Gardenia Plant – How to Care for Gardenia plant at Home and Garden

Gardenia Plant - How to Care for Gardenia plant at Home and Garden

Gardenia is a flowering plant in the family of Rubiaceae which is native to tropical and sub tropical regions of Asia, Africa, Madagascar and Pacific Islands. These are evergreen shrubs that grows to a height of 2-12 feet tall. leaves are opposite in whorls, broad, dark green with a leathery texture. Flowers have sweet scented aroma that blooms in mid-spring to  mid-summer season and available in small clusters of white, yellow, red, cream colors.

It is actually a member of coffee family and can be grown easily in pots or through landscape method. The plants require less care and is cost effective. You can grow them in your home as it can purify the surrounding atmosphere by eliminating the harmful toxins from that particular area.

Here in this article you will know more about how to grow gardenia plants  from seeds, cuttings and the preventive measures for the plants affecting from pests, diseases and nutrient deficiency problems.

Gardenia Plant Profile

Origin                                   :               Asia

Plant Type                            :              Shrubs

Scientific Name                  :              Gardenia Jasminoides

Height                                  :              2-12 feet tall

Flowering                            :              White,  yellow, red, cream, pink colors

Soil                                       :              Acidic soil with pH 5.0 – 6.0

Watering                            :              Require amounts (day-to-day basis)

Sunlight                             :              Full sun

Temperature                     :             60-65 F (night), 65-70 F (day)

Growing Season               :            Spring, Summer season

Fertilizers                         :            Coffee grounds, Epsom salt, Wood ashes

Companion Plants

Companion planting is that which provides a better and healthy growth to the neighboring plants. The best companions that gardenia love to grow with are primrose, ferns, hosta, strawberry begonia, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellia, Virginia, impatiens, summer sweet and boxwood.

Though these  plants utilizes much space when planted with gardenias in your garden helps for pollination, pest control, disease-resistant, flowering, speeds up the growth and provides high yield crops. As these are surface rooting plants you should not plant with annuals and perennials around them.

Gardenia Varieties

Here is the list of some popular gardenia varieties that you can grow at homes.

S. No Variety Plant Height Specification
1 Kleins hardy 2-3 feet Double flowers with vibrant yellow stamens
2 First love 5 feet Large double, blooms in spring season
3 August beauty 6 feet Double flowers with the size of a palm
4 Miami supreme 3-5 feet Large double flowers, bloom in fall season
5 Mystery 8 feet tall 4-5 inch flowers, bloom in spring
6 Radicans 2-3 feet Unique stripped leaves
7 White gem 1-2 feet Blooms in summer season, spreads fragrances

Gardenia Plant - How to Care for Gardenia plant at Home and Garden

How to Grow Gardenia in Pots?

Gardenias flowers have petals that spread beautiful fragrances. These plants can grow in gardens, pots, Yards or along hedges. They have some specific requirements like sunlight, watering, fertilizers, temperature and moisture. Knowing about all these factors helps you to grow beautiful gardenia flowering plants in your home easily.

Selecting a gardenia variety

To grow gardenia plant in pots select a seed variety of your choice to grow in pots of height 2 feet tall. But before planting soak the seeds in warm water at night times and plants the seeds in pots the very next day. This method helps to speed up the germination process quickly.

Choosing pot & soil

Generally prefer small pots when you start from seeds. When the plant matures you can transplant it to bigger pots. So the pot size can be of 6-8 inches. Use well-drain acidic soil with pH between 5.0 and 6.0 added with organic matter. If necessary add mulches like dead leaves, ripen fruits & vegetables at the base of the plant to keep soil moisture levels.

Watering your gardenias

Water the plant regularly in small amounts on daily basis when you start growing from seeds. When the plant matures you can increase the amount of water supply to the plants. Also avoid over watering the gardenia plants as the root absorbs more water and may result in root rot disease.

Best temperature

Gardenias prefer full sun to partial shade. They like to grow well in warm climatic conditions. Make sure the plants get more of morning sun than afternoon light when planted indoors near window location. Best temperature to grow gardenias is 65-70 F during day time and 60-65 F at night.

Pests & Disease problem

Pests and Diseases can be the major drawback for your plants. You can purchase pesticides from stores but are very harmful and can cause some allergic reactions on your body. So prefer organic ways to deter these problems.

Pests like aphids, mealy bugs, red spider, white fly, scales, thrips, slugs and snails cause great damage to your loving gardenia plants.  To deter pests use neem oil, insecticidal soaps or spray organic solutions.

Diseases like powdery mildew, sooty mold, yellow leaves, and bud drop weakens the plant growth. The plant diseases can be completely eliminated by providing the sufficient water, sunlight and nutrients to the plants.

Nutrient Deficiency Issues

If plants fail to thrive besides watering, mulching and soil preparation then there may be chances of occurring nutrient deficiency in plants. Due to this the plants may show the symptoms of brown older leaves, dark spots and small holes on leaves. The following table completely shows the element with its corresponding deficiency symptom in plants.

S. No Element Deficiency Symptom
1 Nitrogen Spindle yellow leaves,
2 Potassium Yellow or purple leaf tints, brown leaf edges
3 Phosphorus Dull yellow foliage, slow growth
4 Iron Yellow leaf veins, brown leaf edges
5 Magnesium Reddish brown tints


With huge white flower blossoms gardenias attract insects like bats, beetles, bees, birds and small mammals for pollination purpose. These pollinators visit the flowers to transfer pollen grains from stamen (male-gamete) to stigma (female-gamete). It is done actually to create offspring for the next season.


These acid-loving plants love to be fertilized with Coffee grounds, tea bags, wood ashes and Epsom salt. In addition to these compounds, use compost or aged-manure, bone meal and liquid N-P-K fertilizers to improve the soil fertility. It not only improves the soil fertility but also promotes the plant growth by providing enough nutrients to the plants.   

How to Propagate Gardenia from Cuttings?

Propagating gardenias from cuttings makes it easier to mature and bloom flowers quickly. It also acts as air-purifying houseplant, so you grow them easily at home indoors. A step-by-step procedure to grow gardenias is given below…

  • Before starting take healthy stems of size 8-12 inches from gardenia shrubs that can grow actively.
  • Use gardening tools such as shears or cutters to prune bottom leaves at the base.
  • Now place the gardenia stem cutting in a jar of water. It is done to establish the roots quickly.
  • Change the water in jar for every 2-3 days to prevent from bacterial and fungal diseases.
  • Place the cutting near window location to receive bright indirect sunlight (6 hours) to thrive.
  • Roots may sprout within 1-2 months and transplant it to outdoors in the upcoming spring season.
  • When transplanted to outdoors (landscaping method) use perlite and sand mix soil to grow.
  • Now water a little to protect the plants from being infected and to maintain proper outdoor growing conditions.

How to Care for Gardenia Plants?

Here are some useful tips to grow gardenia plants in your home…..

  • Fertilize the plants once in every 3 weeks with organic content.
  • Gardenia plants do not tolerate if the temperature is below 60F.
  • Wear gloves and face masks if you don’t like the smell of fertilizers.
  • Avoid planting gardenia in too moist conditions as they prone to rot.
  • Follow instructions & warning labels on fertilizers before applying them.
  • Make sure the gardenia plants receive sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hrs a day.
  • Harvest the beautiful fragrant gardenia flowers when they bloom in spring season.
  • Keep children and pets (dogs & cats) away as they chew the plant leaves and spoils the growth.
  • When you choose gardenia stems to propagate, make sure it is insect repellent & disease resistant.
  • Pot or container must have holes at the bottom for air circulation and to drain water completely.

How do you re-pot a gardenia plant?

Repot the gardenias when the roots begin to grow from the bottom of the pot. It is done just before the root emerges and comes out of the pot by breaking. When the plant matures, you can easily repot it to bigger pots every year.

Can gardenias survive in frost conditions?

Gardenia jasminoides is a hardy flowering plant that grows well in the USDA regions of 8-10. They can survive in winter season with little care. Hardy plant varieties can grow year around at outdoors, so you can easily plant them to establish prior to winter season.

When to prune gardenia plants?

Prune gardenia plants after the flowers blooms are faded in summer season. These will set the flower buds in the fall of next year. So pruning in summer will allow you to cut only the older stems, leaves and not the newly established leaves, stems. For pruning effectively without damaging other parts of the plant, use gardening tools such as cutters or shears.

Why gardenia leaves turn yellow?

The effect of soil pH on plants will not be able to absorb the minerals like iron, nitrogen,  phosphorus and magnesium. Mineral deficiency is the major cause of chlorosis in plants and results in leaf yellowing.  Sometimes you find brown spots on plant  leaves which is due to the poor drainage.

For more information refer:  Why are my plants turning yellow?

Gardenia Plant - How to Care for Gardenia plant at Home and Garden

Start growing wonderful flowering gardenia plants to look beautiful in your home and garden makes and monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing gardenia plants please share your experience with us.

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