Gardenia Plant Growing Guide For Beginners

Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Gardenia is known for its rich, luxurious perfume. Its large, white flowers are accentuated against dark, glossy evergreen leaves. From early summer through late summer, single or double flowers of up to 8cm in diameter are produced.

Gardenia can be grown indoors or outdoors depending on the variety. It has been used as a conservatory or greenhouse plant for more than 200 years, and later as a houseplant. Gardenia

Is it possible to grow gardenia indoors?

Gardenia can be grown outdoors in milder or sheltered areas, thanks to the breeding and development of harder varieties. Because they have very specific requirements, indoor gardenias can be difficult to grow. While gardenias can be grown outdoors and are easier to maintain and sit properly, they still require care. However, after five years, gardenias begin to decline and should be replaced with newer plants.

How To Grow Gardenia

Gardenia can be grown indoors or outdoors depending on the variety. Plants can reach 60cm to 1.5m depending on the variety and size of their pots. Rainwater can be used to moisten the compost and you should feed your plants regularly. To manage your rainwater, do consider a handy water butt. Prune in spring, and then propagate with cuttings. They thrive indoors in a controlled temperature and high humidity.

Where To Grow Gardenia


Gardenia should be grown outside in a pot that can be covered in winter to keep it from being damaged by frosts and winds. Gardenia can be planted in a raised or ground bed in areas that have favorable weather all year. Gardenias are hardy in light shade. The dappled shade created by larger plants is ideal. Wind protection is crucial. Even in mild climates, gardenias that are hardy can be left outside all year. For winter, you can move to a porch, greenhouse or conservatory.


Gardenias thrive in humid conditions, even at low temperatures. Place the plant in a tray or saucer with clay granules or pebbles and water it until the humidity is high. Summer temperatures should not drop below 15°C at night, and 24°C during the day. Winter: Move the plant to a sunny spot with direct sunlight.

How To Plant Gardenia

Gardenias need to have compost or soil that is not lime-based. For houseplants and pot-grown outdoor gardenias, use ericaceous (lime-free) potting soil. When planting in raised beds or borders, make sure to check the soil pH. If necessary, add a lime-free soil conditioner. Gardenias can be planted outside in the spring and summer. If you are growing in a container, make sure it is at least 30cm across and deep.

Caring For Gardenia

Rainwater or filtered water can be used to water the compost. Make sure it is not too dry or too wet. Winter is a time when water is scarce and it can be easy to overwater. Always water should be tepid and not cold.

In spring and summer, feed every 2 weeks with a high-nitrogen liquid feed. In winter and autumn, you can feed your plants once a month with a balanced fertilizer. Spring pruning is also a gentle way to keep your shoots bushy and shorter.

How To Propagate Gardenia

Gardenias can be grown from cuttings. These cuttings can either come from young shoots in spring or mid- to late summer, from current season’s growth which has just begun to become woody (semi or half-ripe)

Growing Gardenia: Problem Solving

Yellowing leaves 

A sign of distress can be caused by a variety of factors, including too little light, too many water, low temperatures or too much lime.

  • You can easily remedy too little light by moving your plant to a bright spot. However, gardenias don’t like direct sunlight.
  • Make sure the pot isn’t sitting in water. Also, ensure that the plant is placed where water can drain freely.
  • Water made from rainwater collected or filtered water. A buildup of scale in your dishwasher or kettle can indicate limy or hard mains water.
  • The yellowing of shoot tips is usually a sign that the temperatures are lower than what the plant needs.

Bud drop 

This happens when the growing conditions are less than optimal and the plant becomes stressed.

Lack of flowers 

This could be caused by insufficient or incorrect nutrition, dry environment, or high temperatures.


They may be found on gardenias, but they are more likely to appear on plants that have been covered. These includes the following: the red spider mite and mealybugs. Like all pest problems, you should be alert and inspect your plants for signs of trouble. Take action as soon as possible to stop the problem from getting worse.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.