Gardenias are one of my favorite flowers, and I have always killed them. The one I purchased at Behnke’s this February was exceptional only in that – though like usual once I got it home each of its promising buds shrieked, turned yellow and withered, and fell off one after the other – at least the whole plant didn’t straight up die. It didn’t produce any more buds either, though. Despite repottings, applications of compost and fertilizer, prayers and the ritual sacrifice of a few hapless gophers, it remained stubbornly barren.

Turns out the solution might be as simple as more water, because I stuck this one under a dripping tap out in the garden, and lo and behold, two weeks later:

gardenia bloom

 My first homegrown gardenia. Whoopee! Just in time for the first frost.

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