Is there anyone who doesn’t like the fragrance of a gardenia? Well, with a little care, this wonderful shrub can add aroma near any patio or window. The gardenia is an evergreen with dark green oval leaves with blooms that range from pale yellow to white. They originated in China & Japan. In our Zone 9, they can be grown outside with success.

Here are a few growing tips:

With partial shade (preferably morning sun, afternoon shade) or filtered shade, acidic soil and moderate moisture, they can do well. Fertilizer used for azaleas will also work well for gardenias.

Do not mist the leaves as they are subject to fungus and plant them far enough apart for good air circulation.

Prune older stems after they stop blooming.

Plant them in a raised bed so they  sit 4-6 inches above the ground level for good drainage. Replace the same soil in the hole and tamp down to get rid of air pockets. Water well and keep the soil moist after planting but not so the ground is soggy.

If you mulch, just lay down a thin layer of no more than 1-2 inches and do not pile it up around the base trunk.

There are over 200 species but the ones offered at Maas will grow well in the southeast Texas area. So don’t be afraid of this wonderful addition to any garden!