How to grow gardenias in a pot and all its care

Growing gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) in a pot takes a bit of care and attention, but it’s worth it, as gardenias are famous for their intoxicating scent and beautiful appearance. Keep reading this article to learn how to grow gardenias in containers and how to care for them.

grow gardenias in pots


What are gardenias?

The gardenia is a subtropical shrub native to Asia. Its large white rose-like flowers are some of the most fragrant, and with its feathery green foliage, the gardenia plant is stunning.

Other names: cape jasmine, rose jasmine, rose jasmine, danh-danh, gandhraj,

Ideal pot for growing gardenias

grow gardenias in pots

You should choose a pot that is 10 to 15 centimeters larger than the nursery pot they come in. This will give the roots room to stretch and establish themselves for a healthy plant.

The ideal is to start with a pot of about 30 cm wide and deep, this will give a good space for its roots, avoiding you having to repot every year.

Evacuation is important. Gardenias don’t like their roots to get wet. If you choose a pot with only a small drainage hole in the center, you may want to drill a little more before planting.

If you’re using a container that doesn’t have a drainage hole and you don’t want to drill one, fill the bottom with a few inches of small rocks or gravel to prevent the roots of the bush from getting stuck in the water.

The best material for gardenias is natural stone or terracotta, which allows moisture to evaporate through the walls of the container.

Requirements for growing gardenias in pots

grow gardenias in pots


Gardenias can be in full sun, but the best location is one that gives them some shade or a break from the afternoon sun in the summer.

One thing to consider when choosing a location for your gardenia bush is that it needs good air circulation around it.

Allow air to circulate around it, also be careful not to place it where water will drip onto its foliage for too long, as water droplets can cause fungal growth on the leaves.

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To grow gardenias in pots, choose quality soil that is light, well-drained and rich in organic matter.

You can use a sandy potting soil for this. Add 10-20% perlite or pumice stone to garden soil to aid drainage

Avoid soils rich in clay and which retain water. The soil should be acidic and the pH level around 4.8 – 6 is ideal.


The ideal humidity level is around 70%. When watering, avoid spraying or wetting the foliage to increase humidity, as this can lead to fungal infection.

Instead, place your potted gardenia on a water-filled pebble tray to increase the humidity level.


The temperature around 20 C is optimal for gardenias, at this temperature the flower buds are formed. Fluctuations in temperature damage flower buds or may take longer to bloom.

The temperature around 15 C – 30 C is ideal for its growth. Below -7 C, the plant suffers considerable damage.

Potted Gardenia Care

grow gardenias in pots


Water the plant abundantly, but only when the surface of a centimeter of soil is dry. To check, plant your index finger in the ground. In any case, avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.


Acid fertilizers are generally used for gardenias. You can find special fertilizer for gardenias at any garden store or online. To look at: How to Make Compost and Liquid Organic Fertilizers

Applying Epsom salt once a month during the growing season is also essential for good gardenia growth.

Acidic soil is the key to successful gardenia growth. If the soil is not acidic, add wood ash or used coffee to change the pH level. You can buy a kit at pharmacies to measure pH.

On the other hand, used coffee grounds are an excellent homemade fertilizer, you can apply them during the growing season, in the spring. To look at: 8 ways to use coffee grounds in the garden and orchard


Repot your gardenia plant every 2-3 years in late winter or early spring. Take advantage of this moment to put a slightly larger pot than the current one and completely change the substrate.

When transplanting, it is not necessary to prune the roots, since they are thin and shallow, and their pruning can damage the roots.

Do not forget to water immediately and leave the pot in a place where it does not receive direct sunlight for a few days, this helps the plant recover faster from the transplant.


When the flowering period is over, lightly prune your bush to maintain its attractive, compact design.

Remove all dead, damaged or tangled branches that cross and prevent sunlight penetration and air circulation.

Cut faded flowers

Remove faded flowers as soon as they fade and fade. This will encourage the appearance of new flowers.

spend the winter

Some varieties of gardenia can tolerate temperatures down to -6 to -10 C, but below this temperature it is difficult to save this beautiful flowering shrub.

Therefore, if you want to grow gardenias in pots in a very cold climate, it is best to keep it indoors near a window during the winter and provide it with warmth and temperature above 10 C.

Plagues and diseases

To prevent disease, avoid overhead and excessive watering. The main pests that attack it are aphids, scale insects and red spider mites.

Some additional tips

  • Don’t change the location of your gardenia too often.
  • A lightly rooted gardenia plant will bloom more profusely.
  • Used coffee or tea grounds can be good food for your gardenia.
  • Adequate ventilation is important.

It may also be interesting to read: How to grow a camellia in a pot and its maintenance

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