There is nothing more fragrant then the fresh bloom of the gardenia plant. This beautiful species caught my eye back in late winter last year when I was a guest of Costa Farms to view the amazing trial gardens in Miami, Florida where their greenhouse are located. One thing I’ve learned as a photographer is sometimes you have to step out of your ‘gardener’ shoes to get your job done and go into something known in the photography world as ‘spray mode’. Spraying in photography is when you do a mass photo shot of ever little thing in the area you are working. I was in spray mode taking it all in with my Nikon D90 when this amazing scent over took me. I was standing a few feet from what looked like a rose blooming. The unmistakeable scent of this magnificent bloomer happen to be the bloom of a gardenia tree located in the Costa Farms trial garden.
As the garden centers in my area prepared for the 4th of July weekend by marking their annuals and tropical to a lower price like they do each year in my growing region I was fortunate enough to purchase a gardenia tree for under $10. One of the first things I purchased for this tropical bloomer was a decorative container that I could use in my sun-room year-round. My goal with purchasing this plant was to bring the evergreen shrub indoors. I re-potted the almost 4 foot tall tree in this beautiful container using some of my composted soil and placed it in my sunroom that faces the east. It was a week later I noticed some of the leaves were starting to turn yellow. The first bloom indoors that was a shocking yellow left me scratching my head with confusion … what did I do wrong?
A quick google search will lead you to the Costa Farms plant Encyclopedia filled with all the growing information you need to keep your garden looking its best. Not to mention, who else are you going to trust with growing information then the growers who provide the product. My research tells me that I need to add more acid to my soil because the gardenia plant likes to be feed. I’m also going to need to be sure the plant doesn’t go dry while indoors. This could be a potential problem because my sun-room is always where we use our wood burning stove in the winter months to heat our home. I will keep you updated on this plant as it grows but in the mean time I encourage you to get to your local garden center and see if there are any gardenias left over from summer ’12 growing season for you to add to your indoor garden. You might just get lucky and get your plant at major discount like I did!
The images used in todays post were taken with my iPhone4. Click on the images to find out more information about the gardenia and remember I appreciate comments so be sure to share some love with me by posting on this entry.
*Please keep in mind that this plant is not intended for human or animal consumption.