The Southern Living Plant Collection is proud to present the Jubilation Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘Leeone’ PP21983), a delightful reinvention of a Southern classic. Most people plant gardenias for their extravagantly fragrant blooms, and the Jubilation is just about as aromatic as they come. It produces delightful white double blooms with intoxicatingly rich aromas. It has a large initial bloom in late spring, and thenreblooms periodically through summer and fall. Year after year, you’ll never get tired of the sweet scent of the Jubilation Gardenia.
Additionally, this selection has a highly moderated growth habit and is remarkably easy to maintain once established in your garden or landscape. It reaches only 3-4′ H x 3′ W at maturity. No pruning required! However, feel free to provide a light trim after its first bloom cycle of the year has come to an end.
Use it as an accent, container, hedge, or slope planting, you can’t go wrong. Line a pathway with them and enjoy their scent as you let them guide you along. Another popular way to use this Gardenia is as a mass planting. You’ll seldom be short on blooms from summer to fall with a large group of these beauties. Furthermore, try it as a fragrant addition to cut flower arrangements.
Jubilation Gardenia Care
Hardy in USDA Zones 7-10
Plant in Full Sun to Part Shade depending on your location. Gardenias in hotter climates grow best when they receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Consequently, in colder zones, such as from 7a to 8a, plant in full sun for best results.
Water regularly for the first few months. This will encourage it to develop deep roots that will help ensure its future success.
Fertilize in early spring with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer, or use an organic acidic fertilizer every couple months in spring to keep this plant happy and healthy.
How To Plant:
Find a suitable planting location for your new gardenia based on the growing specifications listed above.
Dig a hole that is about 3 times as wide as the root ball of your plant.
Digging a wider hole makes it easier for your new plant’s roots to spread.
The hole only needs to be deep enough that your plant sits even with the natural ground around it. Don’t plant it any deeper than this. However, it can be planted in a shallower hole if you are concerned about slow drainage in your planting location. If this is the case, plant it so that it sits roughly 3-4 inches above the native ground and mound soil around the base.
Mix your native soil with some rich gardening soil, composted manure, or soil conditioner.
This will make it easier for your plant to get adjusted to its new home.
Backfill the hole with your soil mixture and gently pat the soil down around the plant with your hands.
Now is also a good time to fertilize your plant. For this species, we recommend a slow-release fertilizer for acid-loving plants. However, avoid using liquid fertilizer on new plantings.
This is also a great time to apply mulch. 3-4 inches of wood mulch around the base of your plant will help it retain more moisture and protect its roots from extreme temperatures (important for hotter USDA Zones, such as 8 and up).
Soak your new planting with a hose to hydrate your plant and settle the soil.
Plant your Jubilation Gardenias 2 feet apart from center to center for a seamless planting. Otherwise, plant them 3+ feet apart for space between each mature plant.
Popular Companion Plants for the Jubilation Gardenia
These beauties go well with many different types of plants.
Plant them in front of a screen of tall pyramidal evergreens, like Juniper Trees. Their dwarf size and rounded habit contrast beautifully with the upright and pointed trees. Otherwise, the bright yellow Forever Goldy Arborvitae is a unique alternative to traditional ornamental trees.
Plant them with some other popular selections from the Southern Living Plant Collection, many of them are specifically chosen to go together beautifully. Two good options are the Sunshine Ligustrum and Purple Diamond Loropetalum. They both have highly contrasting foliage and thrive when planted in the same conditions as the Jubilation.
Sort of. Gardenias need a decent amount of direct sun to grow and flower properly. Even in the sunniest window, they may not perform as desired. This may manifest itself in the plant not blooming much at all, the flowers being small, or the blooms not being very fragrant. It can be done successfully, but for optimal success, we recommend growing it outdoors. If you’re looking to have that signature scent indoors, try planting them outside and snipping the blooms to bring inside for cut flower arrangements.
However, if you are below the Jubilation’s growing zones and you want to plant it in a container and bring it inside over the winter, this works just fine. Simply return it outside once warm weather returns.
“Why is my plant not blooming/only blooming a little/barely fragrant?”
There are several reasons why they may have limited flowers, no flowers, or just a weak fragrance.
Not enough Sun. Plants need sunlight to create flowers and reblooming plants, such as this one, need it even more. This isn’t an unusual complaint for us to receive from people that try to grow their Gardenia indoors. Sun gets filtered through windows so even if they’re in a sunny window, they may not be getting enough. Aim for somewhere between 3-6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Lack of moisture. These guys need moisture to create blooms. They may even drop forming flower-buds if they dry out too much. Keep in mind that plants in Full Sun may dry out faster than you’d think. Also, providing supplementary water a few times a week during times of intense drought/heat is often necessary. However, if your plant is staying consistently soggy, you’re watering too much.
Improper Pruning. Before flower buds form on the outside of your plant, they form on the inside of the branches. Therefore, if you prune your plant back in spring before any buds may have even formed, you’re going to be removing the flower buds that would have emerged on your plant and it will likely bloom very little or not even at all. Instead, trim it back after its first large bloom in summer. It will still rebloom later on in the year and you’ll be able to keep it at your desired size.
We love our plants and we know you will too! We carefully mature them into their pots and ship them only when they’re ready to go. All of our plants are shipped in the pots that they were grown in, and never bare-root.