How to Start a Gardenia Plant


Gardenia plants are popular with gardeners for both their glossy foliage and their creamy, fragrant flowers. This plant grows from two to six feet tall and blooms in spring, although some varieties continue to flower throughout the entire growing season. Gardenias can be expensive to purchase, but it is fairly simple to propagate them yourself by taking a cutting from a healthy gardenia plant.

Step 1

Cut a 4-inch piece of stem from the mother plant just above a bud. Choose a stem that isn't flowering, as this will make it easier for roots to develop. Gently remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting.

Step 2

Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone. You can use powder or gel, although the gel tends to be less messy. If using a powder, tap it gently to remove any excess and be careful not to inhale the powder.

Step 3

Combine one part peat moss and one part sand. Fill a planting tray three-fourths of the way full and add just enough water to moisten the mixture.

Step 4

Place the cuttings into the mixture, leaving one-half above soil level. Leave 2 to 3 inches between each cutting. Add just enough moisture to dampen the soil.

Step 5

Cover the tray tightly with plastic wrap and place in a location that is well-lit but does not receive direct sunlight.

Step 6

Water the cuttings whenever the soil no longer sticks to your finger. Mist lightly with water each day to help speed up the rooting process.

Step 7

Transplant the newly rooted gardenia to a larger container or raised flower bed once the root system is fully developed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water the cuttings, as this can be fatal to the developing roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Planting tray
  • Spray bottle


  • Clemson University Extension: Gardenia
  • Royal Horticultural Society: Cuttings--Softwood
  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener
Keywords: start gardenia plant, propagate gardenias, grow gardenias, plant gardenias, take gardenia cutting

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.