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How to care for Gardenia as bonsai

Larry Morton

Posted on February 08 2019

Grow Gardenia in full sun but it tolerates some shade. While heat and drought tolerant, protect them from winter cold and winds. You may see some injury to the younger shoots and flower buds by spring from fluctuating extreme hard cold to suddenly hot temperature variations. It will sometimes be subject to iron deficiency. The root system thrives in a cool, moist substrate high in organic matter and likes a deeper or uncrowded pot. Good horticultural practices translate to healthy bonsai. 

The natural form of Gardenia is from densely spherical to columnar. Shooting Star is more upright but still compact in habit and a more cold hardy selection. It has fragrant, white, waxy, single-blooms May - June and sporadically thereafter. Buttons is also a more cold hardy selection with much smaller lance shaped leaves. It holds color well thru winter. They have intensely fragrant, white, waxy, semi-double blooms May - June and sporadically thereafter. Cute as a button with a button center in each blossom.

Flower color ages to yellow. Orange fruits develop by November. People enjoy Gardenia's lustrous, dark green leathery textured whorled evergreen foliage along with the white flowers.

Propagation is from summer cuttings.

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