Gardenias or Cape Jasmine are fragrant shrub plants that come with pure white flowers and green shiny foliage that people love.
Gardenias tend to be tricky plants to grow, especially when you live in cooler zones and you want to keep them as house plants. Therefore, there is a need for proper planning so that you can end up creating the right conditions for caring for your gardenias in pots.
Picking the Right Pot for Your Plants
Considering you are going to grow the plants in pots, the first thing you should do is get the right size of the pot. It is advisable that you get a pot larger than the plant.
Always keep the pot four inches bigger than the pot in which the plant was initially in. It is still crucial that you retain the original soil as much as possible.
Having a larger pot ensures that the Gardenia plant has enough room to grow in the future.
As part of making sure the plant grows better, you should consider filling the pot with the soil type that drains well. The last thing you want is to end up with soil that holds onto water for too long that it leads to puddles.
There are some gardeners that recommend mixing the soil with peat moss, potting compost, and coarse sand to make it better at drainage.
As much as the soil should be good at drainage, you will still need to include drainage holes in your pot. Another reason why the pot should be large is to prevent the plant roots from growing until they clog the drain holes.
To ensure there is better drainage, do not stand the pot on a saucer or in a trough. This would make the soil to retain a lot more water than what is necessary, making the roots remain wet for longer.
Give the Plant the Right Humidity
The humidity that you keep your plant in matters a lot to its growth. Gardenias need the right amount of humidity to survive. As a result, it is best if you provide a humid atmosphere for the plant to grow. You can do this by laying pebbles or stones under your plant pot. What follows is to spray water onto the stones every morning.
The water sprayed on the stones will evaporate slowly during the whole day and thus creating enough humidity for the plants.
Another option is to get a shallow tray wider than the plant pot. Add stones or gravel to the tray and then pour some water to them. Keep the water level below the top of the stones. Setup your pot in the tray once the water is added to the stone. The water will keep moisture in the air as it slowly evaporates from the stones. As a result, you should have enough humidity needed by the plants.
Keeping it Indoors or Outdoors
As part of caring for gardenias in pots, you would have to consider whether to keep it indoors or outdoors.
For those who want to keep them outdoors, you need to understand the zones where the plant would thrive. Gardenias can grow well outdoors if you are in the US zones 8 to 11. These zones are known to have stable temperatures that do not drop below 10 degrees F.
In case you live in warmer zones, then it is necessary to shade these plants from the sun’s main heat. Watering outdoor plants is necessary to maintain the best humidity.
Keeping the plant indoors comes with some considerations too. You might have to keep the room temperature above 60 degrees F and place the pot on a window ledge where it would get the most sunshine it needs to grow better.
Watering and Fertilizing
Watering is an important part of caring for your gardenia plants in pots. As much as it is important, the last thing you want to do is overdo it. Do not overwater your plants. Only water them when you notice the soil is dry below its surface.
Still, on watering, make sure to water the soil and not the plant foliage.
If you take upon the challenge of growing gardenias, then you need to do it properly. Make sure that you have all the important supplies and follow the tips mentioned above. If you do it right, you will end up with several good-looking gardenia plants in pots around your home.