The Fool Proof Gardenia (Cape Jasmine) is a native of the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia, but have slowly made their way into the United States where there is no shortage of gardeners eager to plant it! The Fool Proof Gardenia is reblooming Gardenia that produces double, pure white, fragrant blooms that emerge in late spring and rebloom through fall.
Fully mature plants reach an average size of 3–4′ H x 3’ W making it the ideal size for the perfect specimen or center piece in your landscape. With slender, glossy green leaves this shrub has graceful appearance that is sure to turn heads if the sweet fragrance doesn’t attract their attention first. In addition to landscape planting this easy to grow shrub does exceptionally well in containers also.
Since it will tolerate shade without a fuss, this is the plant you need to line the path to your garden or steps near an entryway into your home. Use it to edge beds or plant it as a specimen alongside your choice of Azaleas or Hydrangeas.
With the ability of grow in containers that means that even with its tropical origins, anyone can enjoy this fragrant beauty. In zones that receive colder weather in the winter you will be able to bring your plant indoors to protect it from the harsh temperatures and winds.
The Fool Proof Gardenia is hardy in USDA zones 7 – 10 but has special requirements in cooler areas. The ideal location to plant is in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Sunlight will be beneficial to flower production, but too much may lead to burned foliage. Moist, well-draining soil consisting of rich organic material will be essential to the overall health of your plant. Acidic soil is preferred, but if yours leans towards the alkaline side you have no need for worry.
Pruning is not usually needed, but if you want to trim to control the size, do this straight after the spring flowering ends, and don’t trim back summer shoots, as that will prevent re-blooming. This variety has improved resistance to the pests and diseases that can affect other varieties, and it is less likely to be damaged by cold snaps or hot spells. Water regularly, but don’t water if the soil is already damp.
Last, but not least, lets discuss the correct spacing for this gardenia. To allow room for proper air circulation you will want to place each shrub 24 – 36 inches apart measured from center to center. While these are usually disease-free plants allowing space for foliage to dry after watering, or a rain shower is important to the plant’s overall health.
Southern Living Plant Collection tips on maximizing your gardenia blooms.