I can always count on the gardenias bursting into bloom
when the calendar page turns to June.
The nose knows :) when they’re in bloom before you ever lay your eyes on them,
as their distinctive, sweet fragrance permeates and drifts through the air!
I wish I had a ‘scratch and sniff’ feature,
so you could enjoy the heady fragrance. . .
Gardenias are native to southern China and Japan and were introduced to the western world
via Charleston, South Carolina in the 18th century.
As its flowers were scented like jasmine, it was originally known as “Cape Jasmine.”
They were later christened “gardenia” in honor of Dr. Alexander Garden,
an 18th-century botanist and physician from Charleston.
Gardenias thrive in warm, humid weather in moist, well-drained soil.
Most gardenias are hardy in USDA zones 8-11, with a few varieties hardy in zone 7.
We’re in zone 7b here in North Carolina.
I discovered by accident when I was feeding the azaleas several years ago
that they benefit from acid-based fertilizer.
Gardenias can handle full sun as long as they have protection from afternoon sun
in higher growing zones.
Our gardenias receive morning sun and some dappled afternoon shade.
We have two gardenia shrubs that are 20+ years old.
They could use some pruning, but function as a living fence and buffer
between us and our neighbors, who enjoy the wonderful fragrance too.
The birds love the year-round shelter they provide.
While deadheading your gardenias by removing fading flowers isn’t necessary,
doing so will encourage more blooms.
“Sultry as a summer evening and as intoxicating as an exotic perfume, the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul. The blossoms are just as enticing. Buds shaped like seashells unfurl into velvet soft flowers in the warmth and humidity of early evening. But it’s the fragrance that captivates.”
This concludes my gardenia public service announcement. :)
Scent-sational duo of Magnolia and Gardenia flower arrangement, HERE.
Thank you for your visit, sharing with:
Our gardenia bush is loaded with buds. There is already a light fragrance in the air. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.
Our gardenias are in bloom, too and the fragrance is wonderful. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.
I’m in New Zealand and it’s Winter so there shouldn’t be Gardenia blossoms now but my bush is covered on blooms. The weather is crazy!!
I love the scent of gardenias and am sad they can’t be grown in my region other than as a summer annual. SL’s description is perfect. Yours are fantastic, and I can imagine how wonderful that area of your landscape must smell! Yesterday felt like a fall day here, and today I’m seeing winter in your photo. I love it, but am content to linger through summer days even if they do become sultry and stormy. Happy Friday!
I had a gardenia right by my door when I lived in the Charleston SC area and had no idea there were any that could live in zone 7b (Virginia) so I am now searching for and planning to plant one! It will look perfect in the moon garden I am planning. Thank you for this piece of information. Your pictures are beautiful!
Mary, Your gardenias are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! Happy Friday! Clara❤️
I have some gardenias around my patio, they are so pretty and smell so good, I bet the fragrance in your garden with those large bushes is amazing!
How lovely to have gardenia in your garden. We have mostly sun ☀️ and very little shade around our house. The aroma must be intoxicating.
The fragrance always reminds me of home. Growing up we had one at the corner of our house and it was glorious. I’ve never seen one as huge as yours. Beautiful.
MY GOODNESS I can’t believe how big your gardenias are! Love gardenias. The scent is heavenly. You have the perfect growing conditions. I live in North Central TX and we STRUGGLE to grow them. Beautiful. Thanks for the pics.
Hi Mary: YES!! If you could magically create ” Scratch & Sniff” would you also use it on your recipes, PLEASE??? I just LOVE your blog! Thanks for starting my day, JM
Mary, your gardenias are beautiful! Mine are almost spent, but the scent is still in the air. I love the gardenia and magnolia arrangement…I know that has to be an intoxicating fragrance. Happy Friday!
Oh Mary, you’re so fortunate to have gardenias blooming in your garden. I can just imagine the heavenly scent. My youngest son tried to grow them, but he ended up pulling them because they didn’t do well. He planted hydrangeas in their place. Happy weekend to you! 🌸❤️🌸
They are just beautiful! Wish I could smell them! How fortunate you are to have two gorgeous bushes. Heavenly!
Thanks you Mary for this beautiful post. I was just in my garden this morning cutting hydrangeas for the kitchen table. A gardenia is planted next to my white one and is just beginning to bloom. The fragrance always reminds me of my Aunt Margie, who wore a gardenia perfume. I have five dwarf gardenias which bloom several week prior to the standard size. They begin to bloom about the same time as my magnolias and the fragrance from both draw me outside to sit and enjoy.
Hi Virginia, I hope you are well, nice to hear from you! Enjoy those blooms, Happy Weekend ♥
Oh I wish I was there to smell the sweet fragrance. What lovely photos of your gardenia. Thanks so much for sharing.
Have a lovely weekend.
I love the fragrance of gardenias. Yours are so lush and pretty. Mine have been also. I cut a large arrangement to enjoy in the house but it don’t last very long.
I intended to do some others but I pulled my back out and have had steroid shots this week. It was bad or I would not have volunteered for that.
Thanks for all the growing tips.
Gardenias – one of my favorite flowers! I’ve never tried growing one in our Zone 8 up here in Portland, OR, but I’d love to give it a try – they’re so so beautiful! Thanks for the great post Mary – I learned a lot and I’m totally inspired now! Happy Monday!
They are just GLORIOUS! I adore gardenias, but sadly I’ve lost my ability to smell this year so I look very sadly at my tiny blooms compared to your 20 year old shrub… Magnificent post to this wonderful garden addition!
The fragrance must be intoxicating! I admire your beautiful garden. I should plant gardenias again. I had some in containers years ago, but should plant a few in the ground. I’m going to research where I might use some. Thanks for sharing this beauty. You inspire me. Happy First Day of Summer!