How to Transplant a Gardenia Bush

Plant your gardenia bush in a serene garden where you can enjoy its fragrance.
Plant your gardenia bush in a serene garden where you can enjoy its fragrance. (Image: Gardenia flower image by Buonfiglio from

A gardenia is an evergreen bush or shrub with fragrant white flowers that bloom in the spring until the summer. Popular in the Southeast, according to the National Gardening Society, gardenias grow in a round shape and reach heights of 2 to 8 feet. Their dark-green foliage is present year-round, adding curb appeal to your landscaped yard. Transplant a gardenia bush in the late summer to early fall because evergreens are prone to winter browning if transplanted in the late fall, according to the North Dakota State University Extension.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Sulfur
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Organic mulch

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Conduct a soil test in the chosen area to verify that the pH level is between 5.0 to 6.0. Lower the pH level if necessary with sulfur, using the recommended amount from the results of the soil test.

Dig a trench around the gardenia bush in its present location 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep, using a shovel. Lift the root ball gently out of the hole to prevent injuring the roots.

Dig a hole in the new area twice as wide and as deep as the root ball. Place the gardenia bush into the hole. Backfill the hole halfway. Water deeply to remove air pockets around the root ball. Finish backfilling the hole after the water has drained. Water again thoroughly.

Water the gardenia bush daily for a month to re-establish the root system.

Place a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch around the bush to prevent weeds and maintain moist soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place your gardenia bush in an area that receives full sun with well-drained, rich soil. National Gardening Association suggests not placing a gardenia bush near concrete walkways because the cement's pH level may be too high.


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