The Gardenias plants actually grow very well in pots or containers and they can add beauty and fragrance to a patio, front porch or terrace. The Gardenias plants are evergreen fragrant plants that are easy to grow outdoors in containers.  The Gardenias plants are easy to care for and only require occasional pruning to keep their shape and size.

One of the advantages of growing the Gardenias plants in a container is that if you live in a cooler climate where they would not survive the winter cold, the plant can be easily moved indoors or inside a cool garage or greenhouse.  


How to Plant Gardenias in Pots

The Gardenias plants can be planted year round but the best time of year to plant them is in the early fall or spring.  This will actually gives the plant time to get established in their new container and develop buds and blooms.  The plant can actually take a full sun spot but the best location is the one that gives them a bit of shade or break from the sun in the afternoon.  

Make sure you choose a planter that can grow with your shrub. The Gardenias plant can be transplanted but you will want to choose a container that is a good four to six inches larger than the nursery pot that it came in. This will really gives the roots room to stretch out and get established for a healthy plant.  

Drainage is very vital.  The Gardenias plant do not like to have their roots wet.  If you actually choose a container with only one small drainage hole in the center, you may want to consider drilling a few more before planting.  If you are unsure of how your container will drain, before you add the shrub, water the container well and see how quickly the water will drains out.

If you are using a container that does not have a drainage hole and do not wish to drill some, fill the bottom with a few inches of small stones or gravel to avoid the shrub roots sitting in water.

Furthermore, the best material for Gardenias is natural stone or terra cotta, which allows moisture to evaporate through the walls of the pot.  You can also use fabric grow bags.  These create a healthy root system, as they too are breathable.  They also work well inside pots or containers that may be damaged by being planted like antique urns or ceramic pots.


Best Soil for Gardenias in Containers

The Gardenias plant can grow in many different soil types but the best soil for healthy shrubs is slightly acidic.  If you are buying commercial potting soil, make sure you read the labels and look for the ones designed for acid loving plants.  It is even better if Gardenia is listed on the label.  You can also add compost to a soil mix that you already have.

After planting you can add a layer of mulch to the top of the container in other to help retain moisture during the warm summer months when the plant is active and blooming.


Caring For Gardenias in Containers

The Gardenias plants do well in large containers and they require very little care.  Good drainage is the most vital as well as filtered or full sun.  The Gardenias plants like to be fed regularly with plant food or fertilizer designed for acid loving plants.  The plant do not require a lot of pruning or cutting back but can use a trim occasionally to keep their shape and size.


Watering Gardenias in Containers

The Gardenias plants do not like to be overwatered, so it is better to allow your pot to dry out a bit between watering rather than to have the roots sitting in water.  It is easier to kill a gardenia from too much water than not enough.  Consistent watering is actually the best.  When you first plant your container you will want to really soak the plant and water a bit more frequently to help get the roots established.

A regular watering schedule will benefit your Gardenias plants.  A good way to test if you need to water your container is to not just feel the top of the planter but stick your finger a few inches into the soil and see if it is dry to the touch. The Gardenias plants can tolerate a bit of drought conditions but consistent watering is best.


Fertilizing Gardenias in Containers

The Gardenias plant like to be fed regularly as they require a lot of nutrients to produce those gorgeous flowers.  Make sure you choose a fertilizer that is designed for acid loving plants.  Organic gardeners could use blood meal, fish emulsion and bone meal.  Also a yearly addition of compost should keep your soil rich and full of nutrients.


Gardenia Indoor

The Gardenias plants do not make very good indoor plants.  The plant requires more sunlight than most indoor locations can provide and the plant also can attract insects, which will weaken the plant.  Several gardeners do try to keep their plants indoors during the dormant season or occasionally move them indoors in the spring and summer months but they really are more of an outdoor plant and this is where they should be enjoyed. 

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