Feb 5, 2011

The Best Soil for Gardenias

Gardenias are attractive plants with glossy, dark green foliage.  They are best known for their white flowers blooms, which give off a distinctive, pleasing scent.  They can be used in a variety of ways within the landscape - serving equally well as a specimen plant or a hedge.  Start your gardenias off right with high-quality soil.

Soil pH - Like many flowering plants, gardenias prefer acidic soil. Ideally, the soil should be in the pH range of 5 to 6.5.  If you’re not sure about the pH of the soil in your yard, get it tested.  If possible, place gardenias away from walkways, foundations or other forms of concrete, which tend to neutralize soil pH. 

Soil Amendments and Fertilizer- Consider adding sand, soil conditioners, peat moss and organic matter to your soil to improve aeration and drainage of your soil. Gardenias respond particularly well to soil amended with peat moss and compost.  Gardenias tend to bloom most prolifically during the spring.  Apply acid-loving granular fertilizer during warm weather months every two to four weeks to encourage flower production. 

References:
"Florida Landscape Plants"; John V. Watkins and Thomas J. Sheehan; 1986

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