Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that grow 2 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. The white to creamy yellow flowers stand out against the dark green glossy foliage in late spring and early summer. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the late evening. Gardenias grow slowly and need very little pruning. The flowers form on new growth so the bushes should be pruned just after they bloom.
Use hand pruners to cut limbs that are less than 1/2 inch. Use lopping shears to cut larger limbs. Make cuts at a 30-degree angle where two limbs meet or at a bud. Remove any crossed or crooked limbs with the hand pruners or lopping shears.
Prune out dead, diseased and broken limbs with hand pruners or lopping shears.
Remove older, less vigorous branches at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears.
Use hand pruners to trim wayward or elongated limbs to shape and size the bush. The bottom of the bush should be wider or equal to the top to allow sunlight to reach the inside limbs.