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What Is Gardenia Radicans?

Britt Archer
Britt Archer

The gardenia is a staple in many gardens because of the heavenly and unrivaled scent of the shrub’s white flowers. Gardenia radicans, also known as Gardenia jasminoides radicans, is a smaller version of the traditionally planted shrub with double flowers, but it is equally valued for its lovely sweet scent. Thanks to its compact size, Gardenia radicans fits in many smaller garden spaces, allowing gardens of all sizes to integrate this matchless flowering shrub into the landscape.

The flowers are approximately 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) across and they fade to yellow before dropping from the shrub. The leaves are shiny, leathery, and a deep green, presenting a picture of health, and fertilizing gardenias will keep the leaves looking their best. The Variegata cultivar has leaves that are variegated a creamy white. The growth rate of Gardenia radicans is moderate to rapid, and the spreading branches grow in an open and horizontal formation. The shrub can be used as a groundcover, an accent plant or in a garden’s border. Gardenia radicans has also been used in window boxes and planters because of its trailing habit. Some gardeners also like to plant it in an area where it can cascade down a slope or a wall, making it a focal point when it blooms.

Gardenia radicans can benefit from a specifically formulated fertilizer.
Gardenia radicans can benefit from a specifically formulated fertilizer.

Nurserymen consider this shrub to be a dwarf gardenia because of its smaller size. Gardenia radicans can grow as tall as 2 feet (61 centimeters) and as wide as 4 feet (122 centimeters). Some other types of gardenias can grow as tall as 6 feet (183 centimeters), and they can grow just as wide under ideal conditions. The gardenia is typically a warm weather plant that does not tolerate a hard frost well, and Gardenia radicans is no different. A shrub planted in an area that experiences very cold winters might need extra cover and pampering to survive. Placement in a protected section of the garden will limit the amount of damage gardenias will incur in cold months.

Like other gardenias, Gardenia radicans prefers acidic soil that drains well. Gardenia shrubs can tolerate part shade to full sun, but too much shade will limit the number of blooms. Powdery mildew can be a problem, but not overly so. The plant is considered to be pest resistant and unappealing to deer, but some insects find many types of gardenias attractive, including aphids, thrips, whiteflies, nematodes, mealybugs and mites.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gardenia Radicans?

Gardenia Radicans is a dwarf variety of the gardenia plant, known for its compact size and fragrant, white or pale yellow flowers. It's an evergreen shrub that typically grows to about 12 inches in height and spreads up to 2-3 feet, making it ideal for ground cover or container gardening.

How do you care for a Gardenia Radicans plant?

Caring for Gardenia Radicans involves placing it in well-drained, acidic soil with partial to full sunlight. Regular watering is essential, but avoid waterlogging. It thrives in high humidity and benefits from monthly fertilization during the growing season. Pruning after flowering helps maintain its shape and encourages new growth.

What are the ideal growing conditions for Gardenia Radicans?

Gardenia Radicans prefers warm climates and is hardy in USDA zones 7-11. It requires a spot with partial to full sun exposure and well-drained, acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5. Consistent moisture and high humidity are also crucial for its optimal growth and blooming.

How often does Gardenia Radicans bloom, and what do the flowers look like?

Gardenia Radicans typically blooms in late spring to early summer, with some varieties offering sporadic flowering into fall. The blossoms are star-shaped, with multiple layers of waxy petals, and emit a strong, sweet fragrance. Their color ranges from pure white to creamy yellow.

Can Gardenia Radicans be grown indoors?

Yes, Gardenia Radicans can be grown indoors provided it has enough light and humidity. It should be placed in a bright room but away from direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves. Indoor gardenias benefit from regular misting to maintain humidity and may require grow lights during winter months.

Are there any common pests or diseases that affect Gardenia Radicans?

Gardenia Radicans can be susceptible to pests like aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs, as well as diseases such as root rot and sooty mold. Proper air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and regular inspection can help prevent these issues. Insecticidal soaps or neem oil can be used to treat infestations.

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    • Gardenia radicans can benefit from a specifically formulated fertilizer.
      By: Sinisa Botas
      Gardenia radicans can benefit from a specifically formulated fertilizer.