Gardenia is known for its gentleness, but surprisingly enough If you want a healthy Gardenia plant, make your soil acidic. To know more in detail about what type of soil is used for Gardenia, we have it here for you. The secret to growing this fragranced colorful plant starts with making it in the right soil.
Adjusting your garden soil is not as hard as you think. There are a lot of ways to make your soil acidic with the soil amendments such as fertilizers and acidifiers. Read this guide to learn more on how to acidify the soil, adjust soil pH and maintain the best acidic soil for your Gardenia plant. I bet, you will wish you had known it sooner!
Types of Gardenia
Gardenia Jasminoides is an evergreen shrub native to china, and japan. Gardenia can grow to 8 feet tall to form a tree. They belong to the genus of flowering plants in the coffee family in tropical and subtropical areas. The plant is named after a Scottish-born American naturalist, Alexander Garden. The Gardenia flowers can be white, pale, or yellow in color with a sweet fragrance. There are more than 100 recognized species in this genus, Rubiaceae. Gardenia thrives in damp soil with high humidity but indirect sunlight. The Soil for this plant should be rich and filled with organic matter in it.
Types of Gardenia Plants
- Gardenia Jasminoides “Veitchii” is a medium-sized shrub growing up to 4 feet high. The oldest Gardenia variety is cultivated in containers with low and dense growth. They bloom through spring.
- Gardenia Jasminoides “Mystery” is the best choice for small urban spaces with their easy leaves. They bloom to have larger flowers with double flowers.
- Gardenia Jasminoides “Pinwheel” is best for the land rather than in a pot. They got the name from the shape of the flower. They have a strong fragrance and are one of the hardest gardenia varieties.
- Gardenia Jasminoides “Kliem Hardy” is cold and sun tolerant and the toughest variety. They bloom twice a year. This plant is small and dwarf-sized and great for pots and containers.
What is the Soil pH for Gardenia?
The soil pH for Gardenia can range from 5.0 to 6.0. Gardenia loves to grow best in slightly acidic soil. If the soil is alkaline, it may affect the plant. To make your Gardenia soil acidic, add peat moss to it. pH is tested to find the potential of hydrogen and uses a chemical scale to identify the nature of the soil. Testing for soil pH is the first step in getting to know the soil. Ph can range from 1 to 14. Any soil with a pH higher than 7 is alkaline and less than 7 is acidic. Do a pH test to find the soil pH level.
Testing the Gardenia Soil
If you want to grow Gardenia, the first thing you should do is test your soil. Testing the soil for Gardenia at every stage of growth will make sure the soil is acidic enough for the plant. Starting from before planting a Gardenia plant to the Flowering period, keeping a regular check on soil pH is a must.
To do the soil pH test, you can use :
- Litmus Paper Test– This traditional paper test is used to find if the soil is acidic or not. Mix the water and soil in a container and dip the paper. If the Litmus paper turns red, then the soil is acidic.
- Digital Tester– The Digital Tester is used in the soil to find the soil pH. This electronic device is made of metal which also shows the mineral levels that are present in the soil.
- Lab soil Test– Send your soil sample to a nearby soil lab or extension office to know about the soil. They also give more information to grow the plant along with the soil pH and contents in soil.
What Type of Soil is used for Gardenia?
The best kind of soil for Gardenia is nutrients and organic matter-rich sandy soil. Potting mix can be used to grow Gardenia but the nutrient, minerals, and pH should be checked before planting soil.
Cactus or succulent soil is also best for gardenia. But making soil for Gardenia on your own is easy and is all organic soil.
The best soil for gardenia should contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium to make it well-drained soil.
Components of the Best soil for Gardenia.
These are the components of the perfect Gardening soil,
- Soil Composition– The compositions in soil play a significant role in the growth of Gardenia plants. Adding elements such as compost, pumice, perlite, and sand helps in maintaining the pH of the soil and makes the soil healthy.
- Spacing– Providing the right space for the plant according to size is a must. Placing a large growing gardenia in a small plant will destroy the plant. The pot will retain more water than the plant may need. They may be root bound because of growth.
- Good drainage– Good drainage is essential for gardenia plant soil. The pot needs a drainage hole for drainage. Water sitting in the pot may lead to fungal disease and destroy the root. The roots easily die out of excess water in the soil as they can’t stand too much water. Adding coco coir or pebbles with soil will help solve the problem.
- Proper aeration– Gardenia soil should have good aeration. As they love light soil to get the proper aeration, giving that will help them grow. Providing extra aeration to the soil will be good for the plant.
How to Prepare Potting Soil for Gardenia?
To prepare the potting soil for Gardenia, add Two parts of the Organic matter to One part of the inorganic matter. Organic matter includes soil, compost, bark, coir, moss, and plant waste such as lawn clipping, leaves, stems, and branches.
Inorganic or mineral matters are rocks, sand, gravel, marbles, and charcoal.
Depending on the texture of the mix, add one or two parts of coco coir to it to improve the aeration. You can add perlite to increase the drainage of the soil.
The preparation of a potting mix for Gardenia is cost-efficient. Succulent, cactus soil is quite opposite to garden or potting soil or orchid soil. Orchid soil is even more nutritious and suitable for gardenia rather than others in pots. Adding potting mix directly for gardenia is not good. But after mending the soil to improve drainage and aeration will make the potting mix doable for Gardenia.
How to make Soil Acidic for Gardenia?
To make the soil acidic for Gardenia plants, use some acidifiers in the soil. If the soil test indicates the soil needs more acid or less acid there are many ways to acidify the soil. Soil acidifiers should be applied one time per year. These Are some of the natural acidifiers for your gardenia. Let us learn about some,
Sulfur– Elemental sulfur is very effective in acidifying the soil naturally. This is one of the common treatments to acidify the soil for Gardenia plants. This slow-release and the long-term solution will keep the soil pH down right for the Gardenia plant. The Sulphur is easy and safe to use but needs more caution in adding the right proportion to the soil.
Compost– Compost is made of waste from plants, fruits, vegetables, and yards. Using the microorganisms this waste will be broken down to provide nutrients to the soil. Compost provides all essential minerals and NPK to the soil. The water content and density will provide a regular source of food for the single-rooted Gardenia.
Mulch– The mulch is spread on the soil which contains both organic and inorganic materials. They contain leaves, lawn clipping, wood, and other such products. Mulch prevents weed growth in the soil and keeps moisture in the soil. Straw mulch is the best mulch for Gardenia plants. 4 inches of mulch around the Gardenia plant will do the magic for your plant.
Vinegar– Vinegar is the best short-term solution to boost acidic soil. This natural substance should be added in a diluted way around the plants. Add one spoon or 10 ml of vinegar to 1 gallon of water to ready the vinegar solution. Adding this to the soil will make the soil acidic and is best used for container plants. Since containers need a quicker and short-term solution, this is the best one.
Acidic Fertilisers– Acid or acidic fertilizers will provide acidity directly to the soil. This is best used for half-grown Gardenia which needs a boost of acidity for healthy growth and fruit production. Acid fertilizers are sprayed around the soil and work very slowly in the plant.
Lime– The soil acidity can be adjusted with the help of lime. Finely grounded lime will make the best combination to neutralize the too much acidity in the soil. If the soil pH is too low, adding some lime will increase the acidity. This a very fast solution to lower the soil acidity and increase the pH level.
Wood ash– Ashes from the fire pit can be added to the soil to reduce soil acidity. They contain boron and some nutrients which help the soil. Wood ash can be added to the soil before planting to amend the soil. Don’t apply wood ash to garden plants. Avoid using artificial log wood ash, as they have chemicals in it.
DIY Tips to make soil for Gardenia at Home (Complete guide)
The satisfaction of making DIY soil will make you feel so connected with the plant. Making your own mix takes time and involvement but it gives the plant a tint of nature. This recipe is best used for both indoor and outdoor plants.
Tips to Prepare
- Collecting all the ingredients before making the soil.
- Take time to mix the ingredients.
- Learn other items like reading a pH tester, types of nutrients, and their uses.
Now you can start making the DIY with the below-given ingredients and follow up,
- Gear up with gloves to avoid dirt from the soil.
- Measuring cup or instrument to measure the ingredients.
- Bucket or vessel to make space to mix the soil.
- A small shovel/ Trowel to mix the soil.
- Dust mark (must).
Organic matters :
- Potting soil– The potting mix with the soil makes the potting soil. Potting mix has peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and many others.
- Perlite– Perlite is formed from volcanic emission. They make the best aeration for the Gardenia soil.
- Pumice– Formed from volcanoes when they erupted explosively. The liquid explosion is formed to pumice rock making the aeration for the soil.
- Coconut Coir– The coconut fiber is an all-rounder made from coconut husk used for many purposes. They are used in soil to improve soil texture, drainage, and aeration.
- Peat Moss– It is made of decomposed organic matter from peat bogs. For sandy soil, it helps to retain moisture for the plant.
Inorganic matters :
- Coarse sand– The sand is added to give a loose texture to the soil. The coarse sand is added to reduce the clay content in the soil.
- Volcanic rocks– These are rocks from volcanic lava. The rock contains many minerals which help in plant growth.
- Gravel– Gravel is rock fragments that are formed from the breakdown of rock. They are used in decorative and to provide aeration to the soil.
My recipes for the best gardenia soil :
- 2 parts Organic matters
- 1 Part Inorganic matter
- 1 Part Peat moss
- 1 Part Sand
- 1 Part Potting soil
After collecting all the required ingredients and tools add the measured organic matter or potting soil to the bucket with the help of a trowel. Add two parts of Organic matter first and one part of inorganic matter and mix it well so both are mixed. Add one part peat moss, one part sand, and one part potting mix, and mix all well to make the best soil for your gardenia plant. Add an equal amount of sand to any soil if they have more clay content in the soil.
Where to Buy Soil for Gardenia?
Soil for Gardenia can be bought in a commercial store or online. In stores, you can get opinions from expert people in the field to explain and give soil according to the plant. But the chances are there will be added chemical fertilizers in the soil. Online, you can make your choice based on the review, rating, and the right mix mentioned on the label. With whatever way of buying the soil, adding some soil conditioner will help for the betterment of the plant as well the soil.
If you don’t know what is a soil conditioner, we have got you covered. Click and read here.
Can I use Garden soil for Gardenia?
Yes, you can use garden soil for Gardenia. Garden soil will be heavy, damp and moisture pretended with lots of organic, and inorganic patterns in it. Gardenia that is outdoors can survive in garden soil. Garden soil will be loamy, and perfect drainage and nutrients will make it suitable for Gardenia to grow. Potted gardenia will need different types of soil.
Can Gardenia grow in Cactus and Orchid soil?
Yes, Gardenia can grow in cactus soil. Gardenia needs soil that can hold water but cactus soil is a total of drainage ingredients that won’t be good for them. Often the term cactus and succulent are used indifferently. You may find labels in soil bags stating cactus and succulent soil. As the characteristics and needs of both cacti and succulents are common, they can be used for one another. When some Gardenia can grow in cacti for such types, cactus soil can be used but for others, they need loam-based soil.
Yes, Gardenia can be grown in Orchid soil. Orchid soil tends to have the right acidity which is suitable for the plant. Orchid soil has good drainage and is porous which makes it the best substitute for Gardenia.
Selecting the Right Place and Pot for Gardenia
The right place to grow a Gardenia is in partial to full sun. Some types can grow into a tree that can’t be grown indoors. Some dwarf varieties with limited growth and weight can be grown in the pot. Gardenia prefers a shady place but some species can tolerate hot sun. Gardenia is temperature tolerant as long as they have moist soil.
- Picking the right pot is essential for every houseplant. The right pot for a Gardenia plant is categorized with the size and material of the pot.
- The pot for the plant can be plastic, ceramic, or wood. But the best one for Gardenia is Terracotta because of the water storing nature. This will help to keep the plant moist even at high temperatures.
- The Size of the pot for Gardenia can not be fixed. There is no perfect size pot for plants. Giving the plant a pot that is two sizes bigger than the plant will be good.
Potting and Repotting Gardenia
Repotting should be done when the store-bought plant is in a small pot disregarding its size.
Repotting a gardenia every two years once during summer will enrich the plant with nutrients in the new soil. Repotting can be done at certain times,
- When the plant has outgrown the pot or container in which it grows.
- When its plant is externally damaged due to any cause like animal accidents and many such.
- Fungal or bacterial infection can damage the soil during such times there is a need to repot the Gardenia.
- Root rot is not a major problem and the plant can recover on its own. But at times, when it gets severe repotting should be done to save the plant and root.
Repotting should not be done in yellow leaves, dropping leaves, dryness, sunburn, and insect-invaded soil.
How to Propagate Gardenia in some Easy Steps?
Here is my way to Propagate a Gardenia in some simple and easy steps :
- Fill the container with new soil for Gardenia.
- Cut a stem, 4 inches below the leaf.
- Keep the soil moist.
- Plant the stem and wait for four to eight weeks for the root growth.
- After growth, you can move them outdoors for light and more growth to become a Plant.
What are some common Problems in Growing Gardenia?
Gardenia doesn’t have a serious problem to deal with. But look out for watering, this may rot the root which leads to death. They may also face bug problems. The plant is not much prone to pests but there should be a check on it. There are chances they are affected by spider mites, scales, mealybugs, aphids, and bacterial or fungal diseases. Treating the problem with fungicides and insecticides will help discord the problem. Insects-affected plants show signs with leaves. Keeping a check on plants and soil will mostly prevent pests.
Gardenia plants are easy maintenance and problem-free plants to grow indoors. But poor soil selection will affect the health of the plant. With the right soil selection for the Gardenia, well-drainage, moisture retention and nutrient content should be checked to give the ideal space for the plant to cherish. With proper care, plants will grow to have lush green leaves with pure flowers. If there is any problem with the plant, follow the repotting steps and swap it for better soil.
What is the Best Homemade Fertilizer for Gardenia?
Coffee grounds are the Best Homemade Fertilizer for Gardenia.
Can Gardenia grow in pots?
Yes, gardenia can grow in pots.
Do Gardenia like sand?
Yes, gardenia is like soil which is loam and sand.
Can Gardenia handle full sun?
Gardenia can handle fun sun but not in a high-temperature place.