The gardenia is a bushy, evergreen, acid-loving shrub from Japan, China, and Taiwan grown for its attractive, waxy flowers which are up to 5 in. (7 cm) across, white, and intensely fragrant. They are usually double, but also occur as semi double. The leaves are 2-4 in. (5-10 cm) long, lance-shaped, glossy dark green, and leather).
G.a. ‘Radicans Variegata’ has a miniature, mound-forming habit, small white flowers, and glossy leaves tinted gray and edged white. G.a. ‘Veitchiaria’ is upright and compact with bright green leaves and small, pure white, fully double, very fragrant flowers.
Size: Height 18 in. (45 cm).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: While flower buds are forming, a constant, draft-free 63°F (17°C) is needed to prevent bud loss. Otherwise, keep at normal room temperature.
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall using soft water or rainwater. During the winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil drying out.
Feeding: Use acid fertilizer every two weeks from spring to fall.
Propagation: Take 3 in. (7 cm) tip cuttings in spring, dip in rooting hormone, and push into pots of an acidic, peat moss-enriched soil. Cover, and give bottom heat, if possible, and place in a bright position, out of direct sun.
Special needs: High humidity is vital while the flower buds are forming, so place the pot on a tray of moist pebbles and mist frequently. Prune after flowering, to an outward-facing bud.