When to Buy Gardenia Plants?

Updated February 21, 2017

The gardenia's sweetly scented flower, whose fragrance is as distinct as the rose's, is the primary reason many gardeners choose the gardenia. Not an easy plant to grow, consumers use gardenias in the landscape or bring them inside to enjoy as a houseplants. If you intend to plant a gardenia shrub in your garden, consider making the purchase in the spring or fall for planting. If purchasing the gardenia plant as a houseplant, purchase the plant when available in nurseries or from a mail-order distributor.


A gardenia is a flowering shrub with glossy, dark-green leaves and fragrant velvety white flowers. They are a temperamental heat-loving plant that does not tolerate extreme cold or radical changes in temperature. Therefore, if you intend to keep the plant as a potted plant, yet keep it outdoors, don't buy your gardenia unless the outside temperature is conducive to its growth. Introducing a new gardenia plant to an inhospitable environment can be a death sentence for the gardenia, as they don't like dry climates or temperature fluctuations. When buying gardenias for planting in the garden, purchase the plant in spring or fall, and plant the gardenia at that time.

Mail Order

Garden centres and floral markets often market gardenia plants prior to Mother's Day. This may not be the best place or time to purchase a gardenia, should you intend to move it to the garden. To make the plants look fuller at this time, vendors often plant several plants to a pot. Separating the plants for planting in the garden may kill the shrub. Consider purchasing a gardenia for planting from a reputable mail-order vendor if planting the gardenia in the garden.


Gardenias flower from midspring to summer. Avoid purchasing a gardenia in the summer, especially in an area with extreme heat. While the gardenia is a heat-loving plant, extreme heat inhibits bud production. If placed outdoors during the summer, set the plant in an area with partial shade. Sudden changes in temperatures and draft can result in bud drop. Bud drop occurs when flower buds drop from the plant before they bloom.


Only purchase a gardenia in the winter if you intend to keep the plant indoors as a houseplant. An exception might be if you live in a warmer climate region with moderate winter temperatures. The gardenia prefers a daytime temperature of 20 to 23.3 degrees Celsius and a nighttime temperature of 15.6 degrees Celsius. When grown indoors, they require exposure to full sunshine and high humidity.

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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.