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You have decided to invest your time in adding the August Beauty Gardenia or Cape Jasmine to your houseplant collection.
But for some reason, there is not much information available online for the Cape Jasmine plant care.
Worry not as we have taken it upon ourselves to do all the research for you. In this article, we’ll help you make your Gardenia flourish indoors. So, stay a while longer and keep reading.
What is August Beauty Gardenia?
The Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen shrub found in most tropical regions. While many people plant Gardenias outdoors, you can grow them as indoor plants too. The reason is that when it flowers, it has fragrant blooms.
Nevertheless, many gardeners would not attempt to grow Gardenia shrubs as it is a high-maintenance plant. You’ll find most of the August Gardenia growing mainly in commercial greenhouses and conservatories.
But if you are up for a challenge, your TLC is a worthwhile endeavor once it blooms. You can plant them outside in spring or fall as an evergreen shrub. But, most gardeners buy them as mature August Beauty Gardenia plants to bloom immediately. If you grow them from seeds, you can wait up to three years before it flowers.
The Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ comes from Southern China, and the very fragrant blooms are unmatched in the floral world. People extract the oil from the flowers in perfumes, essential oils, and teas. But, the plant is toxic to pets and can result in diarrhea and vomiting if ingested.
August Beauty Gardenia Care
You can grow the August Beauty Gardenia outdoors in the USDA hardiness growing zone 8 to 11. When you live in a cooler growing zone, you can bring your indoor plant outside. However, make sure to get them indoors when temperatures drop. Your evergreen shrub grows compact and has dark green leaves and blooms in spring or early summer.
Ideal Soil Mix for August Beauty Gardenia
While different gardeners feel it is a fussy plant, others regard it as a low-maintenance shrub that thrives in soil with a lower pH. This evergreen shrub is an acid-loving plant, and using a traditional potting mix with peat can meet the plant’s soil needs.
When planting your Gardenia outdoors, it helps to amend the soil with a teaspoon of agricultural sulfur mixed into the hole. Make sure the soil is well-draining to prevent wet feet that lead to root rot.
Suitable Lighting Condition For Fragrant Blooms
For indoor August Beauty Gardenia, it helps to provide them with bright light. Yet, do not place your August Beauty in direct sunlight during summer. A window that gets morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal.
Outdoors your Beauty Gardenia thrives in at least four hours of sun daily. The reason is that most of the blooming cycle needs light to produce that intoxicating fragrance. Hence, some sun with afternoon shade is ideal.
Still, if grown in a very shady spot, the shade equals fewer flowers. But in some climates, the extreme heat can burn the foliage.
Watering Requirement to Prevent Root Rot
Your Cape Jasmine prefers not to get too dry, and it helps to keep them in moist soil but not to the point that it gets soggy. We recommend not letting your Gardenia jasminoides stand in water for too long.
If your planting site has drip irrigation, it also helps to keep the water off the leaves. But, again, the reason is that water can cause fungal leaf spots.
In winter, you can reduce your watering keeping the soil moist, and it works well with your potted Gardenia.
Optimal Temperature and Humidity Need
We recommend temperatures above 60° Fahrenheit for your Gardenia but also keep them away from cold drafts. When it comes to humidity levels, your August Beauty Gardenia prefers levels of 60% and above. For indoor-grown evergreen shrubs, you may need to provide them with a humidifier or group them with other humidity-loving plants.
Fertilizing Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Your August Beauty Gardenia is acid-loving, so you can feed your plants in mid-March and again in late June with an acid-rich fertilizer. Depending on the type you use, we recommend following the instructions provided.
We also recommend using the feed under the recommended dosage to prevent over-fertilizing. Then, as fall arrives, you can stop feeding your plant as it will go into dormancy. For container plants, it helps to provide them every three weeks.
Or, if you prefer organically rich feeds, you can use bone meal or fish emulsion for best results.
How to Propagate Your August Beauty Gardenia?
The best way to propagate a Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ is through stem cuttings. You can do this in early spring.
Gather your rooting hormone, garden shears, stakes, potting soil with perlite, plastic bags, and three-inch pots.
Next, snip up to five-inch cuttings from the stem tip with greenwood below the leaf node. Now remove the lower leaves and only leave the top ones in place.
Prepare your containers with the potting soil and poke a hole in the center.
Dip the cut end of your cutting into rooting hormone and plant it in the hole.
Place plastic bags around the container and prop them up using stakes to create humidity to develop a root system.
Keep the soil moist and place your pots in bright indirect sunlight in a warm spot.
Once your plants develop a root system and the temperature permits, you can plant them in the garden or keep them indoors.
Pruning and Overwintering
The Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ is one beautiful plant, and to keep it that way it helps to prune them. Then, once they stop blooming, you can remove the spent blooms and the straggly branches.
The fantastic news is that you do not need to prune your August Beauty every season. The plant does well with cutbacks every other year. You can cut back both the green and brown wood on your plant.
As your August Beauty is a tropical plant, it cannot tolerate winter frost. It helps to provide your plant with mulch similar to your evergreen trees when grown outdoors. Or, if it is a potted Gardenia, you can bring it inside.
Other Gardenia jasminoides Varieties
The Cape Jasmine is widely cultivated as an outdoor plant growing in warm climates. You can find vast varieties grown from plant grafting, but they thrive with big double blooms. Still, they are less cold tolerant and need extra winter care.
G. jasminoides ‘Aimee’
The Gardenia can grow up to six feet tall and blooms up to five-inch wide white flowers.
G. jasminoides ‘Fortuniana’
The Fortuniana is a beautiful garden plant that offers you free-blooming. It is a colossal evergreen shrub producing four-inch blooms throughout the growing season.
G. jasminoides ‘Buttons’
The Buttons is a dwarf Gardenia variety that grows up to 30-inches tall and yields two-inch flowers.
G. jasminoides ‘Crown Jewel’
The Crown Jewel only grows up to three feet tall with a compact mound and blooms three-inch wide flowers. It is a very hardy plant in growing zone 6.
August Beauty Gardenia Diseases and Pests
Whether you grow the Cape Jasmine as privacy trees in the garden or inside the home, it can become the home to disease and pests. Common insects are aphids, scale, mealybugs, whiteflies, and spider mites.
To control them, you can use horticultural oils and soaps like neem oil. Another concerns are powdery mildew, leaf spots, sooty mold, dieback, and anthracnose. You can treat these problems with fungicides.
Always isolate your infected plant from your other plants as a safety precaution.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Cape Jasmine is a moderate grower that can grow up to two feet each year. Still, it depends on the climate, soil, water, and other care factors.
While the August Beauty is a hardy plant growing in zone eight to eleven, it is not a frost-resistant plant.
The evergreen shrub can bloom for three months, from spring to summer. Outdoors your plant is full sun to partial shade lover.