Gardenia, the fragrant plant

Gardenia comes from Africa and Asia and has conquered the whole world with its rich, white or ivory flowers and fragrance. Whether you grow them outdoors in the garden or indoors as houseplants, gardenias can thrive just about anywhere.

Gardenias are available in shrub, tree and dwarf forms, many of which are suitable for potting. They typically grow to a height of 20 cm to 2 m depending on the variety. 

Bloom period: Typically May through June, with some varieties blooming into autumn. Colour is typically white, with single or double blossoms ranging from 2 to 5 inches in diameter. Some cultivars have yellow blossoms. 

Foliage: Glossy, dark green leaves, 2 to 4 inches long. Even when gardenias are not in bloom, the glossy emerald-green foliage, which is almost as lovely as the flowers, will remain attractive throughout the year.

Use gardenias as hedge plants along sidewalks, entryways, and fences or anywhere in the garden where their fragrance can be appreciated. Potted gardenias are perfect for porches and patios, where you can shelter them from direct sunlight and wind and easily move them indoors when it's needed. Tree forms are especially lovely when grown in containers, and add sophistication to formal garden designs.

Gardenia is a plant that can beautify your space, but it needs special care to keep it as good as possible for as long as possible.

How can I take care of my gardenia?

There are many things you can do to improve the health and longevity of your gardenia. If you take care of your plants they will grow to the maximum possible year by year. Enjoy the stunning white flowers and intoxicating fragrance of these striking evergreen plants with the following tips:


Temperature fluctuations destroy the buds or may inhibit flowering and take longer to bloom. Gardenia loves high temperatures during the day and low at night. The best temperature for maintaining the plant is 18-25 C. Also, exposure to direct harsh sunlight at noon or in the afternoon, especially in summer can burn the leaves.


Gardenias need a place that receives full to partial sunlight. They like the warmth of the sun for proper growth. Strive to give your gardenia direct morning sun rather than direct afternoon sun. Choose a place that is warm, bright and sunny. One thing to keep in mind when choosing the right place for your gardenia is good air circulation around it. Maintaining the flow of air around this point, will result in water droplets trapped in the foliage not being the cause of fungal infestations.


For the cultivation of gardenia in pots, choose a quality soil substrate (packed topsoil), which is light, well drained and rich in organic matter. Clay-containing topsoil should be avoided because it has the ability to retain water. It is important to maintain moderate humidity to ensure a healthy plant. Moisture in the roots causes buds, while the flowers fall when the humidity decreases and the soil substrate is too dry. Adding peat to the soil substrate will benefit your plant, helping it retain moisture without becoming too wet. 

The main part of its care is to add liquid iron at least twice a month, especially in the spring and summer. Also know that gardenia is a flowering plant with increased potassium requirements for the growth of foliage, and you should not omit it.

Humidity of the atmosphere

High humidity is essential for the indoor care of the gardenia. Dry air will quickly cause the flowers and they will start to fall off the plant. You can buy a hygrometer or a thermometer. The combination of these to measure the relative humidity and adjust your indoor plants accordingly and hygrometer and keep from your indoor plants. Gardenia prefers relative humidity of about 50-60%. There are several ways to increase humidity in the home, such as using a humidifier or grouping plants and placing them together on trays with water and pebbles. 


Avoid planting your gardenia too close to concrete. You do not want to plant them right up against your house or walkways. If you plant it near to concrete it will change the alkalinity of the soil. Gardenias like soil that is rich in nutrients. Use fertilizer, peat moss or manure into the soil to enhance the growth of your plant.

The perfect season to plant your gardenias is either in the fall or spring. If you are planting more than one gardenia, you must leave one to two meters of space in between each plant. The hole you make should be twice as wide as the plant’s root ball and only as deep as its length.

If you are planting your gardenia in a pot, make sure the pot you use is large enough and you make the hole twice as wide as the root ball.

Planting gardenia outside 

Planting gardenia outside in the garden can be done in acidic soil with a supplement of peat and organic matter, well drained and with good ventilation. Dig a hole twice the size of a gardenia root ball and as deep as the size of a pot. When placing the plant in the hole, make sure that the top of the root ball is slightly below the soil surface. Fill with a mixture of natural soil and peat around the plant and spread it so that there are no gaps. Water enough and continue watering during the growing season.

Indoor gardenia 

Gardenia is sensitive to cold as mentioned above and can be damaged during severe cold winters. Therefore, gardenia grown outdoors, in pots where winter is mild enough, should be moved indoors to protect them in winter. It will be better to keep it indoors in a cool climate and place the plant near a window to the south so that it can cope with the situation during the winter and provide warmth and temperature above them (10 0 C). Gardenia will be more resistant to winter weather, and in spring the plants will be healthy and stronger. Keep it near a south-facing window so that it can get bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. 


There is no golden rule about the frequency with which you should water a gardenia. The soil in the pot must always be a little damp. This means watering it whenever it is needed, whenever we understand that soil is in need of moisture. Water quality also affects its development. Tap water usually contains salts and causes barren weakness in the absorption of iron. Gardenia thrives best when given distilled water. The plant needs more water during extremely dry periods and less water when they are not blooming. Try to avoid getting the leaves and blooms soaking wet, as wet leaves are more prone to fungal growth.


Gardenia requires frequent fertilization, preferably with water-soluble fertilizer containing trace elements and high content of potassium and nitrogen, to ensure the healthy growth of plants. The fertilization is done every month between April and November with the use of fertilizers that are specially designed for acidophilic plants. The special class of fertilizers for acidophilic plants provides them with the necessary nutrients and also regulates the pH. You have to be careful not to over-grease the gardenias. Too much fertilizer can lead to the accumulation of salts, which can damage the plant. Do not fertilize gardenias in the fall, especially towards the end. This fertilization can stimulate growth; the new growth can lead to the destruction of the plant when it is then exposed to the low temperatures of winter. You may find it easier to use a water soluble fertilizer.


When the flowering period is over, prune your plant lightly to maintain beautiful dense and continuous foliage. Remove any dry, damaged or tangled branches that tend to block sunlight and airflow. Remove the flowers as soon as they start to turn black and dry. This will lead to the appearance of new blooms. Gardenias also make excellent bonsai trees if you prune and train them into the desired shape.

Diseases and pests

You should check your gardenias for whiteflies and mealybugs. Other gardenia pests include aphids, spider mites and thrips. If you notice that your plants have a pest problem, use a horticultural oil to get rid of them. Over-watering your plant and planting them too close to each other are both causes of pest problems. Avoid doing both of these things.

To avoid disease in the roots, your saucer should not come into contact with the pot. Under normal conditions, gardenias are blooming twice a year, at the end of spring and early autumn. Remember that when a gardenia has a lot of buds it can drop some of them before they open. This means that there is a serious lack of some nutrients in potting soil or that you have changed some maintenance conditions such as temperature, humidity, ventilation and reacted negatively.

Gardenia may be the most-beloved fragrance in the world! The sweet fragrance of its beautiful flowers has long been a favourite in the home and office for its ability to perk up a room with its aroma. At anthemionflowers you will find a wide variety of gardenia to choose the one that fits you. Make a wonderful gift which your loved recipient is sure to appreciate.