Gardenias, also known as Cape Jasmine, are perennial shrubs grown for their evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers and adaptability. Gardenia plants bloom from May to July, producing numerous glossy, white flowers that are usually 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Gardeners typically grow the plants in areas where their fragrance can be enjoyed regularly, such as near a back porch or along a walkway. Gardenia plants are grown in containers throughout most of the United States to make transferring indoors easier during extremely cold weather.
Plant your new gardenia in a container filled with fertile, moist, well-drained potting soil. Keep the plant in a location that receives partial shade outdoors or bright, direct light indoors. Protection from the hot afternoon sun is essential for the plant's health.
Maintain a temperature of 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night for optimal growth. Transfer the plant indoors when temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors.
Water new gardenias once per week to keep the soil consistently moist. Apply water directly to the soil to reduce the risk of mildew and foliar diseases. Decrease the rate of watering to once every 10 days during winter, as the plant requires less moisture when it is not actively growing.
Feed new gardenia plants twice per year, once during mid-March and again in June, using blood meal. Refer to the manufacturer's directions for proper application and dosage information.
Remove faded and dead gardenia flowers whenever possible to encourage the formation of new blossoms and prolong the blooming season. Pinch off flowers near the stem to minimize damage to the plant.
Prune immediately after flowering to improve the health and visual appeal of your new gardenia plant. Use hedge clippers to remove bare, overgrown, diseased and damaged branches. Burn diseased limbs at a remote location to prevent the spreading of disease to other nearby plants.