The gardenia is from a genus of approximately 250 species of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. Gardenia plants can grow to eight feet although most do not reach that height. The lovely white or yellowish flowers are fragrant enough for one flower to fill a room with its luscious scent. The plants are evergreen with beautiful, rich green foliage. The gardenia is a symbol of purity and beauty. These plants bloom from mid spring to late summer.
Gardenias aren't the easiest plant to grow for the beginner with a green thumb. It is a plant that needs precision care and the slightest neglect could cause it to deteriorate. Raising beautiful, healthy gardenia plants may be a challenge but not impossible if proper care instructions are followed. Although gardenias can tolerate a wide range of temperatures it does best in an environment of warm days and cool nights that do not fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gardenias require high humidity, plenty of light and even moisture to flourish and grow properly. People who choose to grow them indoors would do well to use distilled water and a humidifier. The ideal temperature for gardenias would be between 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the most common mistakes that people make when growing this plant is to water it too often. This plant requires well-drained soil and should only be watered once per week.
It is believed that the scent of gardenia is calming and spiritually uplifting.
Gardenia fruit is used in Chinese herbal medicine. It is used to treat fever, anxiety, depression, insomnia and even liver disorders. It is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and sedative properties.
In folk medicine gardenia was used for its diuretic and antiseptic properties. The leaves, roots and fruits were all utilized for medicinal purposes. The leaves and flowers were used to treat abdominal and nervous disorders. The fruit was commonly used to treat cough, fever and even toothaches.