It’s interesting how fragrance has the ability to invoke favorite memories. Whether it’s the smell of home-baked apple pie that returns you to childhood or the scent of antique roses that whisks you off to your grandmother’s garden, certain smells can take you back in time. Maybe this is why the intoxicating fragrance and evergreen beauty of gardenias have made them a favorite in home gardens.

Gardenia in vase

Even a small vase or bowl of cut gardenias can fill a room with amazing fragrance!

Photo Credit: Gardener’s Confidence Collection®

Gardenia 'Heaven Scent' bloom

The single, star-shaped blooms of Heaven Scent™ create a stellar constellation against the dark green, lustrous foliage throughout summer.

Photo Credit: Gardener’s Confidence Collection®

Gardenia in container

A container filled with white-blooming plants can light up a barren area. Include gardenias for scent-sational interest!

Photo Credit: Gardener’s Confidence Collection®

Gardenia 'Heaven Scent' seed pods

The seedpods of Heaven Scent™ turn a beautiful red, bringing colorful interest to the plant in winter.

Photo Credit: Gardener’s Confidence Collection®

Gardenias in landscape

Wait to prune your gardenias until after they’ve finished flowering for the season.

Photo Credit: Gardener’s Confidence Collection®

Of course, there are other reasons to grow this stunning plant in your landscape. Besides their amazing fragrance, gardenias offer beautiful blooms from spring until fall; rich, evergreen foliage; and colorful seedpods in winter, creating year-round interest to your outdoor living spaces. Their various sizes also make them ideal for just about any garden situation – from large planting beds to small patio containers. Gardenias make a wonderful cutflower to enjoy inside the home, too. Placed in a vase or floating in a bowl, the blooms emit their wonderful fragrance throughout a room, bringing the outside in.

Gardenias are hardy to warm tropical and subtropical climates (and sometimes as far north as USDA hardiness Zone 7). But even home gardeners in colder temperate zones can enjoy these blooming beauties by growing them in containers during the warm months, then overwintering them in sunny indoor locations. (Some cold-hardy varieties are also available for the garden.) No matter how they’re enjoyed, gardenias are a great plant for soothing the senses!

The many different forms of gardenias lend themselves to unlimited uses in the landscape. The dwarf gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘Radicans’) is a small-leaved, almost creeping version of the species. The small, lustrous evergreen foliage coupled with double, fragrant 2-inch flowers from late spring until fall make it the perfect pick for mass plantings, as a groundcover or for containers on a patio. This little beauty also comes in a variegated form with a creamy-white leaf margin. Both forms grow 6-12 inches high and 2-3 feet wide.

One of the most common varieties in the gardenia world is ‘August Beauty’. This fragrant bloomer grows 4-6 feet high, making it a great foundation plant or specimen for the home landscape. The large, double, white, sweet-smelling flowers demand that it be placed near a patio or entrance where everyone will be captivated by their fragrance.

The newest introduction to the gardenia family is Heaven Scent™. This new beauty has the modern conveniences of disease resistance and compact form to fit today’s smaller gardens, but its intoxicating fragrance has not been compromised! Its single, star-shaped blooms create a stellar constellation against the dark green, lustrous foliage throughout the summer. Planted in your garden or in containers at your entryway, this floriferous repeat bloomer creates a wonderful welcoming sight – and aroma.

Heaven Scent’s compact habit also makes the plant an ideal choice for containers in your outdoor living areas. With a mature height and width of only 3-4 feet, it combines well with many annuals, perennials and ornamental grasses. A blooming container can be used on patios and terraces to create a fragrant place that’s stress-free and calming. In winter, the plant’s colorful seedpods mature in bright hues from yellow to orange and red, bringing interest and excitement to the winter garden long after the fragrance has passed.

When planning your garden, gardenias are certainly an ideal choice, with different sizes to accommodate any space. Their yearlong attributes keep added interest in the garden, and the fragrance will create soothing memories to last a lifetime.