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Gardenias: Fragrant flowers not the only pretty part of this plant

This flowering and fragrant plant is the Scentsation Gardenia by Southern Living Plant Collection.
This flowering and fragrant plant is the Scentsation Gardenia by Southern Living Plant Collection.
Courtesy of Constance K. Morris Photography

Before your gardenia plant blooms and perfumes the air with the white fragrant blossoms that made you plant it in the first place, you will see deep-green foliage attached to stems which start to protrude upwards in advance of bloom time. These vivid green parts of the fragrant plant can give you an indicator of the plant's health overall, and help you to gauge how many blossoms to expect during the growing season. But the green foliage is quite beautiful all on its own, too.

The green leaves and stalk of a gardenia plant prior to bloom.
Courtesy of Constance K. Morris Photography

If you are planting flowers in an effort to add fragrance and romance to your healthy and beautiful garden, the Valley News suggested on August 15 that you consider planting gardenias and other similar fragrant flowers and vines around the home deck or right outside a window, so you can enjoy their fragrant blooms even more.

But while you may want the continuous bloom of white from this particular flowering plant to populate your home garden, don't neglect to appreciate the various shades of green this shrub will offer as well, or the interesting way the stems protrude upwards before delivering the bountiful blooms they produce.

Moist and rich well-drained soil in addition to full or partial sun can result in the plant producing an abundance of evergreen leaves and white fragrant blossoms from mid-spring through summer. But don't fret if you did not plant a gardenia to enjoy this year, as you still have the chance to plant one this fall, so they can add to the beauty of your garden next year.

For large and lush gardenias check out the Jubilation Gardenia from the Southern Living Plant Collection, or if you prefer smaller blooms with even more powerful fragrance they also offer the Scentsation Gardenia, which is featured in the slideshow above thanks to photographer Constance K. Morris.