How to Deadhead a Gardenia
Gardenias are quite popular in the southern parts of the United States and are known for their jasmine-like fragrance and snowy white flowers. The plant starts blooming in mid-spring and continues till late summer. By deadheading Gardenias, one can prolong the blooming period; moreover, this process maintains the attractiveness of the plant. Pruning the plant after every blooming season keeps the Gardenias healthy.
The best time to deadhead the plant is after the completion of the flowering cycle. The plant should never be deadheaded during the fall because this is when the flowering buds begin to spring for the next season.
Tools and Materials Needed
Clean pair of sharp shears
A pair of disposable gloves
Cleansing gel for cleaning the shears
A clean piece of cloth
Plastic bags for discarding the remains.
Step 1 – Get the Shears Ready
Clean the blades of the shears with the gel. Wait for a few seconds after applying the gel before you wipe them with the clean cloth. This is done to avoid the spread of any infection.
Step 2 – Examine the Plant
Closely examine the plant and look for dead flowers. Divide the plant into sections and start examining each section from the top and move down slowly. Repeat this by making small sections of the plant and keep looking for dead branches and dead flowers.
Step 3 – Deadheading the Gardenias
There are three methods by which gardenias can be deadheaded.
- Shaking the plant will allow the dead flowers and dried stems to fall off on their own. This is the easiest way to get rid of fading flowers.
- Pinching, snipping or clipping the dead flowers. Dead flowers can be pinched using hands. Wear disposable gloves and carefully pinch the dead flowers down the stem.
- With the help of shears, cut the stem diagonally above the strong bud or just above the highest leaf. You can also cut the stem from where it meets the main stem.
Step 4 – After Deadheading
Gardenias are a treat for a number of insects and are also susceptible to root rot. Use an insecticide soap to keep the insects away from the plant. Be vigilant and look for dead stems. The moment you observe any, remove those using shears. Do not cut the stem from the base and carefully remove only the dried part of the stem. Leave at least 4 to 6 inches on any stem so that it can support flowering in the next season.
The plant requires even temperatures and humidity for bud formation and it grows to an approximate height of 8 feet. The soil should be well drained and acidic. Gardenias should be fed with half strength acidic fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks.
The plant is of evergreen variety; during winter, it is important to keep it in a bright and cool location that provides the required humidity. Do not fertilize the plant during winters, and water them only when the top of the plant, i.e., around 1 to 2 inches, shows signs of drying. Apply 2 to 4 inch of organic mulch to the soil to keep it moist.