A very mysterious Gardenia that I got from the east coast and whose flowers are ENORMOUS and powerfully fragrant. Everything about this hardy Gardenia is big. The leaves are 5″x 3″ and are forest green and delightfully glossy. A moderately fast growing evergreen shrub to 6′ x 6′. Full sun but best in dappled shade in a protected location. Regular, consistent water is crucial. Gardenias like heat and water. Poorly irrigated plants will show yellow leaves on the interior of the plant before wilting. This is especially important since we’ve had consecutive dry springs and most likely you will need to water this plant beginning in April. Rich soil with regular water. Protect from subfreezing wind, and plant in rich soil with ample compost. Apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in early summer. The enormous flowers begin i July and continue to October. The only information I can find on this cold hardy cultivar is that it is particularly resistant to pests. Since Gardenias in our climate aren’t really pest magnets this is moot, but good to know. Spectacular flowers are 5″ across and semi-double. Excellent for corsages and even for floating in a bowl, one flower will perfume a wide area. It is crucially important that this shrub be well established going into winter otherwise its hardiness to cold will be compromised.  Limited quantities.

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Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF
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Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Famous for its hardiness to cold, this shrub eventually becomes very big with very large double, powerfully fragrant flowers. This fabulous Gardenia gains cold hardiness with age. Rich, moisture retentive soil that drains- see- LOTS OF COMPOST and regular summer water. That will not only speed growth and establishment it will encourage a constant supply of blooms from on average early July to September. To 4′ x 6′ in 7 years. Best in a protected location- especially from east winds. Full sun to full shade. Excellent with some overhead protection- tree branches , eaves, or a pergola. This slight protection provides the plant with less dramatic swings in temperatures which helps it harden off to cold. REGULAR irrigation is crucial for the first few years. Never let a Gardenia dry out entirely- no like. All the leaves from the interior out will turn yellow and drop. Not pretty. But a well grown shrub is gorgeous with large, deep green glossy foliage ensconcing the 3″ wide flowers. The fragrance will waft in warm summer conditions. Lovely.  Excellent in containers – pay attention to irrigation and move the containerized Gardenia to an unheated garage or porch. Lucious and very tropical looking. Resprouts from the base if frozen.

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Biome: ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
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Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’

Good looking, hardy, long lived shrub that we love. We’ve grown many “hardy” gardenias and many failed but this one is a bona fide success. Easy to grow shrub that blooms and thrives with correct care and its perfectly hardy to cold. To 3′ x 3′ in 5 years in rich, well drained, moisture retentive soil. Fully double 3″ wide powerfully fragrant sweetly scented flowers appear in PDX from July to October. Slow but steady growing shrub.  Never let newly installed plants dry out completely and pay special attention to irrigation in spring before our first heat wave. Dry plants will abort interior leaves. If spring rains fail make sure to irrigate this Gardenia in April/May. Once established it requires the same water and care as a Kerume Azalea (Evergreen Azalea). Add a handful of organic fertilizer or cottonseed meal in early June prior to flowering. Cold hardy in our climate to 5ºF and has naturally low heat requirements to bloom. Handsome evergreen shrub that is long lived and a good selection for a permanent shrub. We recommend ‘Frostproof’ for part shade as its flowers will last longer when not fried by hot sun. Excellent year round performance in a container and surprisingly cold tolerant. Water containers regularly and apply a handful of all organic fertilizer in the spring. Protect from the blastiest sites.

 

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Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome:  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: