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Graceful Gardenias

A favorite of ours here at Savannah Interior Plant Designs is the gardenia. Gardenia is a fragrant, white flowering shrub. From the multitude of uses in the garden to its beneficial blooms, gardenia is the perfect plant to add to your space.

While gardenia is commonly seen in the south, it originated in Asia, specifically China, Japan, and Korea. While trading in Asia, some Europeans decided to bring the plant home. While en route, the traders stopped at the tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, and the gardenia was planted there. This is where the common name “Cape Jasmine” comes from. Back in Europe, the gardenia was not so successful planted in ground so it was relegated to conservatories. Southern naturalist Alexander Garden was sent the plant by English botanist John Ellis. Garden was so successful with the plant that Ellis decided to name the plant after him, thus the name gardenia.

While the gardenia plant is not practically successful in England, it adapts to a multitude of spaces here in the South. Gardenia not only thrives in the ground, it can be used in containers for a patio or entryway. Gardenias do prefer full sun, however, they can appreciate some afternoon shade in warmer climates. Too much hot afternoon sun can scorch the leaves or cause blooms to fall off. They prefer consistently moist and well-draining soil. While they like moist soil, they can suffer from overwatering like most plants. Deadheading the blooms and picking up fallen leaves will help keep your gardenia happy. After all blooms have faded, you can do a heavy prune on your plant. As with many plants, do not cut away more than a third of the gardenia. This can adversely affect the health of the plant.

Gardenias are great for entertaining. They are commonly used in weddings thanks to their rich fragrance and delicate blooms. The blooms of the gardenia are also said to have health benefits. Gardenia essential oils can relieve inflammation, increase circulation, and boost the immune system. They can be used as a massage oil or in a bath or potpourri. Just more reasons to add gardenia to your space! You can call Savannah Interior Plant Designs at 508-801-6015 if you need help adding gardenia or any other plant to your life. We work with you to design, install, and maintain your home or work space planters, always striving to create a world of beauty!

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