Apartment plants



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The Gardenias

Their distribution is very varied and extends to southern Africa, to Europe, to then go to Asia where they are more easily found in China and Japan.
They are commonly known as ornamental plants that can be cultivated in pots or directly on the ground and it is precisely for this purpose that they have spread widely in Europe.
The habitus of these plants is predominantly shrubby and the sizes vary from medium to small.
In Europe, about 10 species are widespread, having quite large colored leaves of a very intense green, are glossy and very thick. Their arrangement on the branches changes from species to species and can be alternated or opposed; the prevailing form is the lanceolate one.
The main characteristic are the flowers, generally of large dimensions, with a white or creamy color, and intensely perfumed. The number of petals that make up the flower is a minimum of six, but in most cases they are multiples of these. They are ephemeral elements, in fact they last about three days since they bloom completely.
Gardenias have now become common plants in homes, both in the garden, but even more so in the domestic environment. Their effect as a complement to their home decor is very interesting given the thick foliage and intensely pigmented leaves. The flower is present only at certain times of the year and from a beautiful aspect to the entire plant.


Depending on the botanical classification of the Gardenias you can count from a few dozen to more than two hundred different species. We will mention only a few.
Gardenia jasminoides is a species that has its origins in China and Japan. The bush formed by it is very dense and compact thanks to its intricate ramifications. The leaves are leathery, dark green and with very marked ribs. The flower is pure white and blooms between spring and autumn if the plant is not disturbed by adverse environmental conditions.
The Gardenia thunbergia which derives from southern Africa, has a large central stem from which the rich branching branches off. The leaves are oval, dark green and of excellent consistency. The flower is rather simple, white, consisting of a corolla of 9 elongated petals.
The Gardenia brighamii originally from Hawaii is a particular and protected species. The stem can reach a few meters in height but the plant itself is not as thick as those listed above. The leaves are oval, dark green and leathery. The flowers are small in size, white in color, and with a concealed corolla at the base which is then divided into 6 or seven lobes.


Gardenias can be grown quietly inside apartments as long as you pay attention to the needs of the plant. It lives well inside the pots and thanks to the limited spaces it does not reach large dimensions. The land it needs must have a pH of less than six, for this it is called acidophilic, and it is advisable to create this characteristics with the use of peat, sand and appropriate fertilizers, which will provide the plant with a richer medium.
Regarding the position, the advice of the experts is to put the plant in a well-lit room but not to subject it to direct contact with the sun's rays which could damage it. One of the most important environmental factors for Gardenia is humidity. Since it comes from very humid environments it is necessary to recreate this condition even in the apartment.
It is not necessary to humidify the whole room but alternative solutions can be used such as the habit of vaporising water on the leaves when the plant is free of flowers and buds.
Another solution is provided by the use of gravel placed in the plant's saucer and always kept wet. Thus, especially in the hottest periods, its evaporation will favor the increase of humidity around the plant itself.
The last possibility is to place bowls of water that will evaporate over time near the Gardenia.
For what concerns the watering it must happen with the use of lukewarm water and little calcareous. To reduce the carbonates present, it can be boiled by adding a few drops of vinegar.
The use of fertilizers and fertilizers is important to allow the plant to have all the substances it needs directly available in its soil.
Fertilization must be carried out regularly through the use of a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in water and irrigation. During the winter, this is done once every two months, while in spring and summer it is done approximately every fifteen days.
These plants bloom between spring and autumn.


The worst risks that the plant runs are related to environmental factors and soil characteristics. If the plant should lose buds and flowers it means that it is lacking in moisture. To remedy this, it will be necessary to place it in a luminous environment, to water it more often and perhaps to approach it with other plants so as to recreate an environment that is as similar as possible to its physiological.
Another problem is that linked to the high level of limestone contained in the water that is supplied to it.
This can cause chlorosis that is treated with periodic repottings and with the use of a fertilizer for the soil.