When pruning gardenias, you need to pay attention to the bloom cycle. Generally, it’s recommended to prune your gardenia after the last flower blooms. Also, you can still prune before the first flower bud emerges.
In other words, you want to wait until after the plant has bloomed. Then remove any dead stems as a preventative measure. To be completely safe, don’t prune your gardenia before it starts blooming again!
After cleaning out in the spring, carefully trim back all new growth. with clean cuts not more than 4 inches above a bud point (or lateral growing points). Leave two stunted and bushy side shoots on each bush with the leaf buds. Also, leave one or two lower growing points at least four branches away from any spent bloom buds. This will help support new growth during a dormant period. After your plants have completed their first blooming cycle by mid-summer prune them back to around 3 feet in height (this is based on a fast-growing species). Avoid tearing through bark tissue or feeling the need to remove any regrowing blooms.
Why it’s important to know when to prune the Gardenia?
Some of the reasons why you should know when to prune the Gardenia are:
- It will affect the number of flowers to bloom and new growth
- If trim at the right time, it will help your gardenia bear more flowers throughout the year, instead of just one or two times per year like it would without being trimmed regularly.
- It will make your gardenia flower in better shape and healthier.
Two Main Seasons of Gardenia Pruning
There are two main seasons of gardenia pruning you need to follow: dormant and growing seasons. Growing season cuttings should be removed in spring, while past flowering sprays can usually remain through winter long enough to get a fall flush before they die back. A late summer cutting or autumn spray blooms later than those earlier bloom times during the same year and will normally not last all winter into the next year. However, gardenias may spring back from winter dormancy if you are very fortunate and a harsh winter permitting temperatures in your area.
Don’t wait until all hope of blooms is lost with previous stem cutting or autumn spray fade before removing them now. By leaving these early blooms behind when pruning reflects negatively upon one’s ability as a gardener. Some gardeners say, removing stems too soon also ends up damaging or killing their plant because the damage is worse than the original self-pruning already did.
Two Important Occasions to Prune Gardenias During Their Lifetime
The National Gardening Institute recommends that you prune gardenias on two occasions during their lives: when they’re young and fully leafed out (thus long-stalked), and finally, once they’ve reached the size of 2 feet in height with at least three or four sides remaining leafless. Generally speaking, Gardenia shrubs are pruned back to 6 to 8 inches from their canes.
In addition, gardenias grow strongly under all but the harshest of treatment and are perfectly happy when grown in this way produced leaves on a regular basis for approximately three years before needing good pruning. In spring, Gardenia will often leaf up without being cut back. It just means that you’ll need to shorten your goal date by at least two weeks so as not to delay flowering for too long.
How Often We Can Prune Gardenia?
Prune gardenias yearly or at least every spring. This prevents their limbs from breaking under the weight of snow or heavy rains while also preventing limb clasping, which can cause the limbs to break in such a way as to eventually fall.
What happens if you cut back the overgrown before it blooms or while it’s blooming?
Pruning before blooming or while it’s blooming reduces the number of flowers to flourish. Most varieties of a gardenia only bloom once a year, though breeders have developed a few varieties that can bloom more than once a year. Before pruning your gardenia, make sure to check that the variety that you own only blooms once or has completed its blooming cycle if it does bloom more than once.
While it may be difficult for you to think about cutting away a little bit of such a luscious plant, the fact of the matter is that your gardenia will be much less likely to turn into an unruly beast if you give it regular pruning.
When to prune if your gardenia becomes spindly?
If you notice your gardenia bush becomes so “leggy” or has longer stems, the top is heavy and the branches weigh down, you can follow this schedule on when to prune it. You can’t just prune right away since the growth rate of gardenia is slow.
- First, you can start to prune one-fourth of the plant in early fall. Pruning it lightly prevents the plant from suffering the incoming winter.
- Gardenias bloom throughout the spring and early summer. Some blossoms appear on twigs that grew the previous year, while others appear on twigs that develop after March. The second time you should prune is in early March of the following year. At that time, you may take a larger portion of the plant and shape it into a lower, more oval form. Try to leave the growth closest to the ground alone.
- The third time you should prune is right after it blooms. Shape it to three-quarters of the size you want it to be for the next winter. Many of the limbs should be pruned down so that they can produce lush foliage for the rest of the summer. If necessary, you can undertake more corrective pruning the following year.
Can You Hard Prune Gardenias?
Be careful of hard pruning as the growing rate of gardenia is slow. If you prune it hard, there’s a tendency it takes a lot of time to grow back or worst not grow. Light trimming is recommended not heavy pruning.
Can I Prune Gardenias During Winter?
No. Do not prune in winter. If you do it will cause dieback and loss of growth! In fall after frost-free dates have passed trim back gardenias by 20%. At this time, they are dormant so make cuts that can avoid removing sapwood tissue as much as possible. Gardenias are hardy plants and can tolerate cold weather. But you won’t be able to give them a good start in the spring if they aren’t healthy.
Don’t cut back frost-bitten foliage by more than half when temperatures rise above 50*F/10*C – this will reduce evaporation from roots and could kill a plant. Don’t start trimming heavy-trunked plants until autumn is well underway and temperatures have been consistently above 40*F/4*C for 2 weeks, then reduce about 25% of existing foliage each week starting with the oldest wood in this area. Trim back healthy looking older wood at least 35% from what it started to create new buds that will be ready next spring.