Monday, July 27, 2015

'Jubilation' Gardenia

This spring I wanted to plant one of the smaller types of gardenia by our patio. There are a number of cultivars of these smaller gardenias that are purported to be hardy in zone 7. 'Kleim's Hardy' has a bloom that looks more like a daisy than a gardenia (a single row of petals), but I like the more traditional gardenia look of the double bloom.  So I narrowed my choices (among the ones I found available) to 'Frostproof' and 'Jubilation'. I was unfamiliar with 'Jubilation' but when I researched it, I found a lot of positive comments from other gardeners, so I decided to try it. But when I went back to the nursery to purchase it, I found it was sold out.

I had nearly given up hope of finding one when I discovered two 'Jubliation' mixed in among other varieties of gardenias at Lowes. I happily bought them both and put one in a bed near the patio and the second in a pot on the patio.

Both have grown and look healthy. And they have had blooms continuously since I bought them in the spring.

Here's the bloom. It has the typical gardenia look and fragrance.

Soon I want to find a place in the garden for the one I planted in a pot. I like it in its pot on the patio, but I don't want to risk its freezing in winter, which it almost surely would. Winter hardiness is a major issue for gardenias in our area--many gardeners completely lost their gardenias planted in the garden in recent winters and those that survived had a lot of winter dieback. Growing a gardenia (or any other plant) in a pot significantly diminishes its winter hardiness. I've read that growing a plant outdoors in a pot over the winter cuts back one or two zones from its winter hardiness rating. So this zone 7 plant becomes a zone 8 or 9 plant when left in a pot and would not be expected to survive our winters. 

My experience with 'Jubilation' has been too brief to warrant a positive recommendation, but, so far, I'm a fan. However, the biggest test is yet to come: winter survival. Check with me next spring.

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