Gardenias are flowers most people love. Gardenias have a smell and look about them that makes you fall in love with summer and adds a refreshing energy to life. Maintaining a healthy garden of gardenias can be easy and here are a few pruning tips for healthy gardenias.
What are gardenias?
Gardenias are exquisite flowers, belonging to the Rubiaceae family. Visually, gardenia is an evergreen flowering shrub with dark green leaves that births a mini-constellation of starry-shaped, ivory white blossoms that are the epitome of beauty in its purest form. The smell of gardenias shrub resembles a sultry exotic and downright intoxicating earthy perfume that is hard to walk by without turning your head.
Pruning gardenias will help it keep its shape and size and become the center piece of your garden. Gardenias do not need much pruning to keep healthy and beautiful. Since gardenias can grow 15 feet tall, and to help keep a good size, you can prune it. Pruning your gardenia every year is not necessary unless you have a wilder one in your garden that grows and spreads outwards quite fast.
How to prune gardenias?
It is recommended to use sharp hand-held pruning shears to prevent jagged cuts and other possible complications and only use a narrow-bladed saw in case of large branches. To prevent damage to gardenias while pruning, you should make cuts while holding the spears at a 45-degree angle.
Where to make cuts?
Generally, you can make cuts in specific areas where you want to encourage new growth. However, it is a good practice to cut the oldest branches at the trunk. If you cannot determine which branches to cut, the oldest branches tend to be thicker and of darker brown colour. Once the oldest branches have been removed, you can proceed to make cuts above a stem branch or leaf node. This will also help spur new growth in your gardenia.
When to prune gardenias?
The best time to prune your gardenias is when blossoms have already faded at the end of the flowering season, which usually occurs in late summer or early fall, but always before buds for the next year have set.
When not to prune gardenias?
Pruning too early will destroy the current blossoms, and pruning too late will destroy next year’s flowers. As with any flowering shrubs, pruning at the right time will help prepare the shrub for the next flowering season.
How to take care of your gardenia?
Pest control is necessary if you want to keep your gardenia healthy and visually appealing. Although gardenia doesn’t need much maintenance, from time to time, you should inspect your gardenia from all angles and sides during the blooming period for fungal infections, insect damage, dead woods or spent blossoms. Leaf drops, wilting, yellowing are all signs that something might be wrong with your gardenia shrub. Curled or malformed gardenia shrubs can indicate your plant is infested with tiny insects known as melon aphids. For severe infestations, you can use insecticides known to treat a specific type of gardenia disease.
To prevent your gardenia from getting infected and sick, maintain high temperatures and irrigate your gardenia to maintain moist soil. A layer of mulch like pine needles added to the area close to the shrub will help retain water and therefore keep humidity levels up. Keep the soil pH of 5 to 6.5. If you don’t know how to determine soil pH, you can purchase a soil kit from any garden supply store next to you.