Gardenias find their popularity in different ways: as a landscape plant in the South, as a potted plant elsewhere. But the reason they’re beloved by gardeners is the same—lustrous, dark green foliage, crisp white flowers for long periods in summer and of course, the sweet fragrance. That’s one reason to plant gardenias near patios, entryways and windows—to enjoy the fragrance. And as potted plants, you can pretty much place them wherever needed. Most gardenias grow 4–6 feet tall, although there are dwarf versions peaking at just 2 feet and taller treelike specimens hitting 10 feet or more.
Good companions include: camellia, boxwood, begonia, Virginia sweetspire (Itea) and summersweet (Clethra).
Plant Type: Houseplant, Shrub
Height: 2–10 ft
Width: 4–6 ft
Light Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall
Foilage Color: Green
Special Features: Attracts Butterflies, Fragrant Flowers, Low Maintenance
Uses: Container Plant, Screen/Privacy, Foundation Plant, Bedding Plant
Plant gardenias in full sun to part shade, preferably in a protected location such as a courtyard or behind a fence to prevent damage from winter winds. Gardenias also grow well in containers, allowing cold-climate gardeners to grow them in summer before taking them indoors for the winter. They like summer heat but need constant moisture. A rich, moist, acidic soil is best. Add peat moss and compost when planting, then mulch with pine chips or pine straw. Fertilize monthly with an acidifying fertilizer. Pruning is seldom needed but should be done after plants finish blooming.