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My sister gave me three beautiful gardenias in small pots as indoor plants for a gift on year. I love their smell, kind of like jasmine in strength but sweeter and not quite so heady.
They grow well in warmer climates and are covered in booms which give off the most wonderful scent early evening as the dusk settles.
My indoor ones started to look a bit sad and one died so I thought they were not happy. I decided that it was kill or cure and planted them outside.
This small plant is not a huge shrub and fills my border next to a couple of other shrubs. It really has taken off big time.
The only downside to its outside life is that it doesn't seem to bloom as prolifically as those in warmer climates do. It loves the soil here which is good for rhododendrons and azaleas as well so if you grown those in your garden then a gardenia will do well as they like the same kind of soil.
It is planted in the sun but not full on sun. the leaves are wonderfully shiny and it looks really happy apart from being mean with its blooms.
I am sad that it doesn't flower as much but happy that it is still alive and looks well and thriving in its new home. I have had it there for around six years now and it is taller than me and when I planted it was about 6 inches high.
So if you are given one as an indoor plant and it looks unhappy try it outside. You could plant it in a pot that you could bring in during winter if you have the space but I didn't want to do that.
So beautiful gardenia with shiny dark leaves and white sweet smelling flowers will grow outside in the UK.
People often return from holiday with the idea of growing a Gardenia as a houseplant, after seeing larger versions growing outdoors in hotter climates. The plant's heady perfume from pure white flowers seems very appealing, yet the results can often be disappointing. Here are a few hints. They like plenty of light and a steady warm temperature; however, they must be kept out of direct sunlight, so position them carefully or screen them with a piece of kitchen foil or whatever. They like a moist atmosphere, so sit the plant on a tray of moist gravel. Also, they like acid conditions, so use a lime-free compost and a fertilizer intended for lime-hating plants. Water them with rain water if possible, or use boiled (and filtered) water to remove the carbonates. So it takes a little effort, but the outcome can be very rewarding.