May Plant of the Month: 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. Heavy afternoon sun can lead to leaf scorch.

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.

Some of Our Favorite Varieties

August Beauty

August Beauty – This dense shrub averages 4-5′ tall at maturity and blooms all summer!


Doublemint – A smaller Gardenia perfect for containers and small gardens. Averages 2-3′ tall at maturity and blooms repeatedly spring to fall.


Jubilation – A more compact and rounded variety, it averages 3-4′ tall and wide. Reblooming, enjoy fragrant flowers from spring to fall!

Kleims Hardy

Kleims Hardy – One of the hardiest varieties of Gardenia. Averages 2-3′ tall at maturity and blooms spring through summer.


Radicans – This spreading Gardenia makes a perfect, frangrant groundcover! Averages 1-2′ tall and 3-4′ wide at maturity, blooms all summer!