15 of the Best Gardenia Varieties for Your Garden

When it comes to gardenias, it’s often the fragrance that finds you first. Then, you follow your nose and find yourself beside a dark green shrub covered in daisy- or rose-like white blossoms.

For many of us, it’s love at first sight. Or scent.

That’s when the trouble begins – you want one. You have to have one of your own to add that incomparable scent to your garden or patio. But there are so. many. of. them. to choose from!

Visit any store that sells gardenias, and you’ll likely be greeted by dozens of hybrids and cultivars. It’s so hard to choose.

A horizontal close up of a white Hardy gardenia bloom against dark green foliage.

We link to vendors to help you find relevant products. If you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Well, this guide has your back. Coming up, we’ll talk about 15 different excellent options and provide some purchasing suggestions.

Whether you’re looking for something that will grow in a cold climate or a petite plant to put in a pot, there’s a gardenia in this guide to suit your needs.

Here are the types we’ll discuss:

If you’ve never cultivated gardenias before, you might want to start out by reading our growing guide. Then, come back here to learn about these options.

Small-flowered types are under about an inch in diameter, medium ones are between one and three inches, and large blossoms are over three inches across.

This isn’t an official classification, just how I group them and will refer to them in this guide.

Unless specified otherwise, these are best suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11.

1. August Beauty

At five feet tall and three feet wide, you know that G. jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ makes a maximum impact.

The large, double, heavily fragrant flowers will knock your socks off. And don’t go thinking based on the name that you’ll only be treated to the display in August.

The velvety flowers stick around for three full months, starting in late spring.

While the cut flowers are fantastic in arrangements, corsages, or floating in water, this bush has such a nice, rounded shape that you can just leave them in place for a picture-perfect display that’s nearly effortless.

A square product photo for August Beauty gardenia shrub.

‘August Beauty’

This beauty has been a favorite in southern gardens for years.

Join the club and grab a live ‘August Beauty’ gardenia in a two-quart, gallon, or three-gallon size in single or four packs at Fast Growing Trees.

For quart or #3 container sizes, visit Nature Hills Nursery.

2. Buttons

Big, brash blossoms tend to get all the attention, but the sweet little blooms on G. jasminoides ‘Buttons’ are as cute as, yep, a button.

Though the semi-double flowers are small at just two inches across, they smell every bit as strong as their larger counterparts.

When they cover the three-foot rounded shrub in the late spring through summer, you will be glad you opted to rejoice in the little things in life.

A square product photo of a Buttons gardenia shrub.


Whether you’re looking to create a border, plant in a container on a patio, or line a walkway, this is an excellent pick.

You can buy this gardenia in three-gallon containers at My Perfect Plants.

3. Crown Jewel

G. jasminoides ‘Crown Jewel’ is a cross between the perennial favorites ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ and ‘Chuck Hayes,’ and the result combines the best of both for a plant that will be the pièce de résistance of your garden.

Let’s start with its hardiness. ‘Crown Jewel’ can grow all the way north to Zone 6 and south as far as Zone 11, making it one of the most adaptable cultivars out there.

Then there are the flowers. The double, medium-sized, intensely fragrant blossoms appear twice a year, once on old wood in spring and again on new wood in summer.

It takes its size from ‘Kleim’s Hardy,’ with a three-foot height and four-foot spread.

A square product photo of a Crown Jewel gardenia shrub.

‘Crown Jewel’

Bred in 1998 by Philip Dark at his nursery in Siler City, North Carolina, and patented in 2009, ‘Crown Jewel’ was created with the goal of breeding a cold-hardy cultivar that also had showy double blossoms. Mission accomplished.

Visit Nature Hills Nursery to add this jewel to your garden crown.

4. Daisy

G. jasminoides ‘Daisy’ was named accordingly with medium-sized, flat, single blossoms that showcase five petals and a bright yellow center.

As the fragrant flowers age, they turn cream colored.

Growing up to four feet tall and five feet wide, this bush is covered in flowers from spring until mid-fall, and it has dark green, lanceolate leaves. It’s hardy in Zones 7 to 10.

A square product photo of a Daisy gardenia shrub.


As a reliable grower that is both tough and floriferous, ‘Daisy’ has served as the parent of many excellent cultivars. It’s one of the oldest cultivars in production.

Bring home this cheerful option from Fast Growing Trees.

5. Diamond Spire

Owner of Transcend Nursery in Independence, Louisiana, and Director of Plant Innovations and Plant Development Services, Inc., Robert Edward “Buddy” Lee is a well-respected breeder of azaleas and gardenias. He bred a real jewel with this one.

 G. jasminoides ‘Leefive,’ commonly sold under the name Diamond Spire™, isn’t like other gardenias. It sparkles with a unique columnar growth habit that just begs to be placed in a decorative container.

In Zones 7 to 10, this four-foot-tall, two-foot-wide shrub is covered in medium, single white blossoms from late spring through fall.

Even when the blossoms aren’t present – which isn’t very long – the foliage has a unique crinkly texture to it, adding visual interest.

A square product photo of the blooms on a Diamond Spire gardenia shrub.

Diamond Spire

Diamond Spire™ was discovered in 2010 and released to the market in 2020.

Visit Plants By Mail to find Diamond Spire™ gardenias available in two-and-a-half quart or two-gallon containers.

6. Everblooming

If you’re tired of gardenias that don’t bloom as reliably as you’d like, G. jasminoides ‘Veitchii’ is going to put a smile on your face.

It’s widely regarded as the most reliable bloomer of all the common cultivars.

Everblooming, as its name suggests, blooms reliably and abundantly from spring through fall with medium-sized double flowers that look like roses but smell like jasmine.

If you’re lucky, it might even flower straight through winter. It’s truly an ever-blooming gardenia.

A square product photo of an Everblooming gardenia shrub.


The shrub is compact and rounded, growing to four feet tall and three feet wide. If you like cutting the flowers to bring them indoors, this one is a good option.

Grab a live plant in a #5 container at Nature Hills Nursery, plant it, sit back, and watch the extended show.

7. Fool Proof

If you’re looking for a classic gardenia, look no further than G. x ‘Leesix,’ aka Fool Proof™.

Bred by Robert “Buddy” Edward Lee of Independence, Louisiana, this plant has all the classic characteristics of a gardenia.

Happy in Zones 7 to 10, it has large, double, heavily fragrant white flowers that appear in late spring and bloom sporadically through summer.

Fool Proof™ is disease-resistant, compact at four feet tall and three feet wide, and reliable without being demanding.

A square product photo of a Fool Proof gardenia shrub.

Fool Proof

It’s so easy to grow, a child could do it, which must be the reason it was given the name Fool Proof™. Lee discovered the plant in 2010, and it was released to the market in 2020.

You can find plants available at Nature Hills Nursery.

8. Frostproof

You probably already guessed from the name, but G. jasminoides ‘Frostproof’ isn’t daunted by the cold.

Hardy down to Zone 7a, the flower buds that emerge in the early spring won’t be killed off by a late frost.

Once the medium-sized, double blossoms open, you’ll be greeted by a sweet perfume that is most abundant during the first flush in early summer, followed by sporadic flowering throughout the rest of summer.

A square product photo of a Frost Proof gardenia shrub.


This shrub has an upright, bushy habit and stays fairly compact at just four feet tall and three feet wide.

Visit My Perfect Plants to ‘Frostproof’ your garden. They carry plants in one- and three-gallon containers in single, three-, or 10-packs.

Or head over to Nature Hills for a quart or #3 container.

9. Jubilation

Petite G. jasminoides ‘Leeone,’ commonly known as Jubilation™, grows to about four feet tall and wide at most, with a dense, rounded shape.

The leaves are lanceolate, setting it apart from many cultivars.

It blooms in early spring with masses of double, pure white blossoms with an intense fragrance. Jubilation™ tolerates heat and humidity, and is resistant to pests and fungal diseases, making it a popular option with southern growers.

A square product photo of a single bloom on a Jubilation gardenia shrub.


Part of the Southern Living Plant Collection, it was bred from open-pollinated ‘Daisy’ by Robert Edward Lee in 2000 in Independence, Louisiana, and patented in 2011.

You can nab a live plant in a two-and-a-half-quart, two-, or three-gallon container at Plants By Mail.

10. Kleim’s Hardy

Plant breeder and botanist Don Kleim of the Henderson Experimental Gardens in California discovered this gardenia and introduced it to the market, and since then, G. jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ has been wildly popular in gardens from Zones 7 to 11.

A square product photo of a Kleim's Hardy gardenia shrub.

‘Kleim’s Hardy’

The petite shrub grows to about two feet tall and wide and is covered in medium-sized, ivory flowers with five petals and golden stamens.

The first big flush of fragrant blossoms burst forth in late spring and then blooms appear sporadically throughout the summer.

Burpee carries small plants or you can grab a shrub in a gallon or three-gallon pot at Planting Tree.

11. Miami Supreme

G. jasminoides ‘Miami Supreme’ lives up to its name. The flowers are so large that they need their own category. Not just large, they are supremely large, growing up to six inches across.

The plant itself is large as well. It grows about six feet tall and equally wide.

A square product photo of a Miami Supreme gardenia shrub against a white background.

‘Miami Supreme’

The bloom period is a bit more brief than that of some cultivars, flowering from late spring to midsummer, but it’s worth the wait.

You might get a second flush in summer. The ivory flowers are double and extremely fragrant.

Nature Hills carries ‘Miami Supreme’ in a #3 container.

12. Pillow Talk

Proven Winners has a line of plants known as Color Choice, which are selected to be floriferous and easy to care for.

G. jasminoides ‘SMNGDUO,’ known as Pillow Talk ® in the commercial trade, is one of their gardenia offerings.

Bred by Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan, this gardenia was bred from unnamed parents in 2017 and refined and patented in 2022.

It was bred with the purpose of creating a low, mounding gardenia that would be covered in fragrant flowers, like a pillow of jasmine.

A square product photo of a Pillow Talk gardenia shrub.

‘Pillow Talk’

It’s also quite cold tolerant, hardy from Zone 7 to 10, with large, double blossoms that blanket the two-foot-tall, four-foot-wide shrub in ivory during the spring.

Snuggle up to ‘Pillow Talk’ by bringing one home from Burpee.

13. Radicans

She might look like a miniature white rose, but G. jasminoides ‘Radicans’ is all gardenia.

The tiny shrub grows to just a foot tall and a few feet wide, and sometimes a bit larger, but it will still fill your garden with fragrance when it’s draped from head to toe in heady, medium-sized double flowers.

A square product photo of a Radicans gardenia shrub.


It’s also tolerant of heat and drought, which means it would be equally happy in a container on your patio that may dry out quickly, or lining the walkway to your house.

Fast Growing Trees has plants available in both gallon and three-gallon containers.

Or you can pick up the variegated version (G. jasminoides ‘Radicans Variegata’), which has green leaves edged in cream, at Planting Tree.

14. ScentAmazing

A sister plant to the lovely Jubilation™, G. jasminoides ‘Leetwo’ was bred by the same Robert Edward Lee of Independence, Louisiana.

It must have been a banner year for him, as he bred this gardenia, commonly known as ScentAmazing™ in 2000 as well, also from ‘Daisy.’

He further refined the new cultivar and applied for a patent in 2014, which was granted in 2017.

The resulting gardenia is heat tolerant, has compact, dense growth, resists disease, and is intensely fragrant. It’s also cold-hardy enough to grow in Zones 7 through 10.

Now part of the Southern Living plant collection, this three-foot-tall and equally wide plant has a mounding habit that highlights the single ivory flowers with their cheerful yellow centers.

A square product photo of a many blooms on a ScentAmazing gardenia shrub.


It blooms with a large flush in late spring and reblooms throughout the summer.

And in case you were curious, there is a ‘Leethree’ and a ‘Leefour’ as well, also bred at the same time.

Head to Plants By Mail for a plant in a two-and-a-half-quart, two-, or three-gallon container.

15. Summer Snow

If you miss the pristine look of fresh snow covering your garden when the warm months roll around, G. jasminoides ‘BAB1183,’ commonly known as Summer Snow®, can recreate the magic with the added bonus of sweet-scented jasmine, thanks to its pure white, double blossoms.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Yes, I have snow in winter because I live in the definitely-gardenia-unfriendly Zone 6.” I hear you, and I’m telling you not to worry.

This is one of the few gardenias that will be perfectly fine in any USDA Hardiness Zone from 6 to 10.

You don’t sacrifice beauty for that hardiness, either. The flowers are large and persist throughout the summer.

Not only can it survive temperatures down to 0°F, but Summer Snow® is also drought tolerant and pest resistant.

A square product photo of a Summer Snow gardenia shrub.

Summer Snow

Bred by Douglas I. Torn at Buds and Blooms Nursery in 1993, he used a cutting of unknown parentage from a garden in Dania, Florida.

For the next few years, he refined it until it resembled the plant we enjoy today, which was awarded a patent in 2012.

If you’re wishing for snow in the warmer seasons, make your dreams come true by purchasing a live plant in a gallon-sized pot at Fast Growing Trees.

Why Choose Just One?

It can be difficult to choose from all the options out there. Hopefully this list helped you narrow things down.

A horizontal photo of a gardenia shrub with dark green glossy leaves and bright white flowers.

But you know what? My advice would be to pick two or three. That way, you don’t have to be choosy and you can test a few out for yourself!

Let us know which you end up with and how they work out for you in the comments.

Picking one is just the first step. Now that you’ve figured that out, there’s a lot more to learn about growing gardenias. Here are a few guides worth checking out next:

Photo of author
Kristine Lofgren is a writer, photographer, reader, and gardening lover from outside Portland, Oregon. She was raised in the Utah desert, and made her way to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two dogs in 2018. Her passion is focused these days on growing ornamental edibles, and foraging for food in the urban and suburban landscape.

Wait! We have more!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments