Gardenia is a flowering tropical plant of the coffee family (Rubiaceae - Bulgarian. Brooch), which occupies a worthy place in the possible choice of exotic houseplants. This evergreen shrub or small tree has 140 different species, which in natural environment reach a height of several meters, but at home is the most popular Jasmine or Jasmine Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides), which grows in a pot a maximum of about 40-50 centimeters.
Originating in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar and the Pacific, gardenia is highly prized for its beautiful and highly aromatic colors. In China, where gardenia is widely used by industry, through the kitchen to medicine, it is called Shi Tzu (栀子). It was there that, over a thousand years ago, the jasmine gardenia was cultivated, which subsequently (only in the 18 century) was transmitted to Europe and America.
Growing gardenia is a relatively difficult task because the plant is capricious and cannot always find the right environment for it. An admirer of light, gardenia grows wonderfully in a well-lit, but not directly heated place, but also partly shady. A very important component in cultivation is the well-drained, acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5. If the soil lacks the necessary acidity, the roots will not be able to absorb the necessary components, especially the iron compounds. When this happens, the flower develops chlorosis, the main symptom being the yellowing of the leaves. It is therefore advisable not to sprinkle with hard water, and if necessary, add a little vinegar or lemon juice to lower the pH. Directly added iron is also possible, but this should be very accurate because it can kill gardenia, as well as any other artificial enhancers.
A fan of nighttime temperatures of about 15-17 degrees and daytime temperatures of 18-21 degrees, the plant, like all tropical flowers, needs higher humidity. I provide it with a humidifier, spray or a litter of pebbles and water.
Despite the sensitivity of the species, careful fertilization once a month with diluted fertilizer for acid-loving plants will help during the growing season from March to October. In no case do not fertilize the rest of the time.
The faded flowers should be removed by cutting directly into the knot beneath them to ensure permanent flowering.
White flies and mites should be checked periodically and measures should be taken if their presence is occasionally noticed.