Video:How to Grow Gardenias in the Desertwith Robert Call
In this tutorial, our expert explains how to grow gardenias in the desert, even with the lack of rainfall and the dry soil. See these step-by-step instructions for how to grow gardenias in the desert.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Grow Gardenias in the DesertHi, I'm Robert Call. Area horticulture Agent for Cooperative Extension, The University of Arizona, and I'm here for About.com.
Choosing a Gardenia to GrowThis is a Gardenia and we're going to be planting this. But when you select one at the nursery it's a good thing with any plant to take it out of the pot. You will squeeze the sides of the pot and then with your hand, lift the pot off and look at the roots. Are the roots twined around that plant? If they are and if they're big and dark brown we probably don't want that plant. We want it to be more creamy color.
And, if not, we're going to have to do some root pruning because it can be pot bound. Meaning it's been in this nursery pot for too long. The roots if they're pot bound, once they're planted can continue to grow in a circular motion and can even strangle the plant.
And so we don't want to buy plants that have pot bound roots. So we have our plant here, our Gardenia and we're going to select a place to plant it – like select it here where there's a little room. They don't grow to be large plants here in the high desert. I want to remove some of this leaf litter. Because if there's an irrigation line underneath there I don't want to cut into it.
Growing Gardenias in the DesertOkay. I will get a pick and loosen the soil around where I'm going to be planting. Just loosen it up so that the roots have a chance to grow into a some loosened soil. You like to loosen up the soil 3 to 5 times as wide as the root ball of that plant that's growing in the pot. We will dig a hole that's no deeper than the root ball, and this has some landscape fabric that we're going to cut through, and let's check the hole for size. Maybe it's a little too deep. Fill in around it, we like to keep it loose so that those roots have some loose soil to grow into. What we like to do is to install mulch. Here's some mulch. These wood chips.
Helpful Tips for Growing Gardenias in the DesertThese wood chips – mulch will conserve moisture, cause weeds not to grow, and we like to put a healthy dose around. The mulch will keep the soil cool – it will conserve moisture and also keep weeds from growing. We like to water it – I like to water transplants once a day for the first week, and then every two days the second week. Every three days the third week, every four days the fourth week and taper off until you're watering it once or twice a week, maximum.
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