Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Root Gardenia Clippings

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Also known as Cape jasmine, gardenias produce deep green foliage upon shrubs that reach mature heights of 2 to 15 feet. Highly fragrant, creamy white flowers adorn the foliage when gardenia shrubs are in bloom from March through mid-June. Effective gardenia propagation is through seed, grafting or clippings. Propagation by clippings requires a young stem, taken after the blooming season. Rooting usually takes place within three weeks of inserting the clippings in potting medium.

Select gardenia clippings between six to eight weeks of age, 4 to 6 inches long with at least two to three sets of leaves. Cut the clippings on a 45-degree angle, 1 inch from the main stem with a sharp pair of pruning shears.

Fill 4-inch pots with a 50/50 combination of damp peat moss and coarse sand. Press the cut end of one gardenia clipping into the center each pot. Approximately 2 inches of stem should lie below the soil line with all foliage above the soil line.

Cover each cutting with a clear plastic bag. Secure the bags to the pots with rubber bands and set the gardenia clippings in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight.

Remove the plastic bags at least once a week to check for root development. Mist the soil lightly with water from a spray bottle to keep it damp. Replace the plastic if roots are still undeveloped.

Continue checking weekly for root-take. At the first sign of rooting, remove the plastic bags permanently.


Leave the gardenia clippings leaves intact when rooting. Leaf removal increases the time it takes the clippings to develop roots.


Do not allow the soil to dry out during rooting. Do not set gardenia clippings in direct sunlight, which will burn the foliage.

Garden Guides