A flower with beautiful glossy leaves, snow-white blossoms, charming scent, and the ability to withstand the summer heat. What more could you ask for?
Also known as cape jasmine, gardenias can bloom as early as spring and will continue to produce flowers throughout the summer and into fall.
Do gardenias need full sun or can they do equally well in shade? This guide is a go-to for your gardenia questions– from lighting to other growing conditions.
With striking blooms that open white and then fade finally into gold, gardenias are versatile as single shrubs or hedges and make beautiful container gardens. Follow the methods given here and you’ll never have to worry about your gardenias again!
Growing Conditions For Gardenias
Gardenias need an acidic soil with a pH between 5 and 6.5 for the best growth. They prefer organic soils with good drainage and regular watering.
It should be noted that gardenias have shallow roots that can be damaged by transplanting and weeding so try to avoid these as much as possible.
Adding a layer of composted plant material or cow manure and covering it with a layer of mulch adds nutrients to the soil and keeps it moist.
How To Plant Gardenias
The best times to plant gardenias are fall and spring when temperatures are moderate. The soil should drain quickly, but retain water.
Incorporating peat moss or ground bark increases the water retaining property of the soil.
To plant gardenias, dig a hole two times the width and depth of the plant’s root ball. Pack three to four inches of soil in the bottom of the hole and place the root ball about one inch higher than the soil surrounding it.
This will make sure that there’s adequate drainage. Now, carefully thin the soil down to the top of the exposed root ball and encircle the plants with pine straw or chopped leaves.
Pull weeds by hand instead of cultivating around the root zone to prevent damage.
Light Affects Growth
How much light gardeners receive is directly related to their health and appearance. Do gardenias need full sun?
Gardenias planted in shade grow long, lanky stems with delicate, weak leaves.
Additionally, these gardenias do not form as many flower buds and the buds may fall off before opening. Gardenia flowers exposed to too much sun naturally turn brown faster than those in some shade.
Gardenias bloom best in areas with high humidity and daytime temperatures of 65 to 70°F. Shade is as important for gardenias as the sun is so the two must be provided accordingly.
How Many Hours of Sun Do Gardenias Need?
Do gardenias need full sun? Absolutely.
Gardenias need 4 to 6 hours of full sun per day and if it’s possible, they should get most of that amount of sun early in the day, as opposed to late afternoon when temperatures are usually higher.
This is especially true in the summer months when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Gardenias that are planted indoors should receive 8 hours of direct sunlight. If you decide to grow them indoors, don’t forget to place them in a sunny window for 8 hours each day.
You may have to move them from one window to another to ensure as many hours of light or buy a grow light to meet this need.
Can Gardenias Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Although gardenias can grow in indirect sunlight, there are disadvantages to planting them in such circumstances.
First, they don’t bloom well. Also, gardenia flowers take longer to open when the plant is grown in indirect sunlight.
But humidity is also an important factor. If you live in an area that experiences high humidity all summer long, you can grow gardenias in indirect sunlight without issues.
Sometimes, high humidity can compensate for a lack of full sun. When growing your gardenias in indirect light, aim for a full day of the sun instead of just 4 to 6 hours.
Can Gardenias Grow in Shade?
Gardenias can grow in shade but they do not thrive in it. Several things could go wrong if your gardenias are only given shade.
For example, the flower buds will almost inevitably fall off before they can open. The plant can also stop producing buds.
Gardenias planted in shady areas can grow to an uncharacteristic height while trying to find the sun. This results in odd-looking, bushy, plants lacking flowers of unusually large sizes.
Make sure your gardenias get sufficient sun so they bloom well and look healthy.
What Happens If Gardenias Don’t Get Enough Sun?
If gardenias don’t get at least 4 hours of full sun a day, they won’t produce flowers. Powdery mildew, sooty mould and leaf spot can all be signs that gardenias aren’t getting enough sun.
These plant diseases attack easily when there is little or no sun. Gardenias thrive best in moist conditions combined with plenty of suns.
High humidity and lack of sunlight are a recipe for mould and mildew to attack gardenias. Since gardenias thrive in moisture, finding the perfect balance of sun and humidity is important.
A combination of constant moisture and shade creates the conditions for mould, mildew and rot to attack your gardenias. The best approach is to ensure your gardenias get at least 4 hours of sun per day, but in humid conditions, you should provide 6 hours of sun for best results.
Can Gardenias Get Too Much Sun?
There is a possibility of gardenias getting too much sun. A full day of direct sunlight is usually too much for these delicate flowers.
Signs of too much sun are yellow spots on the leaves and another sign of sunburned gardenias is when the flower edges curl or turn brown.
In addition to discolouration, gardenias exposed to too much sun may never bloom. They just shrink and fall off before it’s time for them to open up.
Avoid these problems by providing your gardenias with shade in the afternoon.
How Much Sun Do Gardenias Require?
Gardenias require both full sun and shade and can also thrive in indirect light. Here are the top gardenia sun exposure facts to keep in mind:
1. Gardenias should get 4 to 6 hours of full sun per day.
2. If you’re growing gardenias in indirect light, make sure they get 8 hours of sun.
3. Give gardenias shade in the afternoon if temperatures are too high but note that extended periods of lack of sunlight cause gardenias to suffer from mould and fungus.
4. Too much direct sun can damage them, especially in extreme temperatures. The best combination for a healthy gardenia is full sun in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon.
5. Choose east-facing planting for your gardenias. A garden bed on the east side of a building, tree or row of shrubs is the ideal environment for these flowers.
Once you’ve found the right balance of sun, shade and humidity, your flowers will begin to bloom well.
Pests And Diseases Of Gardenias
Below are the most common pests and diseases that affect gardenias, especially if they are not allowed the specified amount of time in the sun:
- Scale insects
- Spider mites
- Powdery mildew
- Root rot
- Stem canker
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Gardenias Like Morning Sun Or Afternoon Sun?
Gardenias are at their best when they receive morning sun and then shade from the hot afternoon sun.
Why Are Gardenias So Hard To Grow?
They’re considered difficult because it’s hard to balance their growth conditions. For example, they prefer a hot climate but suffer from too much direct sun. The surrounding air must also be humid so getting all these simultaneously is a bit of a challenge.
Do Gardenias Do Well In Pots?
Gardenias grow very well in pots and beautify the surroundings where they are kept.
How To Care For Gardenias In Pots Outside?
Let the pot have good drainage and place it in the sun daily.
How Big Do Gardenias Get?
Gardenias can grow 3 to 8 feet depending on the breed you have.
How Much Water Does A Gardenia Need?
Gardenias need at least an inch of water every week, either from rainfall or water hose.
When Do Gardenias Bloom?
Gardenias bloom from late spring to autumn.
Gardenias should get 4 to 6 hours of full sun each day and morning sun is best for these flowers, especially in summer.
Do gardenias need full sun? Gardenias need full sun and partial shade.
Although gardenias prefer 4 to 6 hours of full sun per day, they do need some shade when temperatures get excessively hot. Too much direct sun can burn gardenia petals or kill budding blooms.
Gardenias can grow in indirect sunlight but the flowers may take longer to bloom if the full sun is not available. Humidity favours the flowering of gardenias so ensure the shade is provided alongside the sun daily.
Avoid leaving or planting gardenias in full shade without sun as this can be an invitation to all sorts of pests and diseases.
At this point, you must have learnt so much! Please let us know how helpful this was to you in the comment section below.