Everblooming Gardenias: Growing A Grafted Everblooming Gardenia

Everblooming Gardenias: Growing A Grafted Everblooming Gardenia

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Gardenias are known for their beauty and fragrance. An elegant specimen, the gardenia is often used as the primary flower in a corsage. Unfortunately, as with many beauties, these plants are sometimes challenging to grow. Soil and sunlight must be just right for the fickle specimen to flourish in the garden or a container.

Good news, though, the grafted everblooming gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides “Veitchii”) is more reliable. Those who haven’t been successful growing gardenias might want to give this one a try.

About Everblooming Gardenias

You are probably wondering, just what is an everblooming gardenia? This plant is grafted and blooms throughout spring and summer, sometimes even into autumn. Possessing the best traits of the traditional gardenia without some of the difficulty, your dreams of beauty and fragrance in the garden are fulfilled.

The plant is grafted onto a sturdy, nematode-resistant rootstock that grows well, even in poor soil. Gardenia thunbergii rootstock is better able to uptake nutrients from the soil than the traditional gardenia rootstock.

The mature everblooming grafted gardenia grows to a height of 2 to 4 feet (.61 to 1.2 m.), spreading up to 3 feet (.91 m.) across. The everblooming species, also known as Gardenia veitchii, has a mounding habit and a sweet fragrance. Grow it in pots near doorways and on patios to enjoy the wonderful fragrance.

Growing Grafted Everblooming Gardenia

Hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11, plant the everblooming gardenia where it grows in full to partial sunlight. In more northern areas, grow grafted gardenia in a pot so you can provide it with winter protection from the cold. Gardeners in zone 7 may find a microclimate where this specimen can overwinter outside when mulched. With proper conditions and ongoing care, Gardenia veitchii continues indoors as a houseplant.

Plant in acidic, well-draining soil for the most prolific blooms. Prepare the soil with well-rotted compost and pine fines before planting everblooming grafted gardenia. If soil is clay, compacted, or both, add additional compost, elemental sulfur and iron sulfate. A soil test of the planting area lets you know how much is needed.

The optimum soil pH of between 5.0 and 6.5 is necessary for the plant to thrive. Fertilize with a food for acid-loving plants in mid-spring and again in mid-summer. This specimen also grows well in large containers that allow it to reach full growth.

Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist. Problems with mealybugs, aphids, and powdery mildew may affect the plant. Keep a close eye out for these issues and treat with horticultural soap or neem oil, if needed.

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How to Grow a Gardenia Veitchii Inside

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Gardenia jasminoides “Veitchii” is a tropical evergreen gardenia that grows from 6 to 40 feet high and 3 to 10 feet wide outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. However, it adjusts its size if you grow it indoors in a pot. With a modest amount of attention, a “Veitchii” grown indoors yields attractive, fragrant white blossoms.

Transfer the gardenia from the nursery container to a ceramic pot with a hole in the bottom. The pot should be 1 or 2 inches larger than the nursery container.

Place the pot on a tray of clean gravel, pebbles or stones and partially fill it with water. This promotes humidity around the gardenia. Do not let the pot sit directly in water.

Place the tray and pot in a sunny south- or west-facing window where it can get direct sunshine for at least half the day.

Change the water in the tray every 10 days.

Maintain a temperature of close to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70 to 75 F during the day.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Soggy soil is low on oxygen and encourages root rot. Dry soil shrinks and cracks the roots. Water the bottom of the plant, not the foliage.

Apply a 15-5-10 or 15-5-15 or fertilizer with similar ratios two to three times a year following the manufacturer’s instructions. Applying too much fertilizer causes salts to build in the soil and dehydrate the roots. The fertilizer numbers reflect the ratio by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The 15-15-10 fertilizer has a ratio of 3:3:2. The 15-5-15 fertilizer has a ratio of 3:1:3.

Check your gardenia regularly for scale, mealy bugs and spider mites. Horticulturalists at the University of California recommend removing scale insects with soapy water, mealy bugs with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol and mites with insecticidal soap. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when using insecticidal soap.

Repot the gardenia when its roots begin to grow out the hole in the bottom of the pot. Pot the plant in a commercial potting mix or one that is high in peat moss and has a soil pH of 6 or slightly less.

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Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii'

Everblooming Gardenia flowers

Everblooming Gardenia flowers

A prolific and constant bloomer with large, sweetly fragrant, elegant white flowers contrasted by deep green foliage a wonderful garden accent plant that also makes a fine hedge water more often in extreme heat

Everblooming Gardenia features showy fragrant white flowers at the ends of the branches from late spring to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has dark green foliage. The glossy pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Everblooming Gardenia is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Everblooming Gardenia is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Everblooming Gardenia will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Everblooming Gardenia makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Everblooming Gardenia – Gardenia jasminoides ‘Veitchii’

Gardenia is notorious for the intense perfume emitted by its large, creamy-white, rose-like flowers from spring to fall. ‘Veitchii’ is the oldest variety of Gardenia grown today, and it is still recognized as the most prolific bloomer, as well as the best variety for Tucson’s harsh desert climate.
Gardenia’s dense, compact, evergreen foliage is dark green and glossy, creating a luxurious backdrop for its long-lived white flowers and a low, formal foundation for the landscape. This is an ideal plant for shady patio containers, where its distinctive and heady fragrance can reach the most noses!
Height: 3 – 5 feet
Width: 5 – 6 feet
Bloom color: White
Flowering season: Spring, Summer, Fall
USDA minimum zone: 9
Cold hardiness: 20° F

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