Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

Gardenia Plant Features

Gardenia is one of the most fragrant plants around: Smell this flowering shrub once and you're likely to remember it forever! Happily, gardenia is good for both its fragrance and good looks; it has single or double pure-white blooms that often mature to a rich golden-yellow color as they age. The white flowers are a beautiful accent to the shrub's shiny dark green evergreen foliage. 

Gardenia is a favorite in containers everywhere, and also as a landscape shrub in partially shaded beds and borders in the South. While Northern gardeners can bring these beauties indoors for winter, they can be finicky houseplants and drop their leaves when they're not happy.  

Gardenia Growing Instructions

Outdoors, grow gardenias in part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Like many other garden plants, they appreciate lots of organic matter -- such as compost -- in the soil. They also prefer acidic soil (just like azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries), so amend alkaline soil with sulfur. 

Keep the soil moist, but not wet; gardenias aren't drought tolerant but also don't like soppy, saturated ground. They like a layer of mulch over the soil around their roots to help keep the soil cool on hot-summer days. (This counts for containers, too!)

Fertilize gardenias in spring and summer with a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants. Follow the guidelines set on the fertilizer package for application rate and frequency. 

If you want to try going gardenia as a flowering houseplant, grow it in a bright window. Water when the soil starts to dry and fertilize with a product made for acid-loving plants. Don't move it around; this can cause it to drop leaves.

Note: Gardenia is not intended for human or animal consumption. Enjoy gardenia for its glorious fragrance! 
  • Water


  • Light

    Outside: Part sun

    Outside: Shade

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Fragrant flowers/foliage

Complement your Gardenia

If you grow gardenia as a houseplant, pair it with anthurium or another easy-care stunner with bold color.

If you like the pure-white look, plant bacopa to trail over the edge of your gardenia's container -- or as an annual groundcover in the garden.

Lobelia, Annual
Accent gardenia's beautiful white flowers with the rich, true-blue flowers of annual lobelia.