Gardenias are beautiful flowering plans with deep green leaves and fragrant white flowers. They require a great deal of care when young, but only minimal care when older. Gardenias are available for purchase just about anywhere that sells plants. However, for the avid gardenia lover, rooting gardenias may be a better option. Unfortunately, gardenias are very fickle plants and very difficult to root from cuttings. But, with a lot of effort and patience, gardenias can be rooted from cuttings. There are several methods for rooting gardenias. Gardenias can be rooted in a glass jar filled with water, in a flowerpot filled with potting soil, or directly into the ground. Rooting gardenias in a jar is easy, but a lot of space is needed as the jars of cuttings need to be kept in a sunny window. Gardenia cuttings can also be placed directly in the ground, but water and fertilizer runoff can be detrimental to the rooting of the cuttings in the early days after planting. A popular method of rooting gardenias is the flowerpot method. Rooting gardenias in a flowerpot provides the opportunity to give the cuttings the right amount of sun and shade, and eliminates the runoff of water and fertilizer.
Preparing the Cuttings
Take the scissors and cut off a 5- to 6-inch section of a gardenia branch from a healthy plant. The cutting should have a minimum of two to three sets of leaves on it. Cuttings taken in June, July or August will be more likely to take root than those taken during other parts of the year.
Immediately place the cuttings in a tall jar of water to prevent them from drying out. Place the jar in a warm spot where it will receive filtered sunlight, like on a porch, or in a windowsill.
Fill the flowerpot half full with potting soil. Do not pack the soil in tightly. The soil should be loose enough to allow for easy growth of tender new roots.
Remove the gardenia cuttings from the jar of water and dip one end into the rooting compound. Push the new cuttings gently into the soil in the flowerpot. Push them approximately 2 inches into the soil.
Water the gardenia cuttings immediately after planting; the cuttings should be kept moist, but not soggy. Fertilizer should be applied at this point, but only in small amounts. Liquid fertilizer, like Miracle Grow, would be best because it waters the cuttings and feeds them.
Things You Will Need
- Hand trowel or small shovel
- Potting soil designed for acid loving plants
- Rooting compound
- Tall jar
- Liquid fertilizer, like Miracle Grow
- Keep gardenia cuttings in a shady area that gets direct sunlight for only about two or three hours a day.
- On very hot days, mist the cuttings lightly with a spray bottle to increase the humidity on the plant. Gardenias grow best in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.
- It will take approximately four to six weeks to begin growing roots.
- Take cuttings only from healthy gardenia plants.
- Do not place more than five gardenia cuttings in one flowerpot. Gardenias need room to spread out their roots.