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Why this ‘Mystery’ gardenia is blooming despite the heat and drought conditions – Press Enterprise


Almost 20 years ago, I planted a “mystery” gardenia. Today, it is over 6 feet high and is now covered with fragrant white flowers that reach up to 5 inches when fully open.

I was thinking about this gardenia as the local drought situation intensified. This requires less water than my California lilac (Ceanosas). Also in bloom now is the 6-foot-high Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) with magnificent purple spire-shaped inflorescences. Like the tall butterfly bush (Buddleia sp.) With a giant flower cane, it is in a similarly sparse water environment. And my neighbor has some 8-foot-high hibiscus shrubs, little water, but never more flowers than they are now. It is clear that when the woody plant reaches mature height, or earlier, all the water it needs can grow naturally.

Similarly, continued drought can put all plants, including indigenous peoples, at risk of death. For example, during the 2011-2017 drought, more than 100 million trees died in California. You would have thought that the state’s water supply manager would have ever awakened to the fact that additional water resources need to be secured. For example, it makes sense to invest in more desalination and water recycling projects.

It should be mentioned that during the first decade of my life in the vestibule, the gardenia mentioned above rarely bloomed. Still, as we have learned over time, plants look a lot like children. If you can keep them alive for enough years, they will eventually find their way and fit comfortably into the late-blooming category, even if it is somewhat expensive for parents.

The gardenia variety, which is a specimen of my gardenia, was grafted on the gardenia rootstock. The reason for this is that the latter species is less necessary as far as the need for iron is concerned and conveys this property to the grafted scion. When Gardenia augusta is planted in its own roots, it often shows signs of iron deficiency – that is, the leaves are yellow except for those veins, which are green. This is most noticeable on new leaves, as the available iron tends to be sequestered on old leaves. Iron is immobile and therefore unable to participate in the stream of water and minerals that constantly raises plants from roots to leaves. It is also worth noting that the thunbergiana species is native to South Africa and is relatively drought resistant, giving this quality to the augusta species it supports.

Although sensitive to too many suns, gardenia is arguably not a shade-loving plant and grows best in either the full morning sun or the partial afternoon sun. The healthiest gardenia I have ever seen grew on the eastern side of the Vannize car wash. The stable fog from the car wash provided an ideal atmosphere for the luxurious gardenia there. Every 10 gardenia can be found in the local garden, but at least 9 look sad. The leaves are yellow or charred, the growth is spiky, and the plant as a whole appears ready for a pile of compost.

Whenever you have a hard time growing a plant, learn about its habitat. If you can know the natural environment, you can reproduce it in your own garden. Gardenia, which grows naturally in southeastern China, tropical Africa, and Oceania, grows naturally in acidic soils due to heavy rains that infuse alkaline compounds. But what does a gardener do because Southern California is alkaline?

Soil can be acidified by adding peat moss and gypsum at the time of planting, using fertilizers specially formulated for acid-loving plants, and continuous use of compost. The decomposition of compost when releasing humic acid has an acidifying effect on the soil.plaster

Some horticulturists dislike the use of peat moss because it is a resource that disappears in some areas of harvest, so they use coconut fiber or coconut fiber instead. Coir acidifies soil, if not as much as peat moss, but is equally effective in destroying hard soil and improving drainage, which is an essential condition for gardenia success. Root protection is an important element of gardenia health.

If your gardenia is “Veitchii” (VETCH-ee-eye), its growth habits are bushy and completely cover its roots as it grows. If your gardenia is a “mystery”, its growth is violent and you will want to surround it with a thick root. If gardenia is growing in a container, place a variety of tough potted plants around it, such as geraniums and succulents, and hit the sides of the gardenia container on a hot day to stress the roots of the hot sun. Protect from.

For gardenia, all that is required is the removal of dead stems and the trimming of sprouts that emerge from the natural shape of the plant. Gardenia must be allowed to reach mature dimensions of 5 feet high and 6 feet wide for “Veitchii” and 8 feet high and 8 feet wide for “Mystery”. Newly planted gardenia prefers soil that is always moist but not overly moist or dry. Finally, it is worth mentioning that gardenia flowers floating in a shallow glass bowl create an intriguing fragrant tablescape.

The history of gardenia in North America is intertwined with the first year of the American Republic. Alexander Garden grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, where he studied medicine and natural history, sailed to Charleston, South Carolina, and settled in 1752. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Garden became an avid botanist and was sent locally. The specimen he found returned to Europe. It was during this period that the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus began naming plants and animals in Latin for genera and species. This is the system that becomes known as the Binomial nomenclature. Linnaeus was named after Alexander Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) for its widespread recognition of American plants when it received a flowering plant like jasmine from China. Linne sent Dr. Garden a sample of a new gardenia shrub with a sweet scent. Dr. Garden immediately planted South Carolina’s semi-tropical climate and acidic soils in his garden, which provided optimal conditions for the first gardenia ever cultivated. Americas.

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The chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is probably named for its anannouncer or desire-suppressing quality. A laid-back plant that blooms in the summer, it has fragrant floral spire that fascinates hummingbirds. Vitex is derived from the Latin word for “weaving” and refers to the fact that its young shoots can be used in basket weaving. It blooms as it grows this season (like hibiscus, crape myrtle, and hybrid roses), so you don’t have to worry about flower loss due to delayed pruning.

Arabian lilac (Vitex trifoliatavar. Purpurea) is a well-ventilated, fast-growing woody plant that is exposed to full or partial sunlight and is highly resistant to drought. Planted from a 5 gallon container, it grows to a height of 4 feet in the first year and 8 feet in the second year. If not pruned, it will be taller and can be treated as a small tree. Most often, it is used as an informal hedge and its abilities are pruned hard in early spring.

Arabian lilacs can produce small pale purple flower spikes in the summer, but these inflorescences are barely noticeable. The main attraction of Arabian lilac is the leaves. They are green on the top and purple on the bottom, fragrant and velvety to the touch. Native to Australia, Arabian lilacs survive freezing and grow on poorly drained soils.

This week’s tips: Outside the mall entrance in Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Woodland Hills, I saw a large and fascinating planting of a dessert spoon (Dasirion Wheeleri). Dessert spoons are a symmetrical beauty that makes you forget about it. The large sphere of tough, slender, sharp, serrated yet delicate-looking leaves gives a feeling of eerie calm and perfection. Who knows how many years of drought hit us, and even when we have a rainy winter, it seems that a series of dry winters will continue.

Send questions, comments and photos to joshua@perfectplants.com.

Why this ‘Mystery’ gardenia is blooming despite the heat and drought conditions – Press Enterprise Source link Why this ‘Mystery’ gardenia is blooming despite the heat and drought conditions – Press Enterprise



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