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How Fast Do Gardenias Grow? (Plus Tips to Encourage Growth)

How Fast Do Gardenias Grow? (Plus Tips to Encourage Growth)

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Gardenias are among the most popular outdoor ornamental shrubs and trees. They’re truly stunning plants that you’ll be proud to have in your yard.

Whenever you’re looking for something that can add charm to your property, it’s going to be wise to consider planting gardenias. They look great and they also happen to smell very nice.

If you’re looking for something that will grow fairly fast, then you might be wondering how gardenias will do in that department. How fast do gardenias grow, anyway?

Read on to learn about the growth rate of gardenias. You’ll be able to learn a bit about what to expect so that you can have an ideal experience with these amazing plants.

The Average Gardenia Growth Rate

The average growth rate of gardenias will differ a bit depending on the cultivar that you have. There are actually more than two hundred species of this evergreen cultivar to consider.

This means that it might be necessary to look up specific information about the cultivar that you’ve planted. Regardless, you’ll still benefit from knowing some basic information about average gardenias.

The growth rate of gardenias can range from slow to fast depending on the cultivar. On average, gardenias are considered to have moderate growth rates.

This means that most gardenias will have growth rates of one to two feet each year. That’s pretty good, but you’ll need to ensure you get one of the plants that fall in the moderate range.

If you’re looking for a gardenia plant that can grow faster than that, then you can seek out some of the fast-growing cultivars. Both Coral Gables and Mystery are fast-growing cultivars that can grow more than two feet in a year.

How Fast Will Gardenias Start Flowering?

Now that you know a bit about the growth rate of gardenias, you’ll also want to learn about flowering. It might surprise you to hear that gardenias will take a little bit of time to start flowering after planting them.

How fast will gardenias start flowering? This depends on a few factors.

When you grow gardenias from seeds, it’s going to take between two and three years for the plants to start flowering. They can bloom within a year if you start growing gardenias from cuttings instead.

When the gardenias are fully grown, you’ll be able to enjoy flowers that grow as wide as five inches. Gardenia leaves are usually between one and one and a half inches wide.

Plant Gardenias in Good Soil

Planting gardenias in good soil will be an essential part of getting them to grow strong. If you don’t plant them in the right soil, then they might not grow much at all.

Remember that gardenias are plants that need a certain level of soil acidity. They prefer to be grown in soil that has a pH balance of 5.0 to 6.0.

It’ll be wise to test the soil so that you can see what you’re working with. If necessary, you can amend the soil to make it more acidic for the gardenias.

You should also know that gardenias like well-draining soil that is nutrient-rich. You can help gardenias to grow by providing them with compost and manure so that they will have everything that they need to thrive.

Fertilizer Can Help Gardenias to Grow Faster

As you might expect, fertilizer can help gardenias to grow faster. If you want the gardenias to grow healthy and strong, then it’s wise to give them fertilizer during the growing season.

The growing season for gardenias lasts from March to October. You can fertilize them once every two to four weeks during this period of time.

It’s going to be best to use some type of fertilizer that’s meant for plants that like acid. You’ll want to dilute the fertilizer for safety purposes as well.

Just remember not to use fertilizer at all between the months of November and February. So long as you keep this in mind, you should be able to help your gardenias grow a bit faster.

Temperature, Humidity, and Sunlight

There are many aspects of growing plants that you need to get right in order for them to thrive. For instance, you must grow plants in places where they will have the right weather.

Gardenias will typically thrive in USDA hardiness zones eight through eleven. They like nighttime temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s fine for the temperatures to be a little higher than this, but optimal growth will occur between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Although there are some gardenia cultivars that are cold-tolerant, the majority of them are warm-weather plants that need to be kept in fairly warm locations.

These plants also do well in high humidity. It might be necessary to go around misting the gardenias if your environment isn’t humid enough.

Those who are raising gardenias indoors in containers will likely need to pay close attention to humidity levels. Thankfully, it’s easy to maintain the right humidity levels indoors using small humidifiers.

Gardenias also need the right amount of sunlight to grow strong. These plants can thrive in full sun, but in many places, it’s better to plant them in partial shade.

Full sun might cause the leaves to get scorched if things are too hot. A good situation would be planting the gardenias in a spot that gets morning sun and partial shade in the afternoon.


Watering the gardenias won’t be difficult, but you do need to get things right. Gardenias need to be watered regularly because you’re supposed to keep the soil moist.

However, you need to avoid watering them too much. Always check the soil to see if it is starting to get a bit dry before watering these plants.

On average, gardenias need about one inch of rain each week. Pay attention to the weather when caring for gardenias outside and always check the soil before doing anything.

When you water gardenias too much it can cause the buds to fall off. You might also notice yellowing leaves and continued overwatering will cause the roots to suffocate.

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