Gardenias are beautiful white flowers that grow on bushes, and they make gorgeous additions to any garden or yard. How fast do gardenias grow? The typical growth cycle and rate for gardenia bushes depends on factors like sun, soil, climate and gardenia spacing, which impact how quickly they grow. Generally speaking, gardenias have a moderate growth rate. That being said, there are things you can do to speed up or slow down their development.
Gardenia Growth Rates
The most critical determinant of how fast gardenias grow is the cultivar. Gardenia is a type of evergreen with more than 200 species. Some grow faster than others. Two of the fastest-growing cultivars are 'Mystery' and 'Coral Gables.'
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Still, the typical growth rate for a gardenia bush is about 1 to 2 feet per year until they reach full maturity. The average height for most gardenia cultivars is about 4 to 5 feet tall, and most of them are slightly taller than they are wide. Most gardenia plants will reach their full height within three to four years.
You will also have to wait to enjoy the spectacular and fragrant flowers of your gardenia bush. If you plant from clippings, you may see flowers after about a year, but if you plant from seeds, it will probably be two or three years before they bloom.
Do Gardenias Like Sun or Shade?
In ideal conditions, gardenias love the full sun and grow best when they get as much direct sunlight as possible. Can gardenias grow in full sun? While gardenias grow pretty well in full-sunlight conditions, other circumstances sometimes make the full sun a bit less healthy for your plant.
If you live in a warm climate or if the temperature has been hot, the combination of high temperatures and intense rays can scorch the plant's leaves. If temperatures regularly exceed the 80s where you live, plant your gardenia bushes in partial sun. If possible, plant them where something will provide them with shade during the hottest hours of the day.
Gardenias bushes are not the easiest plants to cultivate. They require more work than hardier bushes and flowers. Some climates are not ideal for gardenias. These plants like USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, which are almost entirely located in the southern United States. They especially love humidity but not too much heat. On top of all this, there are other things you can do to encourage healthy gardenia growth.
Other Factors That Impact Gardenia Growth
Some other factors impact how fast and how big gardenias grow. You may wonder how far apart to plant gardenias. These bushes need about 3 to 6 feet of space between them to thrive. You should plant them in either the spring or the fall when the climate is most moderate.
Fertilizer can help gardenia plants grow faster, but proper soil pH is more critical than anything you add to it. Gardenias like a pH of around 5.0 to 6.0, which is relatively acidic compared to the preferred growing conditions of many other plants. They like to be planted in a lot of organic matter.
Gardenias need plenty of water, but too much can be just as damaging as not enough. Ensure the soil is well-drained but stays moist or damp most of the time. If your region gets about an inch of rainfall per week, that should be sufficient. If not, you'll need to water regularly.