Learn about African Gardenia Care and help this unique fragrant specimen thrive in your home garden! Read on!
If you want elegant white flowers to adore your garden with an intense scent, then the African Gardenia can be a fantastic addition. Here’s everything you need to know about how to grow it.
Botanical Name: Mitriostigma axillare
USDA Zones: 9-11
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African Gardenia Information
African Gardenia is a stunning flowering shrub native to the tropical regions of Africa. It is an evergreen shrub that can reach up to 4-6 feet in height and has an upright and spreading form.
Its glossy, dark green foliage is dense, and its fragrant white blooms appear in clusters at the end of the stems during the warmer months of the year. African Gardenias are easy to grow and require little maintenance, making them a great option for the home garden.
The scent of its flowers is a combination of jasmine, roses, and citrus, with undertones of vanilla, musk, and sandalwood. It is a perfect scent for those who want to relax and find peace.
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African Gardenia Container Size
You can start African Gardenia in an 8-10 inches pot, which will be good for 2-3 years. Depending on the growth and spread, keep on re-potting it in one size bigger container than the old one.
Propagating African Gardenia
To propagate African Gardenia, cut a healthy stem from the plant, remove the lower leaves, and dip the cut end in the rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a small pot filled with moist, well-draining soil.
Place the pot in a warm, bright location and keep the soil moist but not soggy. After a few weeks, small roots should begin to form. Once the roots have grown and the plant is established, transplant it into a larger pot.
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Requirements for Growing African Gardenia
African Gardenia plants need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day in order to grow well. They prefer full sun but can also thrive in partial shade.
For best flowers, do ensure that the plant is not staying in a shaded location for a longer duration of time.
It prefers a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 and full sun to partial shade. The soil mix should be rich in organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, and should also contain ample drainage material such as coarse sand or gravel.
African Gardenia prefers moist, well-drained soil and should be watered deeply and regularly, particularly during the summer months when the plant is actively growing.
During winter months, water less frequently and only when the top inch of soil is dry. Make sure to not over-water African Gardenia as this can cause root rot and other issues. Water only when the top 2-4 inches of the soil feels dry to your touch.
Temperature and Humidity
African Gardenia prefers warm temperatures ranging from 65-80°F (18-27°C). It will tolerate temperatures as low as 55°F (13°C) for short periods of time.
These plants prefer humid environments and should be kept in areas with high relative humidity, ideally between 50 and 70%. They should not be exposed to dry air, as this can cause the leaves to dry out and drop.
To increase the humidity around African Gardenia, mist the foliage daily or place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Additionally, a humidifier can be used to maintain the desired level of humidity.
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African Gardenia Care
Fertilize African Gardenia using a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength, once in 5-6 weeks. This will promote the number of flowers. Also, do not feed the plant in winter.
Remember, with African Gardenias, Nitrogen helps promote healthy growth and encourages blooming and flowering. Phosphorus helps promote root growth and aids in the development of healthy flower buds. Potassium promotes strong plant growth, encourages root development, and improves the overall vigor of the plant.
Pests and Diseases
While African Gardenia is relatively easy to grow and maintain, it is still susceptible to pests and diseases. Common pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies can cause damage to the foliage and flowers of the African Gardenia.
Additionally, fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot can occur due to poor drainage or excessive watering.
To prevent pests and diseases from taking hold, it is important to make sure the African Gardenia is planted in well-drained soil and watered only when the topsoil goes a little dry to the touch.
Regularly checking the plant for any signs of pests or disease is also recommended, and treatments should be applied as soon as any signs are detected.