Gardenia jasminoides, commonly called common gardenia or cape jasmine, is native to southern China and Japan and is an evergreen shrub with thick, glossy, dark green leaves (to 4” long). It typically grows to 3-6’ tall. It is particularly noted for its extremely fragrant white flowers (to 3” diameter) and is often grown in double-flowered forms. Flowers bloom throughout the year in warm climates but more typically bloom in late spring to early summer in cooler climates in the northern part of its growing range. In their native range, most gardenias are fairly adaptable shrubs tolerant of sun or semi-shade, and do best in a well-drained, humus-rich, acidic soil. Cape jasmine, as it is sometimes called, is more commonly a container plant in conservatories and greenhouses in colder climates but it can be placed outside in warmer months. Grown indoors, these plants need bright light, moderate temperatures; cooler during dormancy, average to high humidity and well-drained, acidic soil. Water moderately, using room temperature water, when possible. Do not allow soil to dry out. Prune after flowering to maintain the plant’s shape and remove faded or brown flowers as they appear. Fertilize from March to August with a mild acid liquid fertilizer.
Hardy in zones 8-11.
Growing Instructions for the Gardenia
The seeds need to be planted when received or stored in a refrigerator until they are planted. 1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. 2. The seeds like well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. 3. Put the soil in a pot. 4. Put the seeds on the soil. 5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 6. Water the seeds. 7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.