Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: August 23, 2007
|Variegated Radicans Gardenia
|Gardenia jasminoides 'Radicans Variegata'
Species Native Range: China
Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-10 (+10 degrees)
Mature Size: 1-2 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide
Exposure: Sun to partial shade
Soil: Rich, well-drained
Ease of Culture: Easy
I can remember as a child the sweet aroma of gardenias blooming outside the back door of my grandmother's house in
Savannah. Right outside the back kitchen door was an old (and very large) August Beauty Gardenia. This plant was
easily 6-8 feet tall and wide and had nearly overgrown the back stoop.
With today's smaller gardens, it's still possible to have the wonderful smell of a gardenia but in a plant that
is perfect for beds and borders without taking over the entire space.
Only reaching about 1-2 feet tall, this slowly expanding evergreen shrub with green and cream variegated leaves
works well in foundation plantings, at the edges of
beds, along walkways and near patios - anywhere its fragrance can be enjoyed.
Grow VR Gardenias in a sunny to partially shady location. I have found these shrubs do like a bit of protection
from the hot afternoon sun. North of Atlanta, they should be planted in a protected location as winter temperatures in the
teens can cause some slight damage. They can be covered with a sheet on the coldest of nights.
Combine VR Gardenias with other shrubs such as Loropetalums, Encore Azaleas or David Viburnums and low-growing
perennials such as Dianthus, Creeping Phlox, etc. Because of the small size, they can also be easily grown in
I would advise to hold off planting until later in September when
the weather has cooled and hopefully we've had some rain.
Note: All Gardenias are susceptible to whiteflies in the spring and summer. It's recommended that
you begin treating your gardenias BEFORE you see these tiny flying insects. Use
Bayer Advanced Tree and
Shrub Insect Control as a drench to help prevent whiteflies.
This shrub is widely available at retail nurseries.
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