March 2016: White fragrant plants are Houseplants of the month

Lovely to look at, more versatile than you think and the perfect way to get a little advance taste of summer, white bloomers with a high home decor content are the Houseplants of the month. Give these ‘perfume plants’ a particularly prominent place in your shop with the aid of the free POS material which can be accessed using the link at the bottom. 

The story behind white fragrant plants 

Gardenia, Jasminum (jasmine) and Stephanotis all bloom with white spectacular flowers, and all have an irresistible fragrance. This is an important purchase stimulus for customers. People often sniff a flowering plant with a certain expectation of fragrance. Gardenia, Jasmine and Stephanotis all live up to that expectation. They each offer a rich, exotic perfume which provides pure living aromatherapy. The white colour of this trio’s flowers symbolises aspects such as purity, chastity, simplicity, innocence, truth, perfection, calm and natural love.

Source and production of jasmine, Gardenia and Stephanotis

All these white fragrant plants have been cultivated to a high standard for many years. Their origins are as follows:
Gardenia grows in Asia in areas including southern China, India, Vietnam and Japan. The plant is named after the Scottish botanist Dr Garden. Gardenia’s flowers are creamy white and were frequently used as a buttonhole in the past. White Gardenia is the symbol of secret love, and a compliment to someone’s beauty. In the West the plant symbolises joy, peace and spirituality. 
Jasmine originates from the Himalayan mountains and the temperate regions of China. Many cultures view jasmine as their national flower, and the plant has many local nicknames, such as the Maid of Orleans, The Belle of India and the Duce di Toscane. The tall, tendril-forming plant produces white, strongly scented clusters of flowers. 
Stephanotis originates from Madagascar. With its green shiny leaves and scented, waxy, pure white tubular flowers this climber is one of the classics in the range. The plant’s flowers are often used in traditional and modern bridal work. One common name is therefore the Hawaiian wedding flower.

What to look for when buying white scented plants 

  • The Houseplants of the month for March are all supplied in various pot sizes and forms. Stephanotis and Jasmine are particularly trained onto frames or shapes such as triangles, globes or arches. Gardenia is available from mini-plant to standard, and in many sizes of shrub with diameters ranges from 10 cm to over 1 metre. 
  • All three are available almost all year round, with a peak for jasmine in the winter months and for Stephanotis and Gardenia in the spring and summer. 
  • When buying particularly look at the pot size, diameter or height of the plant, number of flowers or clusters and the form. The ripeness is a decisive factor, particularly in the winter months. Plants which are too unripe can give problems such as buds drying out or shedding in months when there is less sunlight. 
  • The plants must be free of pests and diseases. Look carefully at the buds: not too immature but not too ripe either offers the best chance of successful flowering. Yellowed leaves are not a good sign. If too much condensation remains between the foliage and the flowers for a long time, this can lead to botrytis. This fungus greatly reduces the plant’s decorative value, since it causes the flowers to turn brown. Buds may be shed due to a lack of light or the effect of ethylene, a natural ageing hormone which causes bud-shedding. Ethylene is produced and emitted by ripening fruit, but also by plants themselves. A-well ventilated space helps to reduce or even prevent the effects.  

Choice of white flowers

Gardenia, jasmine and Stephanotis are offered as a species and have no significant cultivars. Each plant’s name epithet provides handy information and characteristics. Stephanotis floribunda effectively means ‘abundantly flowering’, Gardenia jasminoides 'resembles jasmine' and Jasminum polyanthum is ‘many-flowered'. 
Stephanotis has dark green leaves with clusters of tubular white flowers which come into bloom along the tendrils. 
Gardenia is characterised by its shiny green leaves and the strongly scented creamy white flowers which resemble a wild rose. 
Jasmine is a climber which produces many tendrils with fine jagged leaves and strongly scented small flowers in clusters which gradually turn white from a pinkish bud.

Care tips for customers

  • Jasmine, Gardenia and Stephanotis prefer a light spot indoors, but not bright sunlight. 
  • Gardenia and jasmine can also be placed in the garden or on the patio during frost-free periods.
  • Do not allow the pot soil to dry out, but avoid standing water. 
  • During the flowering period regularly remove exhausted flowers and feed the plant once a fortnight. This will ensure a rich and lengthy flowering. 
  • When the plants have finished flowering they can be brought back into flower in a subsequent season fairly easily. Give Gardenia and Stephanotis a cool rest period (approx. 12°C) during the months when there is less sunlight, with less water and no food. New buds will then form again in the spring when the days are more than 12 hours long. Only jasmine flowers at lower temperatures, also around 12°C. For that reason we tend to see the plant come into flower more in December and the first 4 months of the year. 

Sales and display tips for white fragrant plants 

  • Display them together in order to reinforce the fragrance effect, and use the POS material that you can download below for decoration. 
  • Think about collaborating with other retailers: exchanging promotional material with the chemist or perfume shop can gain extra attention in a fun way
  • Be creative with the tendrils of jasmine and Stephanotis. If you remove the arch or frame, these plants can also be used in bowls or as a hanging plant on pillars or cabinets: a very trendy and innovative effect. 
  • Gardenia also looks good on its own in minimalist pots which focus all the attention on the spectacular flowers. This look also makes it easiest to sell the plant for both modern and traditional interiors or gardens.

Images of jasmine, Gardenia and Stephanotis 

You can download the images below free of charge.

White fragrant plants poster

You can download the poster using the link below.