Answer: Gardenia's are sub-tropical plants that will die back when temperatures dip to freezing. A more important concern is the temperature requirements for flower bud development. If these requirements are not met, your gardenia won't flower, even if it does survive the winter outdoors. Gardenias need a night temperature of 60F - 65F degrees, with a daytime temperature about 10 degrees higher, in order to form flower buds. It might be easiest to dig your gardenia, pot it up, and keep it indoors in the autumn and winter months, taking it back outdoors in the late spring.
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