Mitriostigma axillare, Gardenia citriodora, African Gardenia

Mitriostigma axillare, Gardenia citriodora

African Gardenia
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Southern Africa
Small plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsFragrant plant

This small, evergreen shrub is native to Southern Africa but has adapted to warm climates around the world. It grows to an average height of between 2 and 5 feet, with glossy green leaves and easy to care for in most areas. Mitriostigma axillare (African Gardenia) needs full sun or semi-shade and regular watering. The main attraction of this plant are the white, off-white flowers that are produced in abundance in spring and summer. The sweetly fragrant blooms make them a fantastic addition to any garden. Not only do the flowers bring a beautiful and subtle aroma to the garden, they also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Growers have seen success in USDA Zone 9-11 and can expect flowering periods from spring to late summer. For colder regions, Mitriostigma axillare is great to grow in pots as it can be moved inside when temperatures dip. For best results, try a pot with good drainage and a slightly acidic soil mix. Keep the plant in a bright window and water regularly, avoiding moist soil. Feed the plant a balanced fertilizer every 6 weeks during the growing season, and prune back after flowering to maintain a neat shape.

African Gardenia is a tough and resilient shrub, a great choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, yet beautiful addition to the garden, no matter what climate you are in.

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