Gardenias are a standard in traditional Southern gardens, beloved for their captivating fragrance and deep green foliage. Now, Southern Living has introduced gardenias with improvements that bring this cherished nostalgic plant into the modern age. Whether your gardening style is classic elegance or modern-chic, Southern Living Gardenias will add grace and charm to your garden.
Pair your favorite gardenia with these companion plants.
Vintage Beauties: Gardenias + Hydrangeas
The deep green foliage and white blooms of gardenias like the daisy-bloomed ScentAmazing™ Gardenia or double bloomed Jubilation™ Gardenia are perfect for pairing. To establish a classic look, turn to old-fashioned standards as planting companions. Hydrangeas of any type make exceptional partners with their large, sculpted leaves and buoyant blooms. For a romantic white garden, try planting with Tara™ Hydrangea, a compact oakleaf hydrangea, or White Wedding® Hydrangea with its pillowy white blooms held aloft on sturdy stems. Dear Dolores™ Hydrangea is a slightly smaller option that will bloom blue in acidic soil.
Cottage Chic: Gardenias + Camellias
Camellia is another classic counterpart to gardenia, and the new uniquely vertical-growing Diamond Spire® Gardenia is a stunning complement to Southern Living Camellias. Camellias bloom late in the fall as cold temperatures halt gardenia flower production, thus carrying the bloom season into the winter months. Try a variety such as October Magic® Bride™ Camellia to continue the look of an all-white garden. For a touch of color among the fading winter landscape, October Magic® Pink Perplexion™ Camellia adds soft pink blooms that will warm your soul.
Color Complements: Gardenias + Perennials
In this layered plant combination around a darling garden shed or playhouse, the compact size of ScentAmazing™ Gardenia places these beauties toward the center of a planting, where they can be accented by a colorful ground layer of foliage or flowers. For a traditional look, the silvery-purple foliage of ‘Twilight’ Heucherella adds elegance and drama to the planting. This duo also works well in a container.
A flowering ground cover is a less traditional companion planting for gardenias, but just as effective. Plant a floral carpet of heat-loving blooms like the ‘Kudo Pink’ Scabiosa shown in the plan below; other great perennials include lantana, gerbera daisies or lavender.
Color Contrasts: Gardenias + Salvias
For a pairing attractive to pollinators and people, try Southern Living Salvias with your gardenias. With a compact habit and exceptional flower-power, Saucy™ Wine adds constant color in a tidy package. The blooms complement Southern Living Gardenias without disrupting the elegance of the planting. Use colorful accents sparingly so as not to detract from gardenia’s star performance.
When selecting planting companions for gardenia pay close attention to the growing requirements of each plant. Choose plants that thrive in similar light, water and soil conditions. Gardenia does not tolerate root competition. Allow plenty of space between gardenias and neighboring shrubs, and select groundcovers with shallow root systems.