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Plant Preview


Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Evergreen Crown Jewel(R) Gardenia Drenches the Landscape with Fragrance!

                  
Beautiful dwarf flowering broadleaf evergreen provides exquisite fragrance in summer and is the jewel in the crown of the winter landscape. 

Crown Jewel®Gardenia PP19896 is a low-growing, spreading to prostrate gardenia with intensely fragrant, white, medium-sized double flowers beginning in early summer and repeating until frost.  The heavy May flush of blooms is followed by repeat blooming throughout the summer, until fall brings another heavy flush of blooms. Light pruning after the first bloom-period will stimulate even more blossoms. Crown Jewel® Gardenia blooms on both old and new wood, so late frosts will not harm the crop of fragrant white flowers

Highly perfumed Crown Jewel(R) Gardenia is an easy care broadleaf evergreen hybrid in a versatile dwarf size, and requires little if any pruning to stay in shape. This garden jewel grows about 6 inches per year with the potential to reach 2 or 2 ½ feet in height and a spread of 4 to 6 feet wide, ideal for garden beds. The plant is hardy to zone 6 and bright green evergreen foliage is medium to small-sized for the species, with a soft texture overall.  

Crown Jewel® Gardenia is the very best selection from a controlled cross between dwarf ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ (dwarf habit, heavy bloom set) and ‘Chuck Hayes’ (cold-hardiness, twice-blooming, double flowers) by Philip Dark of Oakmont Nursery in Chathem County, North Carolina. Dark is a member of the consortium of growers, breeders, retailers and marketers that make up Garden Debut®, and he reports that cold testing is ongoing in Zone 5.

CrownJewel® Gardenia prefers well drained, moist soil and full sun to partial shade (a bit of afternoon shade is great) and good air circulation. A cooler, woodsy environment protects from the harsh reflective heat of concrete or asphalt. Shelter from cold winter winds helps to prevent tip dieback at the colder edge of the plants’ range. Organic compost is excellent or light applications of commercial azalea fertilizer or diluted acid-forming fertilizers are good, although too much can burn tender roots.

Among its many landscape uses, Crown Jewel® Gardenia is perfect as a specimen adding color, fragrance, form and texture, a low accent plant in the garden; for winter interest; or as part of mass plantings. It is an excellent evergreen plant for containers where the fragrance can be enjoyed on decks and patios. While cold-climate gardeners must over-winter their gardenias indoors (can be grown as a houseplant or a patio plant moved indoors in winter), in U.S.D.A. Climate Zones 6 and warmer, gardenias are grown outdoors, permeating the garden with fragrance. (Testing in Zone 5 is ongoing.) 

This genus is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceana. Gardenias are easily grown in the southeastern U.S. because they demand high humidity and rich, acidic soils to thrive. 

Statistics Chart for Crown Jewel® Gardenia, PP19896 Gardenia augusta ‘Crown Jewel’
Plant Category:
 Spreading broadleaf evergreen shrub
Mature Height:
 2 – 2 ½  feet in 10 years
Mature Spread:
 3-5 feet, ideal for garden beds
Mature Form:
 Low-growing, spreading to prostrate shrub  
Branching:
 Twiggy growth hidden by shiny dark green leaves, tight brown bark
Growth Rate:
 Naturally dwarf variety, 6 inches per year to 2 feet
Sun Exposure:
Partial or dappled sun (recommended), will tolerate either full sun or light shade
Soil Type:
 Prefers rich, deep, well-drained, slightly acidic soils with a good moisture supply
Soil Moisture:
Best on moist, well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season while plants are getting established to promote a deep, extensive root system. Keep roots cool with a thick layer of organic mulch.
Flowers:
Fully double, medium-sized, waxy white flowers, measuring 2-3 inches in diameter begin in early June with heavy bloom, and flower throughout the summer until frost. Flowers perfume the landscape with a sweet fragrance.
Crown Jewel® is a cross between Kleim's Hardy Gardenia (dwarf,  heavy bloom set) and Chuck Hayes Gardenia (cold hardiness, double flowers, double bloom season)
               Fragrance: 
 Most outstanding characteristic of the Gardenia: the intense fragrance; flower scent is sweet, sweet, sweet! and surprisingly strong;
The natural fragrance of gardenia cannot be distillated and in perfumery, fragrances of orangeblossom, jasmine and tuberose are substituted for gardenia.
Foliage:
 Broadleaf evergreen shrub with beautiful, shiny, deep green, oval leaves that contrast sharply with classic white gardenia flowers. Gardenia maintains beautiful, deep, rich green coloring all year long, foliage during winter
Landscape Uses:
 Place near door, courtyard, patio, gate or entrance, in garden beds, along walkways or in containers on the deck, where handsome foliage and fragrant flowers may be enjoyed at close range. 
Landscape uses include specimen, groundcover, border, container, woodland, cut flowers or indoor plant
Fragrant flowers with thick white petals are traditional for corsages or hair ornaments, for cutting, to float in a bowl of water on the dining table.
Bring into the greenhouse or home during winters in cold weather zones
Floral Symbolism:
Gardenias symbolize purity and sweetness. They indicate secret love. They convey joy. They tell the recipient "you are lovely" 
Root system :
 Vigorous once established, with a moderate salinity tolerance
pH Level:
 5 – 6.5, best on rich, deep, well-drained slightly acidic soils
Climate Zones:
 6 – 11 (winter lows 0 degrees F.  to above 40 degrees F.) (Zone 5 testing is ongoing)
Heredity:
 U.S., Philip Dark of Oakmont Nursery, Chathem County, NC

                         Garden Debut® great new plants!





3 comments:

  1. For more on how to grow Crown Jewel(R) Gardenia PP 19896, see our previous blog post:

    http://plantpreview.blogspot.com/2011/02/crown-jewel-gardenia-does-well-in.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was great!

    ReplyDelete
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