The peony gardenia is known for its showy blooms and strong, appealing fragrance. A favorite in flower beds and in homes, it does not require a great deal of time to care for. This plant does have rather specific requirements that must be met if the plant is to reach its full potential. Correct temperatures and regular feedings will go a long way to creating a strong, healthy peony gardenia.
This plant is typically around three feet tall at maturity, with medium-sized green leaves. This peony is known for its large double blooms, which are white. Because of their large lovely blooms and their height, these plants are used by a number of gardeners as border plants. Border plants define a space or property line by creating an eye-pleasing outline.
The peony gardenia is a perennial plant, meaning it will bloom season after season and (if cared for properly) can be enjoyed for years. A member of the family paeoniaceae, the gardenia is a shrub grown primarily in the southern United States where temperatures are conducive to its survival.
The peony gardenia prefers full sun. This means they require at least six hours a day of sunlight to achieve their maximum vibrancy and beauty. They have water needs typical of many other garden plants, with about an inch of water a week being ideal. This plant will benefit from an all-purpose water-soluble or slow-release fertilizer applied as directed on the packaging.
Compost the soil 10 days before planting gardenias. Work the compost into the soil at least 18 inches deep. This is a heavy feeding plant that requires nutrient-rich soil with excellent drainage. Gardenias need humidity. Mist this plant daily with a water bottle and keep it warm but not hot. The University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program recommends keeping gardenias at temperatures between 68 and 74 degrees during the day and dropping the temperature to around 60 degrees at night.
Peony gardenias are susceptible to wilts and blight, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Pests are another of the gardenia's common enemies. Set snail traps to keep snails and slugs from devouring these plants. Aphids will congregate on the peony and suck moisture from it. These tiny pests do not usually devour plants, but they do deplete its moisture, attract ants and create an environment that is ripe for some types of mold.