Plant Encyclopedia

Sweet Star® Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides

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Sweet Star Gardenia with white flowers

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Blooming into late summer and early fall, Sweet Star® Gardenia is covered in single flowers starting early May followed by excellent rebloom throughout summer. As flowers fade, they are followed by pretty orange fruit in fall. Sweet Star® makes up quickly in production, is nicely compact and rounded in the landscape, and has glossy green leaves that serve as a lovely backdrop to the crisp white flowers. Reliably cold hardy in Zone 7, this variety extends the typical range for this fragrant garden favorite. Bred by Plant Introductions, Inc.

Plant Attributes

The Sweet Star® Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Sweet Star') is a captivating evergreen shrub that is prized for its intoxicating fragrance, lush foliage, and stunning blooms. This versatile plant is an excellent addition to any garden, whether grown as a specimen or incorporated into a mixed border. With its elegant and sophisticated appearance, the Sweet Star® Gardenia is sure to become the focal point of any outdoor space.

One of the most attractive attributes of the Sweet Star® Gardenia is its abundant, large, double blooms that can reach up to 3 inches in diameter. The flowers are a pristine white with a velvety texture and exude an enchanting, sweet fragrance that can fill the air from late spring to early summer, attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The blooms make excellent cut flowers, adding a touch of elegance and a pleasant aroma to any indoor space.

The Sweet Star® Gardenia's glossy, dark green leaves provide an attractive contrast to the brilliant white flowers. The plant's dense, compact growth habit makes it a popular choice for hedges, borders, or even container planting. This adaptable shrub can reach a mature height of 3 to 4 feet with a similar spread, making it suitable for small gardens or urban landscapes. The plant's evergreen nature ensures year-round visual interest.

To maintain the Sweet Star® Gardenia's health and vigor, it is essential to provide it with the appropriate growing conditions. This plant thrives in well-draining, fertile, acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. It prefers dappled shade or partial sun, as full sun exposure can scorch the leaves and inhibit blooming. Regular watering is necessary to keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. To encourage optimal growth and flowering, feed the plant with a slow-release, acid-forming fertilizer in early spring and mid-summer.

In conclusion, the Sweet Star® Gardenia is a valuable addition to any garden, with its enticing fragrance, spectacular flowers, and vibrant foliage. With proper care and attention, this remarkable plant will thrive and become a cherished part of your outdoor space, providing beauty and enjoyment for years to come.

Landscape Use

The Sweet Star® Gardenia offers numerous landscaping uses, making it a versatile and attractive addition to a variety of garden designs. Here are some of the most common ways to incorporate this stunning plant into your landscape:

  1. Foundation planting: The compact size and evergreen nature of the Sweet Star® Gardenia make it an ideal choice for foundation planting around your home. Its vibrant foliage can soften the appearance of building edges and provide year-round visual interest.
  2. Border plant: The Sweet Star® Gardenia can be used as a border plant along pathways, garden beds, or property lines. Its lush, dark green foliage creates a stunning contrast with flowering plants or other foliage colors, while its fragrant blooms add an additional layer of sensory delight.
  3. Hedge or screen: Planting several Sweet Star® Gardenias close together can create a dense, attractive hedge or privacy screen. Its compact growth habit ensures a neat and tidy appearance, while its evergreen leaves provide year-round coverage.
  4. Specimen plant: The striking beauty of the Sweet Star® Gardenia makes it a perfect specimen plant in a prominent area of the garden. Its fragrant flowers and glossy foliage create a focal point that draws attention and admiration.
  5. Container gardening: The Sweet Star® Gardenia can be successfully grown in containers, making it suitable for patios, balconies, or small outdoor spaces. Ensure proper drainage and regular watering to maintain the plant's health and vigor.
  6. Mixed shrub borders: Combining the Sweet Star® Gardenia with other evergreen or deciduous shrubs can create a dynamic and visually engaging mixed shrub border. The plant's white flowers and dark green leaves will complement a variety of foliage and bloom colors.
  7. Woodland or shade gardens: The Sweet Star® Gardenia's preference for dappled shade or partial sun makes it a fitting choice for woodland or shade gardens, where it can thrive under the canopy of larger trees or among other shade-loving plants.
  8. Cut flower gardens: The Sweet Star® Gardenia's blooms make exquisite cut flowers, adding elegance and fragrance to indoor arrangements. Incorporating this plant into a cut flower garden can provide a steady supply of beautiful, fragrant blossoms throughout the blooming season.

Planting & Care

To ensure the healthy growth and development of your Sweet Star® Gardenia, it is crucial to provide appropriate planting and care. Follow these guidelines to help your plant thrive:

  1. Site selection: Choose a location that receives dappled shade or partial sun, as the Sweet Star® Gardenia can suffer leaf scorch and reduced blooming in full sun exposure. The plant prefers shelter from strong winds and temperature extremes.
  2. Soil preparation: The Sweet Star® Gardenia thrives in well-draining, fertile, acidic soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5. Amend the planting area with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage. If your soil is alkaline, consider adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate to lower the pH.
  3. Planting: Dig a hole twice the width and the same depth as the root ball. Gently remove the plant from its container, taking care not to damage the roots. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil. Backfill with the amended soil, firming it gently around the plant to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly to help the plant settle.
  4. Watering: Maintain consistently moist soil around the Sweet Star® Gardenia, especially during the first year after planting. Avoid overwatering or allowing the plant to sit in water, as this can lead to root rot. Monitor the soil moisture regularly and adjust your watering schedule as needed.
  5. Fertilizing: Feed the Sweet Star® Gardenia with a slow-release, acid-forming fertilizer, such as one formulated for azaleas or camellias, in early spring and mid-summer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct application rate.
  6. Mulching: Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as pine needles, shredded bark, or compost, around the base of the plant to help conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the stem to prevent rot and pest issues.
  7. Pruning: Prune the Sweet Star® Gardenia lightly after flowering to maintain its shape and encourage branching. Remove any dead, damaged, or crossing branches, as well as spent flowers, to promote new growth and maintain the plant's overall health.
  8. Pest and disease control: Monitor your Sweet Star® Gardenia for common pests such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Keep an eye out for diseases like root rot and leaf spot, and address them with appropriate cultural practices or fungicides as needed.

Additional Information

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Sweet Star® Gardenia


Plant Features

  • Height: 3-5'
  • Width: 4-5'
  • Hardiness Zone: 7-9
  • Heat Zone: 9
  • Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Habit" Compact, Mounded

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