How to Trim Gardenia Plants


Gardenias are known for the scented white to creamy-yellow flowers they yield in late spring and early fall. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the evening. The bushes have glossy foliage and grow 2 to 15 feet tall, depending on variety. Gardenias are slow growers and require little trimming. Since the flowers form on new growth, trimming should be done immediately after the bushes finish blooming.

Step 1

Cut limbs up to ½ inch in diameter with hand pruners. Cut larger limbs with lopping shears. Make cuts at a bud or where two limbs meet. The cuts should be at a 30-degree angle. Remove diseased or dead limbs with hand pruners or lopping shears.

Step 2

Use hand pruners or lopping shears to take out damaged, broken or crossed limbs.

Step 3

Cut older, less vigorous branches at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears.

Step 4

Trim wayward or lengthened limbs with hand pruners to shape and size the bush. The top of the bush should be narrower or equal to the bottom to allow sunlight to reach the inside limbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Who Can Help

  • Gardenias
Keywords: trim Gardenias, trim Gardenia bushes, Gardenias, Gardenia bushes

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.