I can always count on the gardenias bursting into bloom
when the calendar page turns to June.
The nose knows :) when they’re in bloom before you ever lay your eyes on them,
as their distinctive, sweet fragrance permeates and drifts through the air!
I wish I had a ‘scratch and sniff’ feature,
so you could enjoy the heady fragrance. . .
Gardenias are native to southern China and Japan and were introduced to the western world
via Charleston, South Carolina in the 18th century.
As its flowers were scented like jasmine, it was originally known as “Cape Jasmine.”
They were later christened “gardenia” in honor of Dr. Alexander Garden,
an 18th-century botanist and physician from Charleston.
Gardenias thrive in warm, humid weather in moist, well-drained soil.
Most gardenias are hardy in USDA zones 8-11, with a few varieties hardy in zone 7.
We’re in zone 7b here in North Carolina.
I discovered by accident when I was feeding the azaleas several years ago
that they benefit from acid-based fertilizer.
Gardenias can handle full sun as long as they have protection from afternoon sun
in higher growing zones.
Our gardenias receive morning sun and some dappled afternoon shade.
We have two gardenia shrubs that are 20+ years old.
They could use some pruning, but function as a living fence and buffer
between us and our neighbors, who enjoy the wonderful fragrance too.
The birds love the year-round shelter they provide.
While deadheading your gardenias by removing fading flowers isn’t necessary,
doing so will encourage more blooms.
“Sultry as a summer evening and as intoxicating as an exotic perfume, the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul. The blossoms are just as enticing. Buds shaped like seashells unfurl into velvet soft flowers in the warmth and humidity of early evening. But it’s the fragrance that captivates.”
This concludes my gardenia public service announcement. :)
Scent-sational duo of Magnolia and Gardenia flower arrangement, HERE.
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