ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Grow Fragrant Gardenia

Updated on December 3, 2012

Gardenia is a beautiful and highly fragrant plant, often given in a pot as a gift.

Originating in the tropical and sub-tropical climates of Africa, S. Asia, Australasia, Hawaii and Oceania, most varieties of gardenia are grown as house-plants, except in USDA regions 9 to 10, where they may be grown outside.

Members of the family Rubiaceae, to which all coffee plants belong, gardenia has many sub-species.

There are over 200 varieties of gardenia in existence, many of which are hybrid (which means they have been cross-bred by man).

  • Gardenia Jasminoides--The most common type of gardenia and which can reach up to 2 feet tall. Highly fragrant, the scent not unlike jasmine.
  • Gardenia Thunbergia--Also known as Star Gardenia, this can be grown as a tree or a shrub and can reach up to four feet tall.
  • Gardenia Nitida--Grows up to three feet tall and produces white flowers.
  • Gardenia Radicans Floreplena--This Japanese dwarf variety is only about 18 inches high and produces double blooms.

Gardenia is grown mainly because it is so highly fragrant, although it has to be said that its creamy white flowers are especially beautiful as well.

Fragrant Gardenia
Fragrant Gardenia

Grow Gardenias indoors or out?

Where you grow your fragrant Gardenia really depends on the climate where you live.

They thrive outdoors in USDA zones 9 and 10.

Their ideal conditions will have a daytime temperature of anything between 68 - 74 degrees F, and 60 degrees at night.

Obviously this is well above freezing point, so if you live in an area prone to frost you must grow your gardenia indoors.

In a pot of course, it can be grown outside in summer and moved indoors in winter.

Fragrant Gardenia
Fragrant Gardenia

Soil conditions for Gardenia

Fragrant Gardenia likes slightly acid soil to grow in. If you are growing in a pot, buy compost suitable for azaleas and acid loving plants. Most normal bagged compost is pH7 which is neutral.

If you are growing outdoors, you will find your Gardenia struggling if your garden soil is alkaline. Try adding some sulfur to the soil surrounding your plant.

As it is likely to get washed away with the rain and need repeat applications, it might be best to grow your fragrant Gardenia in a large pot or raised flower bed. That way you can better control its pH environment.

Grown outdoors, your Gardenia prefers east or west facing situations. While indoor grown plants prefer a position in full sun, outdoor grown plants prefer a little shade for at least part of the day.

star-flowered fragrant Gardenia
star-flowered fragrant Gardenia

Watering need for a Gardenia plant

Fragrant Gardenia do not like having their feet wet, so do not plant in water-logged ground.

In a plant pot, it is better for your gardenia pot to sit on a bed of pebbles where they can benefit from a little moisture around them without getting sodden.

They also do not appreciate spraying or water droplets.

Their leaves are prone to fungal infections.

For this reason do not plant your outdoor gardenias underneath trees or climbers which may drip water on them.

Gardenias have a reputation as being difficult to grow, but if you get their watering needs right you will find they will thrive.

Too dry, and the flowers will drop. Too wet and the flowers will drop. Somewhere in between in perfect.

Gardenias prefer air with moisture in it around them. If your house is centrally heated it is a good idea to leave a glass half-full of water in the immediate vicinity of your plant.

Beautiful fragrant Gardenia flower
Beautiful fragrant Gardenia flower

Gardenia Fertilizer

Gardenias prefer some additional fertilizer during their growing period between April and November. You can use any fertilizer intended for azaleas as they have similar growing needs.


Fragrant gardenias like to be pruned immediately after flowering. Cut each flowering branch back to half its length. This will encourage new growth.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)