How to Shape Gardenias


Because gardenia shrubs provide such a heady scent in a landscape, some gardeners resist pruning them at all in fear of reducing or limiting future blooms. As long as you prune a gardenia shrub at the proper time, you will not reduce future blooms. Gardenias do not require extensive pruning to keep their shape. Instead, shape gardenias lightly immediately after they finish blooming in the summer.

Step 1

Remove spent flowers with the pruning shears as soon as they wilt and fade on the shrub. Clip the spent flowers just under the blossoms with the pruning shears and discard them.

Step 2

Trim away all dead or damaged stems from the gardenia shrubs immediately after the last flowers wilt from the shrubs. Pruning at this time will not remove future blooms because they have not formed yet on the branches. Cut off all dead and damaged stems at the point they originate from the next-largest branches with the pruning shears.

Step 3

Shape the gardenia shrub lightly into the shape and size you want it right after the blooming period ends. Use the pruning shears to cut back the branches, always trimming the branches just under leaf nodes.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not trim a gardenia shrub at any other time of the year because you risk cutting off future blooms. Future blooms set in the autumn, so trimming a gardenia in late winter or early spring will greatly reduce blooming for the upcoming growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Texas Agricultural Extension Service: Pruning
  • Purdue Extension: Gardenia
Keywords: gardenia shrubs, prune a gardenia, shape gardenias lightly

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.