This plant has a strong fragrance
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Cape Jasmine Overview
Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen, aesthetically pleasing shrub covered with fragrant white flowers during summer months. The Gardenia or Cape jasmine is a highly enjoyable addition to any subtropical or warm temperate garden. Not only is it an ornamental plant used in both the traditional medicinal and culinary applications, but the fruit is used as a yellow dye and the flowers are fragrant cut flowers. They make for beautiful specimen plants and also do well in containers. Native to the subtropical and tropical regions in Japan and southern China, this Gardenia ideally grows in moist but well-draining soils, rich in organic material and with an acidic pH. It grows well in full sun but during the warmer months, it needs some protection as the leaves might scorch or flower buds might drop. In cooler regions, they enjoy sunny spots but just ensure that roots are kept cool and moist with a thick layer of organic mulch.
Common problems with Cape Jasmine
Pests include whiteflies, mealybugs, scales, aphids and spider mites. Diseases include chlorosis, powdery mildew, leaf spots, dieback, anthracnose, and sooty mold.
How to harvest Cape Jasmine
Cut gardenia stems early in the morning or late in the evening, using sharp shears. Collect stems with flowers that are almost completely open.
How to propagate Cape Jasmine
Tender softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer. Immediately place cuttings in suitable rooting medium.
Seeds germinate best when sown fresh, shortly after their collection from right fruits and following about 24 hours of soaking in water. Seeds could take 4 weeks to 3 months to germinate.
Special features of Cape Jasmine
It can be used as a hedge.
More commonly a container plant in conservatories and greenhouses in colder climates but it can be placed outside in warmer months.
Grown indoors, these plants need bright light, moderate temperatures; cooler during dormancy, average to high humidity and well-drained, acidic soil. Water moderately, using room temperature water.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as moths and honeybees.
Other uses of Cape Jasmine
Grown for their flowers and foliage.
Gardenia infused teas are used to detoxify the blood, relieve congestion and help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol. Externally, it is used for skin inflammation, sprains and has blood staunching properties.
In China, gardenia flowers are used to flavor herbal teas, often in combination with other herbs and flowers such as chrysanthemums. Fruits used as a less expensive substitute for the spice, Saffron.