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Gardenia jasminoides

Previously known as:

  • Gardenia augusta
  • Gardenia florida
  • Gardenia grandiflora
Phonetic Spelling
gar-DEE-nee-ah jaz-min-OY-deez
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Gardenias are a woody, broadleaf evergreen shrub in the Rubiaceae (coffee) family. They originated along the stream banks of Southern China and Japan. The plant is named for Alexander Garden, a Scottish naturalist. 

Gardenias prefer bright indirect sunlight or partial shade. Sheltering from the cold and from strong winds should be considered to prevent winter burn. They are moderately drought-tolerant. Plant in rich, acidic, well-drained soil. Avoid competition from tree roots as gardenias have shallow roots and do not do well with root disturbance. Prune gardenias in the spring to maintain the shape of the plant. Remove the spent flowers to encourage blooming. Do not fertilize in the fall as this will cause a rush of frost-tender growth. Propagate gardenias by grafting, layering, seed, or stem cutting. 

Gardenias can be grown as a houseplant, or can be planted outside in a container or in the landscape. It is renowned for its fragrant, showy, creamy white flowers, and its lustrous dark, emerald green foliage. A gardenia would enhance any pollinator, sensory, nighttime, or children’s garden. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Buds are pinwheel or spiral looking.
  • Leaves are rugose and dark green,  with impressed veins. They are opposite and whorled at the branch tips.
  • It is a medium shrub, 4 to 8 feet tall and wide.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Whiteflies can be a problem on stressed plants. If planted near a concrete walk or foundation, soil may be too alkaline for good growth. 

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

More information on Gardenia.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Pond and Stream
Cultivars / Varieties:
'August Beauty', 'Crown Jewel', ‘Fortuniana’, 'Frostproof', 'Jubilation', 'Kleim's Hardy', 'Lynn Lowrey', 'Michael', 'Mystery', 'Radicans', 'Veitchii'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plants#cut flowers#medicinal#tsc#high maintenance#berries#playground#year-round interest#showy fruits#hedges#moist soil#well-drained soil#rich soils#deer resistant#dense#glossy leaves#children's garden#rounded#border planting#acidic soils tolerant#pollinator plant#fantz#orange fruits#asian garden#food source fall#walkway planting#patio planting#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#tsc-s#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'August Beauty', 'Crown Jewel', ‘Fortuniana’, 'Frostproof', 'Jubilation', 'Kleim's Hardy', 'Lynn Lowrey', 'Michael', 'Mystery', 'Radicans', 'Veitchii'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plants#cut flowers#medicinal#tsc#high maintenance#berries#playground#year-round interest#showy fruits#hedges#moist soil#well-drained soil#rich soils#deer resistant#dense#glossy leaves#children's garden#rounded#border planting#acidic soils tolerant#pollinator plant#fantz#orange fruits#asian garden#food source fall#walkway planting#patio planting#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#tsc-s#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gardenia
    Species:
    jasminoides
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The yellow dye extracted from the fruit is used to dye food and clothes. The fruit is also used in Chinese herbal medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern China, Taiwan. Japan, and Vietnam
    Wildlife Value:
    Gardenia hips attract birds and other wildlife. Attracts pollinators.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    2-3 inch waxy flowers that are white to cream and age to yellow. Very fragrant, white, can be double, 2-3" diameter. Calyx lobes are subulate.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite or whorled with dark emerald color and are 2-4 inches long. They have prominent pinnate veining. Whorled or opposite arrangement, 2-4" long. Rugose, glossy and dark green above, lighter and duller below. Margin is entire, veins impressed.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Does not have a showy bark texture.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Pinwheel or spiral looking.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Mild vomiting and/or diarrhea, hives.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Genioposide, Gardenoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No