How to Grow Gardenia Plants

Gardenias typically bloom the following year after cutting propagation.
Gardenias typically bloom the following year after cutting propagation. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Gardenias charm many gardeners with their intensely fragrant, creamy white flowers and dense foliage, which makes them a suitable choice for hedges and privacy plantings in warm, humid areas. A variety of sizes and flower shapes exist among the numerous species and cultivars of gardenias, but most respond equally well to vegetative growing methods such as cuttings. Growing gardenias from cuttings provides the opportunity to create an identical reproduction of the parent plant, which is of particular value when the shrub is especially floriferous or attractive.

Things You'll Need

  • 6-inch pot
  • Peat moss or coir
  • Sharp sand
  • Floral snips
  • 0.3-percent IBA (indole butyric acid) rooting hormone
  • Warming mat
  • Plant mister

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Prepare a rooting pot for the gardenia cutting before gathering it. Fill a 6-inch pot with an equal mixture of peat moss or coir and sharp sand. Wet the mixture with 1/2 cup of water.

Measure 6 inches from the tip of a branch with young, green growth. Sever the stem midway between two leaf nodes using a pair of sanitized, sharpened floral snips. Do not remove any of the leaves.

Dip the very end of the gardenia cutting into 0.3-percent IBA rooting hormone. Insert the cutting into the rooting pot so the bottom 2 inches are below the surface.

Set the potted gardenia cutting inside a greenhouse under an automatic misting system, or set the cutting on a warming mat set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and mist it several times a day with a hand-held plant mister. Expose the cutting to bright, diffuse light for a minimum of seven hours a day.

Check for roots in four to six weeks. Keep the gardenia in its pot until it puts on noticeable growth, then plant it in a large permanent pot or outdoor bed the following spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Grow gardenia cuttings during the summer months.


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