Beloved for their intoxicating fragrance and attractive, waxy, creamy-white flowers contrasting beautifully with their shiny, leathery, dark green leaves, Gardenias are irresistible heat-loving evergreen shrubs or trees. Native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania, Gardenias are not the easiest shrubs to grow, but their exquisite fragrant flowers make up for the extra attention they require.
- Gardenia plants usually grow from 2 to 12 ft tall and wide (60 - 360 cm), depending on the variety. Blooming profusely over a long period of time extending from mid-spring to late summer or even fall, Gardenia flowers may be solitary or in small clusters, single, semi-double or double. Reaching up to 4 in. in diameter (10 cm), most flowers last 3-8 days. They open white and mature to soft creamy yellow.
- Symbol of purity and sweetness, the Gardenia flower makes excellent cut flowers and is prized in wedding bouquets or flower arrangements where it adds a touch of elegance. It is followed in late summer and fall by Gardenia hips, rich orange-red berries that attract birds and other wildlife.
- Gardenias have not been bred to withstand extreme cold weather. Most varieties enjoy tropical or subtropical conditions and are recommended for USDA zones 8-11. However, a few frost proof Gardenia varieties can now be grown more reliably in USDA climate zone 7. These hardy Gardenias can tolerate temperatures that plummet to below freezing and still reward you with their fabulous blooms.
- Gardenia plants are well suited for containers, raised beds, hedges, espaliers, screens, borders, ground covers or as specimen plants. Plant your Gardenias near a deck or window where you can enjoy the divine flowers' fragrance!
- The most popular cultivated Gardenia species is Gardenia Jasminoides (also called Gardenia Augusta, Gardenia Grandiflora, Gardenia Schlechteri or Gardenia Florida), commonly known as Common Gardenia or Cape Jasmine. Native to China, Taiwan and Japan, this beautiful, shrubby evergreen species enjoys a captivating, sweet fragrance reminiscent of Jasmine, hence its name.
Gardenia 'Heavy Scent'
Gardenia Hips or Seed pods
Over 200 Gardenia varieties are available in a wide range of height, flower size and color, leaf size and color, blooming time and duration, and shrub habit. Here is the list of the most popular Gardenia cultivars.
- Complete selection guide of Dwarf Gardenia Varieties
- Complete selection guide of Medium-Sized Gardenia Varieties
- Complete selection guide of Large Gardenia Varieties