Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that grow in height from 2-15 feet. Originating from China, where it has been cultivated for more than 1,000 years, Gardenias are prized for their very fragrant white flowers and glossy, dark green leaves. Gardenias belong to the Rubiaceae family in theGarden Guide genus Gardenia, which has more than 200 cultivars including the ‘Miami Supreme’, ‘Belmont’, ‘Frostproof’, ‘August Beauty’, and ‘Radicans’.
Depending on their size and form, gardenias can be used as hedges, ground covers, mass plantings, or free-standing specimens. Gardenias thrive in well-drained, rich soil; soil pH is vital to the health of the Gardenia and should be between 5.0 and 6.5. It is suggested that the shrubs be planted in full sun, however; the Gardenia can tolerate partial shade. It is important to note that prolonged exposure to shade can potentially reduce the flowering of the shrub.
Common problems include chlorotic (yellowing) leaves indicating a micronutrient deficiency, sooty mold, and the dropping of unopened buds. Gardenias are vulnerable to scales, aphids, spider mites, flower thrips and whiteflies.