Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Heavenly Fragrance of Gardenias

One of the smells I remember so well from childhood is that of gardenias. These beautiful, tropical-looking shrubs with the snow white blossoms love the South. All my people down here call them "Cape Jasmines" instead of the proper name. They will be covered in bloom for most of the month of May with an occasional sporadic bloom later in the summer. When the flowers fade to a dirty yellow, we like to pick them off and put the petals in a bowl or basket in the house as air freshener. When mine are in bloom it makes me want to sit on the porch all day just for the smell. These plants are so beloved that Northerners are constantly trying to grow them in pots with varying degrees of success. If you live anywhere in the Southeast, plop them in the ground, make sure they get plenty of water, spray them to keep the whiteflies off, and let them thrive. Whiteflies are the one true nemesis of gardenias and they will really ruin the looks of your shrub.

3 comments:

Dirt Princess said...

I have the miniature gardenias....they are heavenly to me! I need ti clip them when I get home and put them in a bowl.

Rachel Greene said...

We have gardenias and I LOVE the smell! It's wonderful! Ours should be blooming soon; can't wait! :D

NellJean said...

Your gardenias are just a little ahead of mine. Fat buds are still tight here, to bloom by June.

I cut blossoms with a nice stem and leaves and put them in water, they last longer that way. When the blossom falls off, the cutting will root in the vase. Root enough cuttings and you can have a gardenia hedge.