Gardenia jasminoides is a beloved plant for the simple reason that few natural scents are as remarkable and memorable. If not for this spectacular appeal, few gardeners would try to grow high-maintenance gardenias vulnerable to insects and diseases.
Gardenias, which are similar in appearance to Ixora, are a popular gift plant and almost irresistible when in bloom, but they are notoriously difficult to grow in normal indoor conditions. Nevertheless, even a few months with a blooming gardenia in the house makes them a worthwhile addition to your collection. The basic species features glossy green leaves and waxy, highly fragrant white flowers. Native to China, this plant has been widely cultivated, so there are many cultivars available. In warmer climates, where gardenia is grown outdoors, many plants are sold grafted on a Gardenia thunbergia rootstock. The grafted plants tend to be more vigorous, with better, larger blooms, but they are even less cold tolerant than the basic species.