Plant of the Week: Gardenia

One whiff of their glorious fragrance and you’ll fall in love with these evergreens!

Gardenias are shade loving evergreens grown for their beautiful white flowers and lovely scent. Depending on variety, Gardenias can bloom any time from late spring to late summer and their vibrant, white flowers contrast wonderfully with their glossy, dark green foliage.  They can reach between 3’ and 8’ depending on variety. Use gardenias in mass planting, as foundation plants or specimen plantings. Just be sure to plant them nearby so you don’t miss that glorious fragrance!


Part shade, morning sun and afternoon shade is preferred. Though Gardenias can tolerate full shade, they will bloom less with less sun.

Well-draining soil is key; Gardenias do not tolerate wet feet. Yellowing leaves and bud drop are a common symptom of overwatering. Amend soil with Lobster Compost to increase drainage and add nutrients.

Gardenias prefer acidic soils with a pH between 5.0 to 6.5.

Prune immediately after blooming has finished.

Fertilize in spring and fall with an acidic fertilizer like HollyTone.

Our Favorite Varieties

Diamond Spire Gardenia

Diamond Spire – This unique variety grows upright, averaging 3 to 4 feet tall and only 2 feet wide. Perfect for framing an entryway or grown together to form an upright hedge.

Double Mint Gardenia

Double Mint – Averaging 2 to 3 feet tall and wide at maturity, Double Mint presents a beautiful rounded shape and features double blooms.

Frostproof Gardenia

Frostproof – This variety averages 4 to 5 feet and is extremely tolerant of late season frosts, making it a perfect choice for locations where weather can be a bit unpredictable.

Radicans Gardenia

Radicans – A true dwarf variety, Radicans averages about 1 foot tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, making it an excellent choice for low borders and containers.