In our backyard, we have two gardenias (I wrote about them several weeks ago when I clipped some of their flowers for a yard bouquet). Rooting cuttings from gardenias is surprisingly easy and the summer months are a great time to take clippings. Here’s how to do it the easiest way imaginable.
Cut off the tip of a branch, including about 4-5 inches of stem:
Remove all but the top leaves from the stem:
Repeat this process as many times as you’d like. I took about six cuttings.
Bring the cuttings inside and put them in a glass of water in a bright window (out of direct sunlight).
Now I have six potential baby gardenias decorating my kitchen window sill. They’ll start to grow roots over the next couple of weeks.
Once the cuttings have developed a fair amount of roots, I’ll put them in small pots in a little potting soil. I’ve read that it is not a good idea to try to plant newly rooted cuttings outside in the fall — they aren’t likely to survive over winter — so I’ll keep them inside until next spring. That said, since I’ve taken several cuttings, I may try one outside just to see what happens.
Last summer, I took two cuttings from our gardenias. While both rooted for me in water, I managed to eventually kill them. I transferred them to some potting soil to keep inside over the winter and, throughout the winter, I watered them about once a week or whenever the soil seemed to just get dry. But as spring approached and they started to show signs of growth, I got a little over-excited and started to water them excessively. Bad idea.
I think rooted baby gardenias planted temporarily in small, festive pots would make fabulous (and very inexpensive) holiday gifts for friends and coworkers. Don’t you?