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Whether it’s grown as a landscape plant in warm climates or as a houseplant elsewhere, a gardenia’s beautiful and aromatic flowers are sure to please.

fragrant gardenia plants as ornamental shrubs and in pots

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).

detail of gardenia blooms

Plant Type: Houseplant, Shrub

Zones: 8–10

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


Growing Gardenias

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.

Fragrant Plants

A plant's aroma is one of the key aspects of gardening. Stop and smell the flowers in your own home garden.

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Gulf Coast Gardening: Growing Healthy Gardenias

Learn how to grow pest-free fragrant gardenias in your garden.

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Ornamental Trees & Shrubs

Woody plants -- those wonderful trees and shrubs we love--add year-round structure and beauty to a garden. Here are some stellar favorites for you to consider.

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