People don’t always believe it when they hear that there are gardenias that are hardy to zone 7. It’s true, extremely fragrant and pretty, they can withstand temperatures below 10 F.
The perfume of the simple flowers would surely fill the air of the shaded, sheltered type of space these small evergreen shrubs prefer. The single cream-colored blossoms, about 2 inches wide, turn into ribbed, reddish fruits. They seem to bloom continously throughout the summer. The shrub grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Prefers partial shade, which helps the white flowers last longer with out discoloring. The only drawback to this sweet plant is the petals do turn brown before falling, and the branches are a bit brittle.
Another hardy cultivar, ‘White Gem’, grows just 1 to 2 feet tall.