There are few things that smell as wonderful as a blooming gardenia. Grown extensively in the Southeast, their gorgeous aroma takes me back to my native land:) This beauty is notoriously difficult to grow indoors, and of course, would never make it outside in Denver!
When you read gardening blogs online, gardenia is called 'finicky' and 'high maintenance' - sounds like some of the best women I know;)- and I will be very honest with you, I've killed my share of plants over the years. But, I found a beautiful topiary gardenia at my local Home Depot for $14.99 and thought 'why not?'
This time I decided not to let my historically good fortune with plants carry me, and did a little research first. I'm happy to report, for the first time ever, I've gotten a gardenia to rebloom indoors, and I couldn't be prouder - here's how I did it.
Apparently, these gals don't like to be moved around, need lots of direct sunlight - at least half a day -and be in a room with a suggested temperature that is about 64 during the day and 55 F at night.( I will tell you that our house is warmer than that by about 5 degrees, so I think you have some wiggle room here.)
Ok, that I can do! The window in my kitchen has great sunlight for most of the day, so that's where she landed. However, I knew there was more to the story if I was going to be successful. How did I know this? Remember the dead plants I mentioned? I've done all of the above before and killed every gardenia I'ver ever had within 2 weeks:((( I kept searching for answers.
Have you guessed the missing ingredient to creating a gardenia oasis? That's right gentle reader - humidity! And not the wimpy extra humidity you get when you throw rocks under a pot and fill them with an inch of water. I've tried this before and it did, as my mother likes to say, didily squat - that's Southern for absolutely nothing. No, the kind of humidity you need for a gardenia has to be electronically introduced by way of their very own humidifier. Yes, I bought my plant a personal humidifier, and I'm happy I did.
One other mistake I think I've made in the past is overwatering - this finicky girl likes her soil slightly dry between waterings. I never found any great advise online, but I water once a week with enough that water comes out the bottom of the pot but is soaked back up with in 10 mins. The gardening forums say you should NEVER let gardenias stand in water - they don't like to get their feet wet:)
Today, the ole girl has one bloom just opening and another ready to open tomorrow - my house will smell amazing, no small feat with 3 tween/teen boys in the house;)
If you want to follow my gardenia's journey, follow along on Instagram live this week or in highlights if you get to this post down the road. And if you give an indoor gardenia a try please send me a picture!
Best of luck and happy gardening!
Tips For Growing Gardenias Indoors https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/gardenia/growing-gardenias-indoors.htm