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Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans' is often confused with:
Gardenia jasminoides Form in the landscape
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Gardenia jasminoides Form in the landscape
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis

Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans'

Phonetic Spelling
gar-DEE-nee-ah jaz-min-OY-deez RAD-ih-kans
Description

This heat and drought-tolerant gardenia is low and spreading and can be planted to form a beautiful low-hedge groundcover. It also can be grown in large containers and allowed to spill over the edges. It should be planted in a protected area to avoid strong afternoon sun and strong cold and winds in winter. It is an excellent "filler" for east and southeast exposures with morning sun.

This excellent foundation plant is 1-2 feet tall, compact (2-3 feet wide), evergreen, with a sweet-smelling white flower in the summer.  It will put on a big flush of blooms in late spring, and then it will bloom off and on through the summer.  

The foliage is leathery and glossy green in color except for the variegated varieties. The leaves are only about 2 inches long and about ½ inch wide, creating a nice medium to fine texture.

This gardenia can be grown in full sun to part shade. but can be damaged by cold winters. Some shade is advisable in hot summers as leaves may scorch and buds drop, morning sun with afternoon shade is preferred.  Mulch well in winters in cooler regions as it is not frost hardy.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flower bud has spiral, 'barber pole' appearance
  • Leaves are opposite or narrow, whorls in 3's apical on branches near twig ends
  • Flowers are gigantic, fragrant, white/cream, double, waxy, 1-2" wide
  • Low mounding evergreen shrub with shiny, green, elliptical, wrinkled leaves

Evergreen shrub to 3', dense, low and spreading to 4'. 

Blooms in late spring to mid-summer, May and June; gigantic flowers are intensely fragrant; flower bud has twisted spiral appearance; yellowed leaves are sometimes due iron deficiency; the species is bigger and has larger leaves, blooms. Has graceful, spreading, almost creeping form, finer texture than species, horizontal branching, good in mass plantings; moderate to rapid growth rate; can suffer damage from cold winters.

Tolerates full sun to partial shade; needs well-drained, acidic soil, intolerant of poorly-drained, alkaline or sterile soils; usually requires additional iron; susceptible to pest/disease problems. Heat and drought tolerant; hardy to zone 8.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Gardenia jasminoides.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Collector’s Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Radicans Variegata'
    Oval blue-green leaves edged with creamy white.
'Radicans Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#container plant#acidic soil#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cut flowers#flower arrangements#showy fruits#moist soil#food source#cpp#well-drained soil#creeping#spreading#glossy leaves#foundation planting#double flowers#groundcover#fantz#orange fruits#food source fall#compact habit#patio planting
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Radicans Variegata'
    Oval blue-green leaves edged with creamy white.
'Radicans Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#container plant#acidic soil#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cut flowers#flower arrangements#showy fruits#moist soil#food source#cpp#well-drained soil#creeping#spreading#glossy leaves#foundation planting#double flowers#groundcover#fantz#orange fruits#food source fall#compact habit#patio planting
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gardenia
    Species:
    jasminoides
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Gardenia hips attract birds and other wildlife.
    Play Value:
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The 1.5” long, ovate shaped berry has six longitudinal ribs and starts dark green and changes to a dull orange. Is an ovate berry with strap-shaped sepals, orange.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Extremely fragrant double flowers 1–2" across. (1) white to cream, fragrant, double, waxy, to 2" dia; petals 12-14, obovate.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Waxy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite or whorled in 3's, simple, oblong-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, cuneate, entire, coriaceous, shiny dark green above, dull and lighter green below, veins impressed and rib-like below, glabrous. Up to 4" long and 1 1/4" wide, elliptical with acuminate tip, wrinkled, can have variegation.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green turning brown, glabrous; pith light green to whitish brown. Buds have spiral, barber pole appearance.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat