Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones vary by species.
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Gardenia

Gardenia
Rubiaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

White or yellowish, intensely fragrant blossoms contrast sharply with shiny, leathery dark green leaves. Double forms are classic flowers for corsages.

Provide fast-draining but moisture-retentive soil conditioned with plenty of organic matter such as peat moss or ground bark. Plant gardenias high (like azaleas and rhododendrons) and avoid crowding from other plants and competing roots. To help suppress weeds, mulch plants instead of cultivating around them.

Unless water is high in salts (residue from salt in water may burn leaves), mist plants in the early morning except during bloom time. Where water contains dissolved salts, irrigate deeply once a month to leach salts from the soil. Feed every 3 to 4 weeks during growing season with acid plant food, fish emulsion, or blood meal. Magnesium deficiency can result in yellow leaves with green veins; treat by dissolving one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a gallon of water and soaking the root zone (best done in early spring).

Prune to remove dead wood, straggling branches, and faded flowers. To control aphids and brown scale, wash plants frequently with jet spray from a hose or spray plants with light horticultural oil. (In hot weather, spray in the evening— though not if temperatures exceed 90°F/32°C—then wash off the foliage the next morning.)

Gardenia jasminoides
Gardenia jasminoides

Click to Enlarge

Gardenia jasminoides

Native to China, Taiwan, and Japan. Glossy bright green, lance-shaped leaves and highly fragrant, single or double white flowers. Hardy to 20°F/–7°C or even lower but must have summer heat to thrive and bloom well. Hard to grow in adobe or alkaline desert soils. Give northern or eastern exposure in the desert. Plants are useful in containers or raised beds, as hedges, espaliers, low screens, or specimens.

You Might Also Like...

Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’

Shiny, gray-green leaves contrast nicely with golden yellow blooms on a plant that can reach...

Ixiolirion tataricum

From Asia Minor to central Siberia. Wiry, 12–16-in. stems rise from a clump of narrow gray-green...

Camellia x williamsii ‘Brigadoon’

Vigorous upright shrub with rather pendulous branches. Very large, semidouble flowers are rich pink wi...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement