Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gardenia jasminoides 'Michael'....three years in an open garden in Washington, DC



In the Asian Collections actually, about 20 feet below the Pagoda. And they weren't sissy winters either. Last year we had consistent cold and the winter before saw temperatures below 10F twice and over 3 feet of snow. There was no damage even to the leaves on this gardenia. To be fair, I have to admit that the spot is a bit sheltered and the city is of course a heat island, but still...

Michael isn't a variety that has generated a lot of literature; Mike Dirr observes that it is a "a cold hardy form" and that it "was selected by Joseph and Debbie Powell of Columbus, Georgia and named for their son Michael". There are other cold hardy selections that will survive in USDA Zone 7b or possibly a bit colder. I like Michael because the flowers are huge, at least 5" across. This is really just a good gardenia that seems to survive Zone 7 winters!

1 comment:

College Gardener said...

Very interesting and beautiful. I wish we could keep Gardenias outside here in Zone 6a-5b southeastern Michigan because keeping them happy as potted plants is just such a pain. Then again, even if it could put up with our winters, it would probably not like our soil...