Indoor Gardenia Care

Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) are plants with glossy, deep green foliage and wonderfully scented creamy white flowers. They’re commonly grown outdoors, and while they’re wonderful on the patio during the summer you may wonder if you can bring them inside. The answer is yes! They have a reputation for being fussy but as with so many of our indoor plants, all you have to do is pull together the right environmental factors to have a happy indoor Gardenia.

Light

Gardenias kept inside want at least six hours of nice, bright light daily (and as many as eight hours if you can manage it) or they won’t bloom. If you have a south or southwest exposure window that isn’t shaded by trees, you can probably easily meet this requirement. Direct sun may scorch your potted Gardenia, so keep an eye on its placement to avoid any sunburn. If you move plants outside for summer, find a spot with partial shade.

Potting Mix & Fertilizing

A well-draining, peat-based potting mix will make your Gardenia happy. They enjoy nutrient rich soil, so adding organic matter (like peat moss) to your potting mix is very important. To make sure your soil will drain well, mix in orchid bark, charcoal, or perlite. Fertilize your Gardenia once or twice a month during the growing season with a fertilizer for acid loving plants. This helps them produce bigger, better blooms.

Watering & Humidity

They prefer to be moist, but not soggy — don’t let them sit in water. Gardenias enjoy more humidity than the normal household offers, especially if you run your central heating during the winter. Luckily there are a few different ways to boost the humidity in your home. If you really struggle with dry air, invest in a humidifier — it’s a win-win-win, good for plants, people, and keeping spider mites at bay.

Temperature

Gardenias are particular about their temperature range. Normal household temperatures during the day should be just fine, but your night time temperatures need to be a bit low. Around 50 — 55 °Fahrenheit (or 10 — 13 °C) suits them, and anything higher might make them drop their buds. Remember not to place them in the path of drafts from doors, windows, air conditioning, or heaters.

Pruning

You can prune and shape your Gardenia during the winter months when the plant is not actively growing. Deadheading older blooms that are fading will by cutting them just below the leaf node will help encourage them to bloom again, so you can continue enjoy their beautiful scent.

We’d like to give a big thank you to one of our group supporters who gave us the idea for this care guide. If you’re looking for a place to ask questions, share advice, or just show off your plants check out HPH on Facebook to join our global community of plant people!