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A picture of a Cape Jasmine

Cape Jasmine

Gardenia jasminoides

Also known as

Common Gardenia, Cape-Jessamine, Gardenia

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

11b

USDA zone

7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

2m

Max

2m

1m

Min

1m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Cape Jasmine

A photo of Cape Jasmine
A photo of Cape Jasmine
A photo of Cape Jasmine
A photo of Cape Jasmine

Cape Jasmine Overview

Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen, aesthetically pleasing shrub covered with fragrant white flowers during summer months. The Gardenia or Cape jasmine is a highly enjoyable addition to any subtropical or warm temperate garden. Not only is it an ornamental plant used in both the traditional medicinal and culinary applications, but the fruit is used as a yellow dye and the flowers are fragrant cut flowers. They make for beautiful specimen plants and also do well in containers. Native to the subtropical and tropical regions in Japan and southern China, this Gardenia ideally grows in moist but well-draining soils, rich in organic material and with an acidic pH. It grows well in full sun but during the warmer months, it needs some protection as the leaves might scorch or flower buds might drop. In cooler regions, they enjoy sunny spots but just ensure that roots are kept cool and moist with a thick layer of organic mulch.

Common problems with Cape Jasmine

Pests include whiteflies, mealybugs, scales, aphids and spider mites. Diseases include chlorosis, powdery mildew, leaf spots, dieback, anthracnose, and sooty mold.

How to harvest Cape Jasmine

Cut gardenia stems early in the morning or late in the evening, using sharp shears. Collect stems with flowers that are almost completely open.

How to propagate Cape Jasmine

Cuttings

Tender softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer. Immediately place cuttings in suitable rooting medium.

Seed

Seeds germinate best when sown fresh, shortly after their collection from right fruits and following about 24 hours of soaking in water. Seeds could take 4 weeks to 3 months to germinate.

Special features of Cape Jasmine

Hedge plant

It can be used as a hedge.

Pot plant

More commonly a container plant in conservatories and greenhouses in colder climates but it can be placed outside in warmer months.

Indoor plant

Grown indoors, these plants need bright light, moderate temperatures; cooler during dormancy, average to high humidity and well-drained, acidic soil. Water moderately, using room temperature water.

Attracts useful insects

Insects such as moths and honeybees.

Other uses of Cape Jasmine

Grown for their flowers and foliage.

Medicinal

Gardenia infused teas are used to detoxify the blood, relieve congestion and help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol. Externally, it is used for skin inflammation, sprains and has blood staunching properties.

Edible

In China, gardenia flowers are used to flavor herbal teas, often in combination with other herbs and flowers such as chrysanthemums. Fruits used as a less expensive substitute for the spice, Saffron.