Last spring my neighbor’s yard exploded with gardenia blooms and, wow, what a beautiful flower. I made sure to tell my neighbor how beautiful they were. An hour later, he knocked on my door with a bouquet of cut gardenias.
That paragraph right there is why Southerners are willing to put up with the mosquitoes and the humidity. Because below the Mason-Dixon neighbors stop by with a bouquet gardenias.
He told me to keep the stems in water and they’d eventually root. Then I could just stick them in some dirt and VIOLA! I’d have a gardenia bush of my own. It’s how he got a yard full of them; a friend gave him a few cuttings.
So that’s what I did. All but two stems rooted. I gave a few to my mom, then put the others in a pot and forgot about them. They stayed outside all winter and I never fertilized them, watered them, or patted their heads and told them they were doing a great job.
By spring, they were still green, so I put them in the ground.
This is why can’t believe that horticulture is an actual science. Because it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes the plants you take the best care of do the worst, and the ones you forget about thrive. I had a ranunculus that I loved and cared for and tucked in at night, and it withered in under a week.
But the gardenias I left for dead?
Well, hello there.