gardenia

The heady scent of Gardenia flowers wafting through thick summer air is nothing short of scrumptious!

For what seemed like eons, Portland gardeners were relegated to growing Gardenias that would die if left outdoors in winter, but in the last 10 years, several hardy types have emerged, and they're pretty darn good plants. Aren't we lucky to live in the era of Hardy Gardenias?

To be successful follow a few tips:

  • Plant in spring so Gardenias have a chance to set strong roots before winter.
  • Gardenias are big eaters! They need to be fertilized to produce abundant flowers. Use fertilizers and soil amendments for acid-loving plants (Rhododendron food) and make sure not to add lime - this raises soil pH.
  • Night temperatures between 50-55f are necessary to form flower buds, so be patient - it'll happen eventually.
  • Gardenias dislike root disturbance, so don't plant labor intensive plants around the base. Do add mulch to the root zone, making sure not to pile it around the base of the shrub.
  • You may be surprised, but Gardenias like a bit of a break from the heat of the day! Plant them in a spot with afternoon shade.
  • Gardenias are not drought tolerant. They need deep, weekly watering during dry seasons and more frequent watering during heat waves.

There are new varieties coming out every year, but we consistently carry the following varieties:

Kleim's Hardy Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’

White flowers are single form with six petals and yellow stamens. Fragrance is classic Gardenia. Leaves are dark green, glossy and evergreen. Grows slowly in a rounded mounding habit to 2-3 feet tall and wide. Z7

Chuck Hayes Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

White flowers are double form with many fat petals and sweet scent. Evergreen leaves are dark green & glossy.

Grows 4' x 4', Z7

Frost Proof Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost Proof’

Our favorite hardy Gardenia so far, 'Frost Proof' is an over achiever. Large white double flowers with narrow petals and sweet Gardenia scent. Evergreen leaves are dark green & glossy but more narrow than other varieties. Growth is upright and vase-shaped, to 3-4’ tall. Z7

Find the Perfect Shrubs for your garden

Read up on some of our favorite shrubs and remember, this is only a smattering of the variety of shrubs we carry all year long! Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.

Abelia

Abelia

Natives

Arbutus: Pacific Madrone

Natives

Cornus sericea

Red Twig Dogwood
Natives

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut
decid-rhod

Deciduous Azalea

Bamboo

Phyllostachys: Bamboo

Banana

Banana

Buddleia

Buddleia: Butterfly Bush

Callicarpa

Callicarpa: Beautyberry

Camellia

Camellia

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

Natives

Native Ceanothus: Wild Lilac

Chaenomeles

Chaenomeles

Flowering Quince
Chimonanthus

Chimonanthus: Wintersweet

Clethra

Clethra: Summersweet

Perennials

Coprosma: Mirror Plant

Cornus

Cornus: Red Twig Dogwood

Corylopsis

Corylopsis: Winter Hazel

Corylus

Corylus: Filberts & Hazels

Cotinus

Cotinus: Smoke Tree

Daphne

Daphne

Edgeworthia

Edgeworthia

Chinese Paper Bush
Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus

Silverberry & Goumi Berry
Gardenia

Hardy Gardenia

Natives

Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Hamamelis

Hamamelis: Witch Hazel

Heathers

Heathers & Heaths

Hebe

Hebe

Hedges

Hedges

Natives

Holodiscus: Oceanspray

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Itea

Itea: Sweetspire

Lagerstroemia

Lagerstroemia: Crape Myrtle

Lonicera

Lonicera: Honeysuckle

Natives

Mahonia: Oregon Grape

Nandina

Nandina: Heavenly Bamboo

Natives

Osmaronia: Indian Plum

Palms

Hardy Palm

Natives

Philadelphus: Mock Orange

Bamboo

Phyllostachys: Bamboo

Physocarpus

Physocarpus: Ninebark

Natives

Native Physocarpus

Western Ninebark
Punica

Punica: Pomegranate

Natives

Rhamnus: Cascara

Ribes

Ribes: Currant

Natives

Native Ribes: Wild Currant

Natives

Rosa: Wild Rose

Natives

Rubus: Salmonberry

Willow

Salix: Willow

Sambucus

Sambucus: Elderberry

Natives

Native Sambucus: Elderberry

Sarcococca

Sarcococca: Sweet Box

Natives

Symphoricarpos: Snowberry

Lilac

Syringa: Lilac

Vaccinium

Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Natives

Native Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Viburnum

Viburnum: Arrowwood

Natives

Native Viburnum trilobum

Cranberrybush