How Sweet The Scent
By Jos Van Hage
Saturday, January 28, 2012 03:45 AM
Gardenia on the left, Jasmine on the right, both offer delicate fragrance
The greenhouse is smelling very fragrant right now with the recent arrival of two very sweet smelling flowering plants, gardenia and jasmine. Both of these are grown for their very fragrant flowers and can be grown indoors as houseplants successfully.
Gardenias are not the easiest houseplant to grow as they do not like to be neglected, but they are certainly well worth the effort. The sweetly scented, creamy white flowers, and the glossy green leaves all add up to a very attractive plant.
The best way to grow a gardenia indoors is to place them in the right environment. Gardenias need lots of bright, direct light so a south facing window would be ideal. They also like a high humidity which can be created by a humidifier, or by placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, with the water just below the surface of the pebbles.
Ideally temperatures should be around 20 C during the day and a few degrees cooler at night. You want to keep gardenias away from heat sources as well as cold drafts. Moisture is a key ingredient to a gardenias health. Gardenias like to be kept moderately moist. When the top of the soil feels dry give the plant a thorough water using room temperature water and toss out any excess water. If the plant is kept too wet or too dry the flower buds and leaves will drop off.
Jasmine plants are easier to grow indoors. They like lots of bright direct light so a southern exposure is best over the winter months. They also enjoy a high humidity so a kitchen or bathroom window would be ideal or else you can place them on a water filled pebble tray.
Do not keep the plant too wet or let them dry out, water the plant with room temperature water when the soil feels slightly dry. Jasmines are a vining plant that do best when grown on a trellis. They are grown for their very fragrant white, star shaped flowers. After they have finished blooming they can be pinched back if they become leggy. To get them to re bloom it is suggested to place them in a cooler room and when the buds have developed the plant can be placed back in a warmer climate.
Both the jasmine and gardenia make beautiful fragrant houseplants and they are in bloom right now. They do require a little bit more effort but the plants reward you with beauty as well as fragrance!
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 16 west at Kimball Road
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road
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