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How to grow gardenias outside & in

Updated February 21, 2017

Gardenias are flowering shrubs with large, pale flowers and an intoxicating fragrance. With proper care, they can be grown both indoors and outdoors, though they are more likely to thrive outside in your garden.

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Outdoor Growing

Dig a hole for your gardenia plant that is at least twice the size of its roots. Fill the hole with soil and knead out any air pockets. Make sure the gardenia is in an area that gets ample amounts of sun and shade.

Indoor Growing

Put your gardenia in an area of the house that gets lots of sunlight but isn't too hot. Too much heat will quickly wither your gardenia.


Gardenias need an acidic soil with a PH between 4 and 6. You can add peat moss to your soil to help evenly distribute moisture.


Give your gardenias fertiliser every three weeks or every month between April and November. You can use a rhododendron-azalea or acidifying fertiliser.


Water your gardenia well, but don't overwater it. Putting small pebbles in the tray under an indoor gardenia pot will help absorb extra water. If you have an outdoor gardenia, make sure it isn't under a larger plant that might drop water down onto the leaves. Gardenias like humidity, so lightly misting the leaves with water will help keep them healthy.

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About the Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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