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Gardenia is an evergreen shrub, typically hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11, that’s beloved for intoxicatingly fragrant, creamy white flowers and thick, glossy leaves. Thanks to smart breeding, some newer varieties are known to be hardy to Zone 7 or even Zone 6.

Named for Alexander Garden, a Scottish physician and botanist who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, in the late 1700s, the gardenia is actually native to China and Japan. The bushy plants can reach 8 feet tall, but some varieties are shorter in stature. Long-lasting blooms appear mostly in spring and summer, though some varieties bloom again in fall. No matter the season, if you have gardenias in your garden, passersby will be sure to smell them well before they see them.




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