kind of soil would it be happy in if i did put it in a pot? i almost like this idea best because then i could put it in ideal soil and move it around. would it do okay on my porch? it's southern exposure but i could put it close enough to my house that it would be shaded in the afternoon.

sorry for so many questions at once. i always get panicky when i buy a new plant...but i figure if i can keep roses going, i should do pretty well with just about anything else :) if you have any special "recipes" (ex. i saw something about watering with a mixture of vinegar and water) or any tips or tricks that you use to keep your gardenia covered in healthy blooms, please share! thanks in advance for any advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: new to gardenias

my personal preference would be for planting in the ground if you are in an area where hardiness is not an issue.
'august beauty' grows large for me and is currently about 5' tall. i also think your northern exposure sounds good for it with around 5 hours of sun. i have them growing in less direct sun than that and they bloom well. the flowers likely will hold up better, too, in less than full sun. in zone 8 they are flowering now and, with our temps getting into the 90's, some shade is appreciated here.
when they are sited near the house foundation, sometimes chlorisis or yellowing of the leaves can be observed. this is a result of the leaching of lime from the concrete, creating a more alkaline soil chemistry. you may need to address that in a couple of years by providing something to acidify the soil.
good luck with your plant.

RE: new to gardenias

Unfortunately, Home Depot sells many plants in zones where they are not hardy. Whether or not you can plant your Gardenia 'August Beauty' outdoors depends on where you live.

I am in zone 8 too, but the Pacific Northwest zone 8 and the Southeastern US zone 8 are very different climates despite being the same USDA zone. 'August Beauty' is not winter hardy here.

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