Gardenia Shrubs (Gardenia augusta) is a type of shrub that is prized for its intensely fragrant white blossoms. Here you will find facts and information on growing a healthy gardenia shrub.
Gardenia Shrub Information
Gardenias have waxy, white blossoms that are set off by deep green foliage. It will grow 18-24”high and 18” wide. Gardenias have a round form and are often used as a focal point in yard and gardens, or for their amazing fragrance. *Tip- Make sure you like the scent of gardenia before purchasing a plant as the fragrance is quite strong. Gardenias will go well in a perfumed garden if your climate allows.
Gardenia shrubs can come in the form of an evergreen shrub which grows to 6 feet. It has glossy dark green leaves,3 to 6 inches long
Gardenia Shrubs as a Houseplant
A Gardenia shrub can be grown indoors as a houseplant. Use potting soil that has a good moisture retaining mix. When planting gardenias make sure they have medium light, and a temperature insdoors of 65-75 degrees. They prefer high humidity. You can buy a small humidifier if necessary to place close to the plant if your home is too dry.
Gardenia Shrub as a Container Plant
You can take your container plant outdoors when the temps return to the low 70’s. Keep the gardenia evenly moist and feed every two weeks during spring and summer half-strength acid plant food. The plant benefits from spending the summer outdoors, where it is best placed in partial shade.
My Mom had a gardenia shrub planted in her front flower bed for many years when I lived in the Northwest Louisiana. It was planted directly into the ground on the northern side of the house where it received a lots of shade and light. This was planted in Zone 8 and did great all through my childhood.
If you do have to bring a plant indoors in fall, reduce feeding it down to once a month. Be prepared for the plant to lose leaves when it comes back indoors. If you provide good conditions, the plant will leaf out again. Gardenias may drop its flower buds before opening when the plant is in low humidity, too-low light, is overwatered or underwatered, or is moved.
Having no flower buds may mean the plant is too warm. Repot annually into organic soil to help retain moisture, and use a plastic pot to stop evaporation through its walls. Prune gardenia shrubs in summer when semihardened. Use rooting hormone and very high humidity to root the cuttings.
*Tip- Gardenias must be fed with an acid fertilizer to keep the leaves healthy and the blossoms continuous. Gardenias make excellent bonsai plants and specimens.
Pest and Diseases of Gardenia Shrubs
Gardenias are prone to several insects, particularly when the humidity is not high enough. Watch for scale, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Many southern gardeners complain of the yellowing of the leaves. When this happens, be sure to check the pH of your soil. I have heard people add nitrogen, or epsum salt and even adding some cornmeal around the plant underneath the mulch. Other people have said that you should check your plant for whiteflies and make sure that is not the problem.
Related Species to Gardenia Shrubs
The cultivar ‘Shooting Star’ has smaller, single blossoms. ‘Grif’s Select’ is more compact thatn the species. ‘Prostrata’ grows more horizontally and is often used for bonsai plantings. Find more informative articles on other types of shrubs and hedges at yardandgardenrescue.com.