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How to Grow Gardenias in Colorado

The gardenia is a tropical, flowering shrub, native to Africa and China, with several species native to the Hawaiian islands. Gardenia flowers, which bloom from mid-spring to mid-summer, are generally white and highly scented. The gardenia plants sold in Colorado stores are meant to be grown as houseplants. Gardenias are temperamental plants and have a hard time acclimating to the various temperatures and dry conditions in a home. It will require a lot of care for them to thrive. Look for the Gardenia jasminoides, the Veitchii cultivar, for best results in your Colorado home.

Pour a mixture of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 sand and 1/3 potting soil into a large planting pot. Water it well and allow the excess water to drain from the bottom

Add the planting mix to the gardenia's new planting pot, about half way up to the top.

Gently remove the gardenia from the pot in which it is currently growing.

Place the gardenia's roots onto the soil in the middle of the new pot and gradually add more soil, tapping down lightly on the soil you are adding to remove any air pockets.

Water the plant, allowing the water to drain from the bottom of the pot.

Place the gardenia in a well-lit area that will remain between 68 and 74 degrees F in the daytime and 55 to 60 degrees F at night. Although it should not sit in the direct sun all day, a little morning sunlight should be fine.

Water the gardenia when the top 1/2 inch of soil becomes dry. Always allow the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot and don't let the pot sit in any water that may accumulate in the tray beneath it.

Provide humidity for the gardenia with a humidifier or by setting it on a humidifying tray. Make your own humidity tray by pouring some pebbles into a cake pan or other tray-type container and filling the container with water until just the tops of the pebbles are exposed. Place the plant on the dry tops of the pebbles. As the water in the tray evaporates, add more, but don't let the water touch the bottom of the pot.

Fertilize your gardenia every two weeks with a water-soluble all purpose fertilizer. Every three months, fertilize with a fertilizer labeled "for acid-loving plants," such as azaleas.

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