Plant of the Week: Gardenias

There are many varieties of Gardenias available in this area. All of the Gardenias have the beautiful white and extremely fragrant flowers that appear in spring and extend into summer. Some varieties grow taller than others-making a small tree or large shrub while others can be ground cover and shorter growing. Gardenias prefer part sun –preferably not the hot middle of the day sun. They are not salt tolerant however the deer don’t normally eat them.

Some examples of Gardenias are:

August Beauty Gardenia:

August Beauty can grow 3-6 feet high and wide and has a medium size white flower. It has glossy dark green leaves and create a large shrub or even a hedge if planted close together. Like all gardenias, use an acid fertilizer and ideally pine bark or pine straw will help keep the soil acidic.

Frost Proof Gardenia:

Frost Free is a new Florida variety with lots of flowers and a compact growth habit. Use in mass plantings, as a foundation border, in containers or as a lone specimen. They grow 3-4 foot high and wide and the leaves, while being dark green are narrower than most gardenia varieties.

Button Gardenia:

This dwarf size gardenia has a single flowers that are star like with 5 petals atop the foliage. They are slow growing. Use in mass plantings, as a foundation border, in containers, or as a lone specimen.

Miami Supreme Gardenia:

The gardenia has very fragrant creamy-white flowers and glossy, dark-green leaves. Gardenias can be used hedges, ground covers or as free-standing specimens. Plant gardenias in full sun, partial shade, or shifting shade for best flower production. Prolonged shade may reduce flowering. Plant in well-drained soil high in organic matter.