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Gardenia augusta
Gardenia augusta

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Zone
Zones 7-9, 12-16, 18-28, 31, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Gardenia augusta

Rubiaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

GARDENIA

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

Gardenia augusta

Native to China, Taiwan, 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 desert. Plants are useful in containers or raised beds, as hedges, espaliers, low screens, or specimens.

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 early morning except during bloom time. Where water contains dissolved salts, irrigate deeply once a month to leach salts from 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, faded flowers. To control aphids and brown scale, wash plants frequently with jet spray from 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 foliage next morning.)

'Aimee'

Upright grower to 4–6 ft. tall and wide. Very large, very double, 4-in.-plus, roselike blossoms with elegantly spiraled form. Starts blooming in spring and continues well into summer.

'August Beauty'

Erect growth to 4–6 ft. high, 3–4 ft. wide. Loosely ­double, 2–3-in.-wide flowers produced primarily in early summer.

'Chuck Hayes'

Extra-hardy variety; possibly as cold tolerant as ‘Kleim’s Hardy’. To 4 ft. high and wide. Double, 3-in. flowers in summer, with heavy rebloom in autumn. Very heat tolerant.

'Kleim's Hardy'

Slow growing, forming a mound 2–3 ft. high and wide. Intensely fragrant single, star-shaped flowers are 1–3 in. wide. Blooms profusely in early summer, sporadically through rest of growing season. Reportedly has survived to 0°F/–18°C, suffering only damage to foliage.

'Mystery'

Grows 6–8 ft. high and wide, even larger in time. Pure white, formal, 4–5-in. blossoms are the standard variety for florists’ corsages. Blooms from midsummer through early fall longer if warm weather continues. Intense fragrance carries through the air, even in dry climates. Rangy growth needs pruning to keep it neat and within bounds.

'Radicans'

True miniature gardenia, sometimes offered as G. a. 'Prostrata'. Grows 6– 12 in. high and 2–3 ft. wide, with inch-long dark green leaves and many inch-wide double flowers, mainly in early summer. Good small-scale edging, ground cover, container plant.

'Veitchii'

Sometimes sold as “everblooming gardenia.” Compact form 3–4 1/2 ft. high, to 6 ft. wide; leaves to 2 1/2 in. long. Oldest variety, but still most reliable bloomer. Roselike, 1 1/2–2-in.-wide, pure white blossoms from late spring to fall; bloom may continue during a warm winter.

Gardenia augusta 'White Gem'
Gardenia augusta 'White Gem'

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'White Gem'

Dense, compact dwarf to 1–2 ft. high and wide. Rounded, five- or six-petaled, 1 1/2–2-in. single flowers bloom continuously from spring through summer. Sweet, carrying fragrance. Good in containers, foreground of borders.

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