Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’, also known as Cape Jasmine, is a medium-sized evergreen shrub with thick, dense, dark green leaves and fragrant, pure white double flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. As the name implies, it is more frost-hardy than other cultivars, which means it usually won’t suffer damage to its blooms from late-spring frosts. It grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 11.
Gardenias have shallow roots that do not do well with obstruction, so it is best to plant within landscapes that will not promote root disturbance. Gardenia ‘Frostproof’ should be pruned back in the dormancy period to promote branching and compact growth. Gardenias prefer to live in acidic, well-draining soil, and thrive on bright sunlight, either direct or indirect depending on heat. In especially hot climates, their leaves may scorch and their flower buds may fall off, so planting with access to morning sun and afternoon shade is best.
Gardenias make great containerized plants, but are ideally planted near decks, walkways, patios, and gardens so that their sweet fragrance can be enjoyed. They can be planted on their own as small shrubs, or planted in clusters or hedges. They are deer resistant, attract pollinators, and make great cut flowers.
Native Origin: China
Cape Jasmine, Common Gardenia, Gardenia Augusta, Gardenia Florida, Gardenia Grandiflora
Hardy Range: 7 – 11
Mature Height: 5 – 5.5’
Mature Spread: 3 – 4’
Growth Rate: slow/moderate
Gardenia ‘Frostproof’ can be identified by its pinwheel or spiral-looking flower buds, and its white, fragrant double flowers, which are about 2 to 3 inches each. The leaves of the Gardenia jasminoides are dark green and glossy, with impressed leaves that grow opposite each other, whorled at the branch tips. They attract pollinators and butterflies.
Soil: well-draining soil
Exposure: full/partial sun