Everyday Gardeners

Plant. Grow. Live.

In-Season Plants: Gardenia

These days, when I walk down the stairs and around my garden path, I am greeted by the loveliest smell coming from my August Beauty Gardenia. The blooms are the purest white I’ve ever seen and the smell is just out of this world.


I planted two gardenias in my backyard a few years ago where they get just a couple of hours of morning and mid-morning sun. They’ve had a bit of a rough time. Smashed by a falled tree during a tornado-like storm and then bitten by an odd freeze the following winter. They came back, slowly but surely, and I’m glad to see they are bursting with green growth and dozens of buds this year.


Gardenias enjoy moist, well drained soil in a shady environment with some indirect light. I picked the brightest spot in my shady backyard! They’re hardy to zones 8-10, but after one frost that claimed almost a whole shrub, I sometimes cover with a sheet to be safe. (More info here!)

It doesn’t hurt to plant them close to the house too, so you can enjoy the sweet smell. I can’t help but clip them and bring them inside. It’s unbelievable how much smell can come from such a small flower.

Tip: To remember the variety of this particular gardenia, I had to reference my garden journal, where I keep tags, notes and a general history of my garden. If you’re just getting started with your green thumb or even if you already have an established garden, start a record of plants and make notes of your successes and failures! I use mine all the time. Plus, it’s a little bit nostalgic after you’ve been at this gardening thing for a while.


8 Responses to “ In-Season Plants: Gardenia ”

  1. I love gardenias. I use them alot in my garden designs and I love their smell.

  2. will garden grow outdoors in Canada and come back every year

  3. Can I plant a gardenia in pittsburgh, pa. I live them. Where is the best place sun or shade.

  4. when i was buying my gardenia seedling the flourist told about the sweet smell of gardenia but the sweet smell that from my blossoming flowers is nothing compared to what she said. it smell i heaven and it’s right behind my living room window.
    Accra, Ghana-West Africa

  5. I love Gardenias. I have one in my back yard. I always say that the Gardenia is the most beautiful flower that GOD ever created. I love sharing them with my family and my neighbors.

  6. I have mine in a large pot, drainage non-existent in my garden but it did mean I could take it with me when I moved house, the smell is unbelievable, thinking of getting another one for a pot, not much shade in the new garden, not yet anyway

  7. just how much sun will they take..I have a place I want to put one or two but not sure if they are deer resistant or how much sun..can you help?

  8. Is it a good idea to pick the old, dead flowers off of the bush? Or does it matter, one way or the other?

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