Double Mint GardeniaGardenia jasminoides ‘Double Mint' (PP# 23,507)
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The Double Mint Gardenia is a rounded evergreen shrub growing to 3 feet tall and wide. It has glossy dark-green foliage that stays that way even through the winter months, and large double white flowers that appear all spring and again in the fall. They have the delicious fragrance of top perfumes, and this attractive bush is perfect for all your garden beds. In the warmest zones it can be grown in pots and planters all year round.
Fully cold-resistant in zone 7, the Double Mint Gardenia grows best with morning sun and afternoon shade. The best soil is always moist, but well-drained, and acidic, and rich with organic material. Mulch in spring to conserve moisture and keep evenly damp, without flooding or dryness. Trim if needed immediately after the spring blooming, and not later in the year. Healthy plants that are fed, watered and in good soil are unlikely to be affected by pests or diseases, and deer don’t normally it this plant.
Nothing beats lustrous dark green foliage in the garden, especially if it stays that way all year round. If we could add gorgeous pure-white blossoms that are richly scented, things would be perfect. Gardenias have those lovely leaves, and the perfumed blossoms too, but you might be thinking that gardenias are simply houseplants, and also difficult to grow. Forget that idea, because these shrubs are much happier out in the garden, where they will enjoy the natural seasons. Add in the ability to flower not just in spring and early summer, but in fall as well, and put those lovely double flowers on a rounded, compact bush and you have a real winner. That’s exactly what you get with the Double Mint Gardenia. Gorgeous blooms and compact shape in the nearest thing to the perfect shrub you have ever seen.
The Double Mint Gardenia is a rounded evergreen shrub, growing no more than 3 feet tall and wide, with dense branching and a solid, bushy form. The leaves are beautifully glossy and a rich, dark emerald green – and they stay that way all year round, with none of the winter yellowing that so many gardenias show. The oval leaves are between 1½ and 2 inches long, and about ¾ of an inch wide. They have a smooth touch and a slightly leathery texture – tough leaves that won’t burn easily or drop, so your bush stays healthy-looking.
This bush blooms profusely all through May and June, making a wonderful show. Then in fall the first buds that develop open, making a great second blooming, and the later buds become dormant, to open the following spring. The blossoms are a full 2 inches across, made up of as many as 25 petals, tightly arranged into a gorgeous fully-double bloom – just like the best florist’s gardenias. They are pure white when they open, gradually turning darker shades of cream to creamy-yellow over several days. They release the wonderful sweet smell of gardenias, that everyone loves, which drifts across your garden. The spent blooms drop neatly, leaving the bush clean and always attractive.
The size and form of this shrub makes it ideal for growing in shrub beds, alone or in groups. Use it as a rounded accent at the corners, or place it beside a path, where its fragrance and beauty can be enjoyed close up. Plant it beneath a window to let the fragrance drift indoors, or grow it beside a door. As it grows in similar conditions, it is perfect to combine with azaleas and camellias. In zones 8 and 9 it is perfect in planters and pots, always looking lovely on your patio or porch.
The Double Mint Gardenia has good winter hardiness, without leaf drop or yellowing, all through zone 7. It also takes the heat of warmer zones, all the way into Texas northern Florida.
The best light exposure for the Double Mint Gardenia is morning sun and afternoon shade. In zone 7 it would also grow in full sun, if the soil is not too dry. It will grow in light full shade as well, such as from deciduous trees, or on the north side of your home. The ideal soil is moist but well-drained and acidic, with lime-free organic materials added when you prepare the bed, and as mulch. For planters use potting soil for acid-loving plants.
The key to success with gardenias is even watering – not too wet and not too dry. Feed regularly with fertilizer for camellias and rhododendrons. If you do see any seed pods developing, snip them off, but regular dead-heading is not needed. The natural compact form means no particular need to trim, but if you do want to keep your plants super-neat, trim as soon as the spring flowering is over. Later trimming will remove flower buds, reducing both the fall blooms and those for next spring. If the soil is suitable and you keep your plants moist and fed then pests or diseases will rarely be seen – and deer don’t eat gardenias.
The gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides, is found growing naturally through Asia, from India to Vietnam and into Southern China, Japan and Korea. It has been grown in gardens of the South and Texas for a long time. Wild plants have single blooms, but forms with double flowers are the most popular. Back in the 1980s Charles J. Hayes, who lived in North Carolina, made a break-through when he found a seedling gardenia that was much more cold-hardy, sun-resistant and very suitable for garden growing. It was named ‘Chuck Hayes’. Around 2010 Josh Kardos and Michael Dirr, horticulturists at the University of Georgia, collected seed from plants of ‘Chuck Hayes’, looking for repeat-blooming plants. They succeeded, and one of the seedlings they grew not only bloomed in fall, but it didn’t yellow at all over winter – a big improvement. They patented their plant in 2013 with the name ‘Double Mint’, and it has been released by Bailey Nurseries under their First Editions® brand of top-quality new plants.
When the well-known plant expert Michael Dirr is involved in a new plant, you can be sure it has been carefully tested, and really is a significant improvement over older varieties. That’s why we are confident you will love the Double Mint Gardenia. Top-quality new plants sell out fast, so order now while we can still satisfy your order.