Gardenia bonsai is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, Australia, and Madagascar. It belongs to the Gardenia Genus and Rubiaceae family. The scientific name of Gardenia is Gardenia jasminoides. The genus Gardenia is named after a Scottish American naturalist, Dr. Alexander Garden by John Ellis and Carl Linnaeus.
Gardenia jasminoides bonsai grow scented flowers in colors ranging from waxy to white and cream and their natural scents are remarkable and evocative. It is also known for its leathery, shiny, and dark green colored leaves. The flowers are either solitary or they grow in small clusters.
Gardenia jasminoides bonsai is an evergreen shrub. The height of the shrub ranges from 8 to 12 inches and the width ranges from 6 to 10 inches. The Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai has a lifespan of around 50 years. However, they might drop leaves and buds if they are not provided with the right environment including the temperature, sunlight and water requirements.
The flowering season of Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai is Spring. Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai also don’t like to be moved very often. Moving them often can cause bud drop too. So you must ensure that you place them at a place fulfilling all the required criteria. Read ahead to know more about the right environment and the needs of the plant!
How Long Does it Take to Grow Gardenia Bonsai?
Propagating the Gardenia Bonsai from seeds can take around two to three years. It will take this much time to grow into a flowering plant. Growing a bonsai through seeds is a lengthy process and also requires various requirements to be met. You can also choose to grow your bonsai through stem cutting. However, your bonsai will not be growing in every environment as it requires very specific conditions all round the year. Some of the important requirements for Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai to become healthy and grow into a flowering plant are listed below:
Position and Lighting
The Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai needs to be placed at a bright and well lit location. They prefer a humid environment so you should keep your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai away from dry air. The Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai likes sunlight but it should not be direct. During summers, you should place them in a bright location indoors. Or you can also place them in a partially shaded place which gets indirect sunlight, if kept outdoors. In winters, you should keep your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai away from heat sources.
The ideal temperature for a healthy Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai to grow is between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures should not fall below 53 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter season.
For your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai to be healthy, you should keep the soil moist. Water the plant daily or according to the moisture level of the soil. An effective method to water the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai is through drip irrigation method as it keeps water off the leaves leaving less chances for fungal spots on the leaves. Watering should be reduced during winters.
You must also remember to use soft water as the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai is not tolerant towards lime present in the hard water. To water the potted plant, you can fill a shallow pan upto half level with water and set the potted plant in the pan. The plant’s root will absorb the water from the plant within the next 10 – 30 minutes. You can then remove the plant and place it in its location.
In cases when leaves or flowers of the Gardenia bonsai fall off, you need to reduce the moisture in the soil. This is because overwatering and increase in moisture lead to the falling of leaves and flowers.
The soil should be of lower pH level as Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai grows well in acidic soil. You can use a normal potting mix with a peat base. You can always check the pH level of the soil before planting the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai in it. To lower the pH level of the soil, you can add a teaspoon of agricultural sulfur to it.
Fertilizer can be added to the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai during the non- blooming seasons from Spring to Fall. You should feed the plant twice a month during this period. The plant should not be fed during the blooming period. You can use liquid fertilizers to feed your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai. You should also feed your bonsai chelated iron twice each year by mixing the iron powder to water and applying the mixture to the plant. This will also help in controlling slugs and pests.
How to Plant and Grow Gardenia Bonsai?
Planting and growing Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai is also a long but fruitful process. You need to ensure that all the processes are implemented correctly if you want your house to smell of the scented Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai flowers. Explained below are the process of propagation, pruning and repotting that are the major steps for planting a Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai.
The best method for propagation of Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai is through stem cuttings. To imply this method, you can take a stem cutting by making the cut below the leaf node and dip it in rooting hormone. Next, plant it in the right soil. You must note the requirements of soil mentioned above! The soil should be kept moist until the roots form and the plant can then be transplanted into a 3 inch pot.
Propagation can also be done through seeds but it is a lengthy process. It takes around two to three years for the seeds to grow into a flowering Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai. To imply this method, first collect the seeds and clean them and leave them to dry for 3 – 4 weeks. Then plant the seeds and keep the soil moist and out of sunlight until the seeds start to sprout. The time required for this step is around 4 – 6 weeks. Once the seeds sprout, you can transplant them into pots and place them at a bright indoor location.
Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai should be pruned once around four to six leaves grow. You can use sharp scissors to prune the leaves. To retain the classic bonsai look, you should reduce the plant to two or three main stems. Pruning of the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai should be done during flowering rest periods. Pruning should be avoided during the bloom season. There should be limited pruning from Spring to Fall and it should be done only when the growth needs to be controlled.
The branches should be wired in spring after the plant has bloomed. While wiring, you should also take care that the wires do not cut into the branches. Make sure to remove the wires before they cause any damage.
You should re- pot your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai every two to three years. Repotting should be done in Spring and should be accompanied by root pruning. Root pruning should be done very carefully as too much root pruning can be detrimental to the plant. Pruning 10% of the roots should be good to go. Make sure to use the right pH soil while repotting your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai!
How to Care for Your Gardenia Bonsai
Caring for the Gardenia Bonsai might be a lethargic task but the spectacular results are definitely worth the time and effort. The scented white flowers that blossom on the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai will make you feel like your efforts have been paid for. You need to follow very specific guidelines to care for your Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai.
Everything, starting from the location, position, temperature, to the soil and watering of the bonsai needs to be monitored. You must ensure that you place the Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai in a well lit location without any direct sunlight.
Watering should be done consistently in order to keep the soil moist as Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai are moisture loving plants. As they are acid loving plants, you can also use rainwater to water them. You can spritz the plant to keep the leaves moist. They also prefer acidic soil so you must ensure that the pH level of the soil is correct.
Pests and Diseases
Gardenia jasminoides Bonsai can be attacked by pests like mealy bugs, scales, aphids, etc. these are common on houseplants but prevention from these pests is also simple. You can save your plant from the attack of pests by keeping it at a location with good air circulation. In case the plants are attacked by the pests, you can treat them with fungicides.
You should also keep a check on watering and fertilizing and ensure that you do not overwater or over fertilize the plant to prevent it from rotting. To prevent bud drops before the blooming season, you should provide the plant with proper lighting, water and place them in the right temperatures.