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Gardenias require full sun?

Posted by sissysimone (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 9:45

Do Gardenias require FULL sun to thrive..or part shade and part sun?
And when I put then outside, do they like to be in full sun, or in the shade?
How many of my fellow members have sucess with their Gardenias in as much direct sun as possible?
Thanks a million!!! ;-)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

  • Posted by bihai zone 9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 24, 08 at 15:08

Ummm, well, I know that we are in different zones, so I will just say what we do with ours. Gardenias aren't houseplants here, they are hardy bushes and shrubs that we do plant into the ground. And yes, they do require full sun. They also like soil on the acid side, like Camillas and Azaleas do. We fertilize ours with Miracid. Otherwise, they are pretty drought tolerant here and bloom several times a year.

If you are keeping any plant as a houseplant for part of the year and then putting it out as an outdoor plant for the other part of the year, you need to make that transition slowly for the plant. Just because gardenias (or any other plant) may be a "full sun" plant, if you have been keeping it in less than full sun conditions for a period of months, you can't just plop it out into full sun on the first sunny day and leave it there.

You have to kind of "step" it out. Maybe first put it out on the porch in the bright semi shade for a week, then out into dappled sun under a tree for a week, then in half day morning sun, then gradually out to full sun.

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

Indoors as much sun as possible, outdoors it depends on your zone. In Phoenix, Las Vegas and Palm Springs they need some shade. Here in Oregon they need full sun outdoors.

As already advised, make transitions from indoors to out, slowly.

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

True, buyorsell. I could see a gardenia toasting in those places. I've lived in Palm Springs, toasty dry place. I think that;s the difference: available humidity. Here in Florida, many plants that are labeled by the growers as full sun are really at best case half-day sun or morning sun/noontime shade/ afternoon sun kinda plants, as they will melt in the hottest parts of the day. Gardenias are pretty tough here though, they stand up well to 12+ hours of sun if acclimated. But its really humid here too.

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

Thanks alot bihai , and buyorsell, I really appreciate your input. I will definately graduate my plants to the outdoors as soon as it gets warm, and see what happens. What is the earliest you can set a Gardenia Plant outdoors up here in New England? When the temps stay ubove a certain degree at night? What would that degree be?

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

Yes, I'm sure humidity has a lot to do with it. I lived in Phoenix for fifteen years and when I was in Miami stopping off on way to Caribbean honeymoon I thought the humidity was going to kill me. Stepped outside the airport to look at some plants. Toured the South in August as a teen too. We were miserable. The locals did not understand how kids from Phoenix were so wilted but the humidity was just awful. You sure can grow plants though.....

Sissysimone, don't put them out if there is still frost at night. Maybe wait until your nurseries start selling tomatoes and peppers.

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

Sissy, a gardenia can go out when days are 55+ and nights no lower than 40-45, preferably 45.
Don't forget, start setting in a shady spot..indirect sun areas are brighter than sunny spots inside our homes. It's best setting out plants on shady days, early morning, or night..
Mine go out from late Apr/early May till late Oct/early Nov..Toni

RE: Gardenias require full sun?

My Gardenias grow so much better in the shade of my Walnut tree. Found that the afternoon sun, i much to hard on them, so in my case, indirect sun works best.

RE: Gardenias require full sun?


I'm completely re-doing my landscape with patio, paths and landscaping. I have a sentimental love for gardenias. My mother had them planted at our vacation home in NC in the front and back. The center of the house was all glass and screened. The smell of the gardenias would fill the house throughout the day. My mother has passed away some years back, but my current home is very similar in design. I'd love to capture that moment of smelling gardenias in the evening while sitting around with family and friends. Can gardenias thrive in Massachusetts? What special care is required? We have total Southern exposure. Lots of lot...and lots of cold in the winter. Thanks!

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