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When you hear the word "buttons" to describe a flower, you may think "tiny." But that's not the case with Buttons Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Buttons'). Each glorious pure-white blossom is substantial '– up to 2 inches across! But when you look in the center of each flower, you'll see a button-like feature that truly makes this gardenia ?… as cute as a button! As an extra bonus, you won't see here-today-gone-tomorrow flowers because Buttons Gardenia treats you to a long season of bloom. Semi-Double Flowers for More Fullness Single-flowered gardenia blossoms are lovely, but semi-double gardenias are even lovelier! Their petals unfurl in "whorls," which is like a layer of petals on top of petals for a multilayer explosion of bloom. Each Buttons Gardenia blossom has up to 20 flower petals, so you can imagine how full these flowers are. Multi-whorled gardenia blossoms have been the ultimate corsage flower of choice for many generations ?… and for good reason! A Classic Fragrance that Evokes Memories Buttons Gardenia is described as "strongly fragrant" in the paperwork for its plant patent. And yes, it's such a superior plant that it is patented! Gardenias are an heirloom favorite with an intoxicating scent, which is sure to remind you of someone '– or something '– such as warm summer evenings sitting on the veranda as a child with your grandmother; a wrist corsage from your school prom; or even your wedding bouquet. Gardenias are not only beautiful, but the memories they evoke because of their scent are often worth their weight in gold. Lots of Branches for Lots of Blooms Buttons Gardenia was bred with a specific structural trait in mind '– lots of lateral branches. Not only does this branching habit make shrubs look lush and full, but it also creates a profusion of flowers. With more branches, you get more flowers! Even though Buttons Gardenia naturally develops lots of branches as it grows, if you want to pinch the tips of young branches, your plant will branch out even more. Glossy Evergreen Foliage Obviously, the flowers on Buttons Gardenia shrubs are its signature calling card, but even the leaves are luxuriant. Forever glossy, they always look like you've just polished them! With a high-gloss sheen, the foliage is the perfect complement to showcase the creamy-white flowers. One of the Longest Bloom Seasons of Any Gardenia You certainly don't have to be a plant historian to enjoy your Buttons Gardenia plant, but when you know a little of its background, you'll appreciate it even more. It's part of a plant breeding program in Australia, with a little tweak. Horticulturists did not meticulously hand-cross specific gardenia plants to produce this new cultivar. Buttons Gardenia was actually the result of a cross-pollination experiment, and plant breeders can only identify its "mother plant," a cultivar named 'Veitchii.' Its "pollen parent" was an unknown male gardenia plant. But here's what we know about the Veitchii Gardenia '– its common name is "everblooming gardenia," because of its ability to keep blooming over a long season. This is an inherited trait that you'll enjoy from your Buttons Gardenia '– it's one of the longest-blooming gardenias! Pollinator Perfection As their popularity continues to increase, pollinator gardens are all the rage. Gardeners understand how vital it is to grow flowering plants for attracting pollinators. Without these creatures to flit from flower to flower, we'd all have fewer fruits and vegetables, which are the results of fertilized flowers. Pollinators also play a vital role in helping many types of flowering plants produce seedpods, which are simply the result of fertilized flowers, to ensure next-generation plants. Hummingbirds and butterflies are two of the most delightful pollinators to watch! Who doesn't love a hummingbird sighting in the garden ?… or the vision of lots of colorful butterflies taking flight? If you want to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden, Buttons Gardenia is a must-have plant. But some people often overlook moths, which are important "evening pollinators." They come out when the sun goes down, looking for pollen- and nectar-rich flowers. Did you know that gardenia flowers become even more fragrant at dusk? As their evening scent intensifies, gardenia blossoms attract moths, which take over the evening pollinating shift as butterflies rest. Gardenias in the Moonlight No moonlight garden is complete without at least one gardenia shrub. Designed by using white-flowering and light-foliage plants, moonlight gardens illuminate the evening landscape. This themed garden gives you a quiet and peaceful respite at the end of many stressful days '– your own private retreat to leave the cares of the world behind! You'll want to include fragrant plants in your moonlight garden, such as Buttons Gardenia, to perfume the night air for a natural aromatherapy session that helps you relax and unwind while sitting in your favorite chair or chaise outside. One of the Best Flowering Shrubs for Patio Pots Even if you live outside Buttons Gardenia's perennial range in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 11, you can still grow this amazing plant. All you have to do is grow it in a container! It's perfectly suited for growing in pots because it only reaches a maximum size of 30 inches tall and wide, and it grows into a rounded shape that beautifully fills a container. If you have a partially shaded patio, veranda, or sitting area, those are some of the best locations for a gardenia plant because you'll be able to enjoy its sweetly scented flowers. If you live outside its perennial range, you'll have to move your potted Buttons Gardenia indoors for the winter to protect it, but it'll be fine in a garage or cool greenhouse. You can also overwinter it as a houseplant, but you'll need to give it a little extra care than the average houseplant. Winter Care During the cool seasons of fall and winter, Buttons Gardenia prefers indoor temperatures of 55 degrees F at night and 65 degrees during the day, which are a bit on the chilly side for most home interiors. It also likes some humidity in the air, which most homes lack in the wintertime because of their heating systems. But here's how you can overcome these obstacles '– you can keep your Buttons Gardenia in the garage during winter, where it stays cool but it's protected from frost! Wrap the pot with bubble wrap, several thicknesses of newspaper, or a blanket, and place the container in the warmest part of your garage, such as near a water heater or next to an interior wall. You'll only need to water it every few weeks, just to keep the roots hydrated; don't let it completely dry out. If you don't have a garage, place your Buttons Gardenia in the coolest room of your home, keep it brightly lit, and increase the humidity around it by grouping it together with other houseplants or placing it on a pebbled tray containing water that's filled just below the top of the pebbles. When you move your Buttons Gardenia indoors for the winter, it may drop all its flowers and flower buds, and it may also drop some of its leaves. This is simply its natural reaction to a change in environment. Resist the urge to overwater it to try and compensate for this; in fact, you want to reduce watering when you move it inside. It'll re-grow new leaves and fill in thickly again! Growing Gardenias Gardenias have a reputation for being a tad on the finicky side, but that's only because some gardeners try to grow them the same way they do other landscape plants. Buttons Gardenia is not a diva, but it does grow best when you follow these planting and growing guidelines: • Test the soil pH. Even before you receive your Buttons Gardenia, go ahead and get your local Cooperative Extension Service to perform a soil test ?… and here's why ?… gardenias prosper in acidic soil, optimally with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. If your soil is too alkaline, the leaves of your plant will turn yellow. So adjust the pH, if necessary, over the entire planting site before your plant even arrives. A plant expert at your local Cooperative Extension Service can tell you how to do this very easily. • Planting tip. One of the most important ways to get your plant off to a good start begins as soon as you plant it. Gardenias don't like to be planted too deeply because this can cause them to rot. When you place your Buttons Gardenia in the planting hole, make sure the top of its rootball is no lower than the soil surface. You can even plant it slightly higher than the surrounding soil, and it will be okay. • Sun, but not too much. Gardenias don't like to bake in the hot sun, so if you plant it where it receives a bit of morning sun but it's shaded from the intense afternoon sun, it'll flourish. • Soil. Plants prefer rich, well-draining soil that's amended with compost or other organic ingredients. • Soil and Water. Plant your Buttons Gardenia where the soil drains well and stays slightly moist '– but never wet or waterlogged. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist. • Fertilizer. During the growing season, apply a fertilizer that's formulated for acid-loving plants and follow the label directions. Gardenias respond well to fish emulsion or blood meal as an organic alternative to synthetic chemical fertilizers.
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