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Cape Jasmine

Gardenia jasminoides

Common gardenia

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Evergreen, aesthetically pleasing shrub covered with fragrant white flowers during summer months, the Gardenia or Cape jasmine is a highly enjoyable addition to any subtropical or warm temperate garden. Not only is it an ornamental plant used in both the traditional medicinal and culinary applications, but the fruit is used as a yellow dye and the flowers are fragrant cut flowers.

Planning

Difficulty
Advanced
Flowering time
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Cut gardenia stems early in the morning or late in the evening, using sharp shears. Collect stems with flowers that are almost completely open.

Propagation

Cuttings
Tender softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer. Immediately place cuttings in suitable rooting medium.
Seed
Seeds germinate best when sown fresh, shortly after their collection from right fruits and following about 24 hours of soaking in water. Seeds could take 4 weeks to 3 months to germinate.

Special features

Hedge plant
It can be used as a hedge.
Pot plant
More commonly a container plant in conservatories and greenhouses in colder climates but it can be placed outside in warmer months.
Indoor plant
Grown indoors, these plants need bright light, moderate temperatures; cooler during dormancy, average to high humidity and well-drained, acidic soil. Water moderately, using room temperature water.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as moths and honeybees.

Geography

Origin
Asia, Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar, and India.
Natural climate
Temperate and Subtropical climates.

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Gardenia infused teas are used to detoxify the blood, relieve congestion and help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol. Externally, it is used for skin inflammation, sprains and has blood staunching properties.
Edible
In China, gardenia flowers are used to flavor herbal teas, often in combination with other herbs and flowers such as chrysanthemums. Fruits used as a less expensive substitute for the spice, Saffron.

Personality

Family
Rubiaceae
Flower colour
White
Scent
Strong

Problems

Pests include whiteflies, mealybugs, scales, aphids and spider mites. Diseases include chlorosis, powdery mildew, leaf spots, dieback, anthracnose, and sooty mold.
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Erysiphaceae

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