Q: I’m originally from Chicago. My ‘August Beauty’ gardenias, are doing fine but I would like to get more than one bloom period from them each summer. When the bloom is spent, is it proper to pluck the brown bloom from its stem or should I be pruning in some certain fashion?
A: In my experience, gardenias have a wide range of bloom times but none re-bloom like you want. My ‘Klein’s Hardy’ gardenia was finished blooming by late May. My neighbor’s hedge of ‘August Beauty’ gardenias started later but were still blooming in early July! The Southern Living Garden Book describes ‘Kimura Shikazaki’ as having an extremely long bloom season – spring to fall.
Regarding your personal gardenias, picking off the blooms as they fade is proper: it will make them look neater. It won’t, however, make them have any further blooms as deadheading flowers like petunias and pansies does. Being new to the South, did you know that the gardenia was named for Alexander Garden from Charleston, South Carolina?
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