Hardy Gardenia

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Newbee, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. Newbee

    Newbee Member

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    I just got a Kleim's Hardy Gardenia but am unsure whether to plant it directly in the garden or to put it in a container so I can bring it inside if we get a particularly cold snap. The label claims it's hardy in Zones 7 to 11 and I'm in Zone 7.

    I'm also assuming that in our climate (Vancouver) that I'd be better off putting it in a full sun location, although again the label says it needs full to partial sun.

    All thoughts and advice gratefully received. Thank you.
     
  2. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You might fail to anticipate a cold snap, and if the plant is in a container it will think it's in zone 6. The ground is safer if you aren't infallible. It is tough to know where the warmest microclimates in your garden are (I'm going to put some thermometers out this winter so I can figure it out) but one promising feature is some overhanging foliage. You could always plant it in a protected spot this winter and move it in spring to an ideal location, giving it some time to get established before next winter.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Plant now, in sunny nook. Zone 7 for that is USDA rating, Vancouver is USDA 8.
     
  4. Newbee

    Newbee Member

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    Thanks KarinL and Ron B for your replies. I have now planted it in a south-facing raised bed close to the house so that it gets some protection - it's probably the snuggliest nook I have! Thanks once again for the advice.

    Newbee
     
  5. Newbee

    Newbee Member

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    Update on my Gardenia.

    So I got it settled into its new home - did NOT fertilize but did mix up the soil from its spot with about 40% of my own compost on planting and have watered regularly since planting. (Crazily, we have had NO rain to speak of for eons in our part of North Van so I am still spending more time than you would think in early October watering lots of things....)

    Here's my question though - my hardy gardenia is now producing flowers! I certainly didn't notice any flower buds when I got it but sure enough I have 3 open flowers and probably 2 times as many buds waiting to flower. Should I snip the flowers off - I want it to make roots now not flowers, or should I just let it do its thing? (I'm suspecting it may be confused by the weather which has registered over 20 degrees Celsius during the day in its spot since I planted it - with lots of Autumnal sun! - plus it is relatively sheltered at night under house eaves). Bottom line is that I want this to be a healthy, vigorous plant for years to come so it's no hardship for me to cut the flowers off now or even next year!

    Thoughts please!
     
  6. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    Do you know what triggers the production of flowers in a hardy gardenia? Different plants produce flowers according to differing triggers. Plants may initiate flowers because of signals from day length, temperature, moisture levels or environmental stress. It is most probable that your plant is responding to the environment appropriately for the species. Removing blooms may simply force it to try harder to set blooms at the cost to the roots you want to form.

    I would say let the plant follow its program.
     
  7. Renew

    Renew Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello, I am interested in getting a hardy gardenia. I live in Vancouver, and plan to plant it south facing with some shade in a raised bed. How is yours doing?
     
  8. Newbee

    Newbee Member

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    Mine did not make it through this last Winter. It too was planted in a south-facing, raised bed in a sheltered position (i.e. close to the eaves of the house) and despite me wrapping it in "fleece" during the coldest spells, it succumbed to the point that two-thirds of it were killed off. So I'm afraid that it's hit the compost bin. If I buy one again, I would have it in a pot which could brought indoors to overwinter as it seems to be too tender for our unpredictable climate. I'm also now not going to buy anything that's been raised by a California grower/nursery for outdoor planting as the differences seem to be too extreme! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but forewarned is forearmed....

    Newbee
     
  9. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Microclimates are funny... I didn't write a full essay on the subject last year (and can't anyway) but there are many factors involved. For example, prevailing winds around your property, and that cold air falls downhill, so that a sheltered spot at the end of a slope might be colder, not warmer, than others.

    I think not buying anything from California growers may be a slightly extreme reaction, but there may be room for consideration of this element - for example, it might be OK to get such plants in spring, but maybe not in fall. It may also depend on the actual hardiness of the plant.

    Anyway, sorry about your gardenia, and mine didn't make it through the winter either - though I didn't shelter it - and come to think of it, it was seed-grown here in town. However, I think I got it planted too late in the year or may have planted it out too small.
     
  10. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    One gallon sized Gardenias are tough to
    plant in the ground and have a large number
    of them live long as most of the time we
    either over fertilize them with the wrong
    kind of fertilizer, plant them in too heavy
    a soil medium without mounding them to
    grow in which allows for slow drainage,
    over water them or under water them or
    plant them in soils that have a high level
    of sand concentration. Sandy soils can
    be the Gardenia's worst nightmare in
    that a sandy soil serves as a vector for
    nematode activity and if a nematode is
    anywhere near ones yard it will find the
    Gardenia and it does not matter much
    which form of Gardenia you have. You
    will see stunted growth, yellowing of the
    stunted leaves and in time a complete
    denuding of the leaves and then the plant
    dies. Not a very pretty sight to see in a
    landscape.

    People assume that just because the plant
    originated from a California nursery that
    the plant they got and later died also came
    from the same nursery. This Gardenia has
    been around in the nursery trade since about
    1991 and various select nurseries later on
    have had this Gardenia come into them just
    so they could sell it. For the Gardenia to
    be purchased in Canada it either came from
    a Canadian source or it came into Canada
    with a phyto-toxicity certificate and could
    have come in from a Washington or an
    Oregon nursery. The more likely scenario
    is that the plant came in from a Southern
    California based nursery that grew this
    plant at their Oregon growing ground
    facility and then was brought into Canada.
    Either way this Gardenia may be years
    removed from the nursery that this plant
    originated from.

    The size and age of the plant was not ever
    specified other than to send the mixed
    signal that to "put it in a container" leaves
    me wondering what is going on here, [Just
    saw this "it was seed-grown here in town".
    I think that is where the whole problem
    issue lies with these plants. Next time buy
    a bona fide plant of it!] as it should already
    have been in a container.

    For the label to list that this plant "needs
    full to partial sun
    " is a misnomer in of
    itself in that this Gardenia may be able
    to handle full sun in cooler climates but
    it is not advised to plant this one here or
    in warmer areas in full sun at all as it may
    burn up during the Summer until it adapts
    in the ground. We get better flowering
    potential grown in full sun but this Gardenia
    can still bloom in filtered shade with early
    morning sun up until noon where we have
    had ours in an Eastern exposure courtyard
    setting for 14 years and they were 2 gallon
    sized plants when we planted them.

    The expended flowers will not need to be
    picked off the plant as they can be plucked
    off rather easily even before the flowers
    are spent. No need to snip or cut the base
    of the flower as the flowers will fall off
    fairly easily all on their own.

    As for cold tolerance one of the test plot
    regions for this Gardenia was in the Fraser
    Valley in the early to mid 80's.

    Jim
     
  11. sd8192

    sd8192 Member

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    Location:
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    We have two hardy gardenias that come back each year in West Van. The winter with the heavy snow - was it 2008 did kill 2 of them, but 2 others survived.
    I have two thoughts on why they have done well (the flowers smell LOVELY - so very much worth having around!):
    1) they are in an area that would have full sun for much of the day, but they get dappled sunlight because there is a magnolia tree above which probably also provides protection for them in winter.
    2) I don`t think planting close to a house is necessarily a good thing. I was told this by someone and have seen evidence at my home. We have some ferns that are doing fine in similar lighting conditions but some are further away from the house and other ferns that are closer to the house and a lot smaller; the ones closer to the house hasn`t done as well.
    I`ve recently bought two more hardy gardenias to install in the garden, and this thread has made me think I should stick with what works and put them where the others are - sunny but with shade and coverage in the winter...

    PS - we have `Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ `variety - read and see more here: http://www.portlandnursery.com/plants/shrubs-vines/gardenia.shtml
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2011
  12. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    We have a 'Kleim's Hardy' that's 20 years old now. We live in zone 7a and have had no problems with cold.

    It's planted on the North face of the house beyond a spreading yew and gets partial sun. I suspect growing it in sun may be a challenge.

    It blooms unbelievably heavy in the Spring and again more sedately in late Summer.

    You might want to give 'Chuck Hayes' a try. It's been fully hardy here, planted on the East end of the house out about 20 feet near a Holly. It blooms only in the Spring, but the blooms are typical full Gardenia type, not the singles of 'Kleim's Hardy'.

    Ray
     
  13. leelf1

    leelf1 Member

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    Location:
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    As a follow up to the last response, I am wondering if it would be best to plant hardy gardenias on the northern fringe of their zone tolerance like one would do with the cold-hardy camellias --- plant them either on a north or west exposure. Studies have shown that with cold hardy camellias, the greatest winter danger is the early morning sun on a below-freezing day as they leaves heat up and ultimately dessicate (which rules out eastern or southern exposures.) Planting on the northside is sort of counterintuitive but with my camellias (gardening in a rather cold, maritime zone 7A), it works. Right now my Klehm's Hardy is in a pot (overwintering in my unheated garage) but I will probably plant it out to join the camellias next spring.
     
  14. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Our 20 yr old 'klein's Hardy' is planted on the North side of the house. It thrives and has bloomed twice a year for at lead 15 years.

    However our 'Chuck Hayes' is planted on the North East end of the house and it is thriving as well.
     

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