By Heather Rhoades
Propagating and pruning gardenias goes hand in hand. If you plan on pruning your gardenia, there is no reason why you should not also be starting gardenias from the cuttings so that you can use it in other spots in your yard or to share with friends. Keep reading to learn how to start a gardenia from a cutting.
How to Start a Gardenia from a Cutting
Propagating gardenias from cuttings starts with getting the gardenia cuttings. The cutting should be at least 5 inches long and taken from the tip of the branch. Ideally, they will be softwood (green wood).
The next step in starting gardenias from cuttings involves removing the lower leaves. Take all the leaves off the cutting except for the top two sets.
After this, prepare a pot to root the gardenia cutting in. Fill the pot with equal parts of peat or potting soil and sand. Dampen the peat/sand mixture. Dip the cut end of the gardenia cutting into a rooting hormone. Stick your finger in the peat/sand mix to create a hole. Place the gardenia cutting in the hole and then backfill the hole.
Place the gardenia cutting in bright but indirect light and keep the temperature around it at about 75 F. Make sure that the peat/sand mixture stays damp but not soaked.
An important part of propagating gardenias successfully is making sure that the gardenia cuttings stay in high humidity until they root. There are several ways to do this. One way is to cover the pot with a milk jug that has had the bottom cut off. Another way is to cover the pot with a clear plastic bag. Whatever method you use to increase the humidity, do not allow the cover to touch the gardenia cutting.
When starting gardenias from cuttings using this method, you can expect that the plant will be rooted in 4 to 8 weeks.
Propagating gardenias from cuttings can make good use of leftover trimmings from pruning. Now that you know how to start a gardenia from a cutting, you will have more than enough gardenia plants for all your friends and family.