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(Plant heights are given at maturity)

Cape Jasmine

Tender evergreen shrubs from China and Japan, belonging to the Rubiaceae family.  Gardenias have deep green glossy leaves and waxy white single or double blooms.  They are highly scented and have been prized by ardeners for this reason and for their stately appearance. 

Gardenia jasminoides is a warm weather shrub requiring a minuimum temperature of 60F.  The shrubs thrive in a rich sandy loam and make excellent borders or potted plants, outdoors or in.  Outdoors, they should be planted in an area where they will receive some shade in the heat of the day.  The soil should be rich loam with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5.  It is beneficial to add generous amounts of rotted leaves or compost to the soil.

When growing the gardenia as a house plant, be prepared for some effort.  Care must be taken to keep the humidity high and to keep the plant from drafts, the soil acidic enough (between 5.0 and 6.5), and the light high. Their scent is very strong and can be overpowering in a small room, so choose your location according to your tastes. If your water contains large quantities of calcium, you can add some lemon juice to it before watering as this will lower the pH of the water.  Without enough acid in the soil, the plant cannot process the nutrients in the soil properly and the leaves will yellow and drop.

Propagation is performed by air layering or by taking softwood cuttings in the spring.  Cuttings of about 3 inch in length are inserted into sandy peat.  The cuttigns should be placed in a propgation case or covered with plastic or glass and kept warm with bottom heat and the soil kept moist until roots are formed.  At this time, the cuttings are potted separately in a medium comprised of equal parts loam, peat and well rotted leaves or compost with a generous sprinkling of sand.  Young plants are kept warm and moist with frequent mistings.  Bushy plants are assured by pinching out the tips of the new shoots during the summer. 

The plant has been used a perfume  and to treat headache, toothache, hepatitis, inflammation, nervous disorders and sores.

Gardenia jasminoides Cape jasmine Zhi Zi

Gardenia (Cape jasmine, Zhi Zi) - Gardenia jasminoides - Medicinal, Culinary- Beautiful small evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves and waxy single white blooms with a wonderful aroma.  Makes a lovely outdoor planting in warmer climates and a good houseplant in colder ones.  One specimen can fill the house with its delightful scent.  Flowers are used to flavor teas and to make perfumes.  Medicinally, gardenia is used to treat insomnia, high blood pressure, hepatitis and as a treatment for sprains and bruises.  Likes a warm rich loamy soil.  Gardenias are difficult to germinate, but well worth the effort.  Hardy to 30F (-1.1C)  Full sun; plant height: 6ft. (3ft. spread)
# 772  Packet   $25.00,  Approximately 100 seeds
#P772    3in. pot    $18.95


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