Gardenia Sun Requirements/Preferences

mistascott(7A VA)April 26, 2011

I recently planted a Chuck Hayes hardy gardenia in a sheltered area of my South-facing backyard. They require "partial sun," which is a vague term meaning anywhere from 3-6 hours of sunlight. What type of sun is optimal for hardy Gardenia to bloom well?

My backyard gets almost exclusively afternoon sun but depending on planting location, I can give the Gardenia up to 4 hours of more or less direct sun from about 2-6PM or I can give it filtered light/no more than 2 hours direct sun. Which setup is best for getting good blooms?


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the bigger the flower show.. the greater the need for the suns energy to be converted into useable resources for the plant ..

anything that is not FULL sun... is part sun.. part shade.. part this.. part that ... all that means .. is NOT FULL SUN ... and it is all so nebulous.. which you are finding out when you get frustrated not being able to find a consistent definition ..

then to complicate it all ... the sun isnt really the problem ... in a lot of cases water is the issue ... whats that all about.. lol ...

all plants breath and transpire ... if the plant gives off .. sweats ... more water than it can process then it wilts .. losses its vigor ... and one way to offset that is to plant said plant so that it is shaded .. during the hottest part of the day ... so it can maintain it water content ...

e.g. .. hosta can grow in full sun.. and multiply and grow wildly in such .. only thing is .. they give off so much water .. that in full sun .. by mid july ... they start burning .. and looking horrible .. but given all that .. they grow roots so fast.. that the next year the plant will be bigger...

so what does that mean to you ... plant your part sun plants.. so that they avoid direct sun in the heat of the day ... and you should be all set ...

but the more shade.. the less it will 'thrive' ... not that they will die.. just one setting might lead to more vigor than the other ...

if it were me.. being the curious type.. and if the budget allowed... i would plant one in each place.. and do the experiment myself ...

in words alone.. it is nearly impossible for us to determine which version of your part shade ... with your ambient air temps your garden.. is best ... ergo.. the extremely simplified explanation of what its all about ...

so it all boils down to.. wing it .. lol ... plant it where it pleases you.. and dont worry about it ....

good luck


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 1:41PM
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My Chuck Hayes hardy is in morning sun and by 1pm it is in shade.
It blooms real good in May, then again in August.
The August bloom isnt as good as May, but I am pleased it blooms twice, the blooms are extremely fragrant.
Give it 2 hours of afternoon sun in the months of June, July and August. They are the strongest sun months, so the leaves don't burn.
Good luck with it, I know you will like it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:30PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Thank you, butterfly4u.

That is certainly reassuring given that where it is now it gets about 2 hours of direct afternoon sun with another hour or so of mixed sun (some but not all of the plant gets direct sun). If that is enough for it to bloom well, I am happy.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:19PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Just wanted to report that my Chuck Hayes gardenia has started blooming after being planted then transplanted once this spring to a location that gives it mostly shade all day but about 2.5 hours of direct afternoon sun from 2-4:30PM. It looks great with three flowers in bloom and many more on the way. They smell great, though not as fragrant as the ones I've smelled in greenhouses. Sprayed for whiteflies and they are now gone. Applied Hollytone after the transplant.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 3:19PM
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