Will Gardenia Grow In Shade? What You Need To Know About Gardenia’s Sunlight Requirement

Gardenias are lovely houseplants. They are tough to grow, require proper maintenance and survive in a wide range of conditions. However, if you live in a location that receives a lot of shade, gets lots of shade, or doesn’t have many hours of sunshine, Gardenias may not be the best choice for you. Find out more about it in this article.

white gardenia

What are the Sunlight Requirements for Gardenias?

Gardenia needs bright but indirect sunlight. The plants will grow and flower best if grown as a container for about two years indoors before planting outdoors in full sun. Over time, this so-called “dip” method of growing has become the most common practice. It’s when gardeners realized how happy their Gardenias visibly were with indoor conditions. In a direct position in the sun, Gardenias bask and grow too much with strong exposure to excess UV light. They, therefore, try to develop themselves mainly under fences or into hiding places where they can deduce that less sunlight is emitted from them (e.g., at window recesses). Gardens in full sun are not recommended for this reason because their leaves get scorched by the midday heat of said sunlight.

Will Gardenia Grow in Full Shade?

You may find that many people claim Gardenias can grow in full shade. However, this is not the case unless it has a very satisfactory root system and is placed at the ideal spot where needed to draw max benefits from light exposure. Gardenia prefers partial or filtered sunlight before full sun – with the best results grown indoors in pots for about 2-3 years. It will also do well indoors on basement windowsills in the Northern states.

closed up gardenia in museam garden

What Happens if Gardenias Don’t Get Enough Sunlight?

If Gardenias don’t get enough sunlight, they will not flower and produce fruit. The sun’s rays are essential for the plant to convert the energy in the food it eats into usable nutrients. They will start to yellow and eventually die. The flowers will also become smaller and less fragrant. The Gardenia is a tropical plant that needs two to four hours of sun a day. This sunlight should be filtered through glass or an opening in the shade. The ideal location for the rose-like flowers on these plants can vary, so look around your house and make a note of where you think they would thrive best.

Light exposure may also affect their growth rate if placed under indoor lights with all shades drawn before forcing them outside, as well. Remove leaves that are wilting and browning. Once the clean foliage turns back to lush green, prune away dead or diseased flowers from existing Gardenia blooms. Lastly, give your plant a bright shade outdoors during cold winter months, so it doesn’t sunburn. For example, a dark basement window cover will keep them warm enough for a short time when temperatures dip down very low at night.

The white flower of Gardenia jasminoides in the dark green leaves.

How to Care for Gardenias in Shade

If there’s no available light during the rainy or winter season, consider artificial light. However, there are cons to using artificial lights. They are not very effective in a cool climate since their use generates excess heat.

Gardenias should be placed in an area with bright light during summer and low humidity or mist it several times per week for the best results. Sunlight has the ideal wavelength balance for plant growth and blooming. Even ordinary fluorescent lighting can produce stronger than normal growth at temperatures around 70° F (21° C). Another useful tip is to trim any sick leaves from visible plants. Remember tropical Plants require high light levels, despite the myth that some can live indoors or out. One fantastic advantage of their cooling nature is placing a Gardenia outside in the summer. If it ends up below freezing at night during December, it will not die. This greatly proves benefit as they can handle extreme weather.