The Q&A Archives: Growing Gardenias

Question: I would like to plant a gardenia in my yard, but know nothing about them. Have tried twice in the past but they both died. What kind of gardenia should I plant that will survive here? Should the plant get full or partial sun? I would like it to bloom but that is not the most important part of the plant living and doing well.

Answer: The most common gardenia is the G. jasminoides or cape jasmine. It will grow in your zone 8 garden, given the proper care.Gardenias require a rich, very acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.0). An abundance of moisture and high humidity is the most important factor in successful gardenia culture.

Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. For flower buds to form and thrive, night temperatures need to be between 60-65F. During the day, temperatures should be 70-75F. A very constant, even temperature is required or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Best of luck with your gardenia!

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