New gardenia is the super-scented plant you need for unrivaled fragrance, and it will thrive when the weather turns colder

‘Frostproof’ is a super-scented evergreen, and is happier in colder winters than other varieties

Gardenia 'Frost Proof' with white flowers and green foliage
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So many of us yearn to grow gardenias – the fragrance of their shining white flowers is just so tempting and makes them wonderful plants to make your patio smell nice. But frost often damages the flowers and most varieties will not take winters colder than US hardiness zone 8. ‘Frostproof’ is the exception.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frostproof’ is a bushy, evergreen shrub with shining dark green leaves that make the ideal background to show off the double, waxy white flowers. The individual flowers open in late spring and early summer, with a scattering of more flowers later in summer, and are up to 3in across. They develop rich, creamy tones as they mature.

With twice as many petals as most gardenias, the individual flowers last longer creating a more prolific display. Plus, the flowers really are what the name says - frost proof - so will not be damaged by any late frosts. Of course, there’s also that rich jasmine scent. It’s like the popular ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ variety - but with the added bonus of double flowers.

Gardenia 'Frostproof' shrub outside with white flowers

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How to grow Gardenia ‘Frostproof’ 

Gardenia ‘Frostproof’ prefers sunshine for all or most of the day, and will take full sun in warmer regions better than most gardenias. It flowers well in dry soils, but dislikes wet conditions. Pruning is usually unnecessary, except perhaps to balance the shape of the plant. Mulch with bark or another weed-free organic material in fall.

You can grow gardenia ‘Frostproof’ as an entrance plant, a foundation plant, and at the front of sunny borders. In gardens colder than zone 7, grow in a container and move the plant into a sun room or porch for the winter.

Plant as soon as you get it home, so it will be established before the winter set in.

  • Deer resistant Yes
  • Hardiness USDA zones 7-10
  • Size 5ft high, 4ft wide

Also try:

Take a look at the many other gardenia varieties available from Perfect Plants.

Supplier info

Perfect Plants is a family run nursery based in North Florida that has been supplying plants to landscapers and garden centers for more than 40 years. It began selling direct to gardeners by mail order just over ten years ago.

Heat-loving gardenias are often thought of as tricky plants to keep happy, so knowing you have a variety that can tolerate a cooler setting might boost your chances of success. You can find out more about when to prune and how to fertilize gardenias with coffee grounds in our expert guides.

Graham Rice
Freelance writer

Graham Rice is a garden writer who has won awards for his work online, and in books and magazines, on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a member of a number of Royal Horticultural Society committees and the recipient of the 2021 Garden Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. He gardened in Pennsylvania for 20 years, but has recently returned to his native England.