Plant of the Week: STEADY AS SHE GOES™ Gardenia

Steady As She Goes™ is a new gardenia that’s perfect for these crazy times. No drama here, people.

Well, maybe a little drama; it is a beautiful flower, and people will likely stop to admire it. But this is a reliable beauty that won’t have a lot of special requests in her contract.

Steady As She Goes™ does exactly as the name suggests, blooming steadily with continuous blooms from spring until frost. The flowers are lovely against the dark green evergreen foliage. It will look great in gardens and landscapes even without the dog to keep it company.

The handsome fellow next to the handsome dog is breeder Phil Dark, who has given us a reliable new take on this favorite of southern gardens. Yes, it is a plant for our friends in warmer climates: USDA 7-10. Sorry fellow snowbelt residents. It is relatively hardy for a Gardenia jasminoides, but still won’t be happy up here in pond-hockey country.

Southern horticulturists will appreciate its excellent heat tolerance. Furthermore, the doubled blooms will not abscise (fall off the plant) in the heat of the summer – they just keep blooming.

This fragrant, deer-resistant plant will grow in full sun or part shade. Wider than it is tall, it will reach widths of 3-5′ and heights of 2.5-3.5′.

You’ll have to be patient with this one, though; we won’t start seeing it in garden centers until 2022.

Hang in there, everyone!

I know 2020 has been a wild ride. With so much tumult in the world, sometimes you just need some comfort food. For me, it’s soup made by my husband, who I like to say “makes soup like a boss.” For others, it’s mashed potatoes or pasta.

What about horticultural comfort food? My picks for comfort plants would be Itea and smooth hydrangea. To me, natives are not just beautiful but just have the added comfort of being naturally suited to their environment. A newer native variety that’s definitely a contender in my yard is Kodiak® Orange Diervilla.

What are your picks for comfort food/plants?

Stay safe, be well. – Natalie

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