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Do Gardenias Like Sun or Shade?

Image by, courtesy of Kevin Walsh

Some variations of gardenias like both. Depending on the region where you live and the type of gardenia you intend to grow, shade and sun can work well for this beautiful and welcome house or garden plant.

Light and Shade

Image by, courtesy of Luz A. Villa

Gardenias need both shade and light to grow properly. Gardenias originated in humid climates and can be mostly grown indoors. When doing so, they prefer high humidity, indirect and bright light as opposed to constant shade. The ideal place for them to grow is in a south-facing location with a curtain available for shade.

A Good House Plant

Image by, courtesy of Jeff Turner

The mitriostigma variety of gardenia, otherwise known as the African gardenia, is smaller and not as fragrant as the more full-bodied type. It does make a good house plant, as it can be grown in either a sunny or shady window.

The Jasmine Gardenia

Image by, courtesy of Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic

The jasmine gardenia, an evergreen shrub variety of the gardenia flower, is grown outdoors in full sun, but in hotter areas needs protection from the heat. If you live in such a region, make sure there is a shade source to protect the plant.

Hearty in Cold Weather

Image by, courtesy of Doug Wheller

The Frost Proof variety won the "2007 Garden Writers Best Plants Award." It tolerates the cold, does not need a lot of up keep contrary to other varieties and does well in full sun or partial shade. They can be used as a privacy hedge, or just to enjoy as they grow large into a beautiful and fragrant plant.

The Crown Jewel

Image by, courtesy of John Holm

A runner-up to the Frost Proof is the Crown Jewel gardenia which also works well in colder zones and makes a lovely accent plant or flowering shrub. It prefers full or partial sun.

Sun Should You Give Gardenias?

Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) are known for their fragrant, waxy white flowers that bloom from early spring to early summer. Gardenias have glossy green foliage and are attractive as specimen plants, accent plants in mixed borders or hedge plants in full sun to partial shade. They can tolerate full sun in cooler areas, especially if their root area is covered with organic mulch. The flowers on gardenias in too much sun usually turn brown faster than those in some shade. Gardenias bloom better in areas with high humidity and daytime temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Periods of shade increase the humidity and lower the temperature around gardenias. To protect them from drying winter winds, plant them to the east or north of buildings or other structures.

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