How to Propagate Gardenias From Cuttings


In the warm areas of the Southern United States, gardenias are an all-time favorite shrub, favored not only for their creamy, tropical blossoms, but for the smooth, shiny foliage and pleasant, rounded shape. Plant a gardenia near a patio or entryway, and take advantage of the gardenia's sweet fragrance. Gardenias are easily propagated by stem cuttings in late spring or early summer

Step 1

Water the gardenia the night before you plan to take the cuttings. Take gardenia cuttings early in the day before the moisture in the plant has time to evaporate.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife or garden clippers to cut a five to six-inch stem from a healthy gardenia. The cutting should have at least three pairs of leaves. Put the cuttings in a plastic bag with damp paper towels to keep them damp, and put them in the shade until you're ready to plant them.

Step 3

Purchase a plastic seedling tray with a plastic cover. Fill the tray with a mixture of half sand and half peat moss. Moisten the peat moss with a spray bottle.

Step 4

Pinch off the lower leaves on the stem cuttings, leaving just one pair of upper leaves intact. Dip the tip of the cuttings in rooting hormone, and plant the cuttings in the potting mixture with the leaves above the soil. Several cuttings can be planted in the tray but the leaves shouldn't be touching.

Step 5

Mist the potting mixture again, and cover the seedling tray with the plastic lid. Put the tray in indirect sunlight where the temperature will be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't put it in a sunny window, because the plastic will store the heat, and can kill the gardenia cuttings.

Step 6

Check the seedling tray every day. If the potting mixture is dry to the touch, mist lightly, but don't water excessively, because the gardenia cuttings will rot if they're too wet. The cuttings should take root in four to six weeks.

Step 7

Move each rooted gardenia cutting to its own four-inch planting container. Put the containers in bright light, and continue to keep the soil moist. At this point, the cuttings can go in a cooler room, but they will do best in temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the young gardenias outdoors the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or garden clippers
  • Plastic bag
  • Damp paper towels
  • Plastic seedling tray with plastic cover
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Spray bottle
  • Four-inch planting container


  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Gardenia Propagating
  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener
  • University of Florda Extension: Growing Gardenias in Florida
Keywords: growing gardenia, stem cuttings, gardenia cuttings

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.