Miami Supreme Gardenia
Gardens and landscapes designed with plants that have contrasting textures, colorful flowers and interesting shapes are appreciated because of their visual beauty. When fragrant plants are included in the garden design they add an extra bonus because they can be enjoyed even when they are not seen.
Gardenia jasminoides is frequently one of the first plants mentioned when homeowners are interested in including fragrant plants in their landscapes. Gardenias are universally known for their heady, aromatic blooms and there are many lovely varieties that grow well in South Florida.
When selecting a gardenia jasminoides cultivar for a landscape in South Florida, it is important to know if the gardenia is growing on its own root system or if it has been grafted to a gardenia thunbergia rootstock.
As a general rule, in order for a gardenia plant to grow and thrive in South Florida, it will need to be a plant that was grafted to a hardy, gardenia thunbergia rootstock. Gardenia root systems are extremely susceptible to nematode infestations in the landscape. Nematodes are microscopic pests that will feed on gardenia roots. Plants infested with nematodes will exhibit wilting of the leaves, thin canopy, low vigor, leaf and bloom drop and will likely die. Fortunately, the gardenia thunbergia rootstock is nematode resistant and gardenia varieties that have been grafted to this rootstock will not succumb to the nematodes.
Gardenias in the garden will do well in full sun to light shade. They will require regular irrigation, fertilization and good drainage. They prefer soil with a higher acidity than our alkaline soil provides and will require a fertilizer formulated for acid loving plants.
There are a wide variety of lovely gardenia cultivars available in our area. Some of our favorites are the Miami supreme, Tahitian, Vietnamese snowflake, dwarf, radicans, Tahitian gold, and Aimee Yoshioka.
Tahitian gold, Vietnamese snowflake and Tahitian gardenia cultivars
The Vietnamese snowflake blooms off and on all year.