The Complete Guide for Miniature Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’) Care

The Miniature Gardenia, otherwise known as the Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ or Cape Jasmine ‘Radicans’, Radicans Cape Jasmine, Cape Jessamine ‘Radicans’, Miniature Gardenia, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its high maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Miniature Gardenia Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Miniature Gardenia are the following:

  • Water: The Miniature Gardenia prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Miniature Gardenia in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Miniature Gardenia is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Miniature Gardenia belongs to the Rubiaceae family, the genus Gardenia and the species Jasminoides, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ (gar-DEEN-ee-uh jas-min-NOY-deez RAH-di-kanz).

As with other Gardenia’s, the Miniature Gardenia is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’  is native to Japan and Southern China.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Miniature Gardenia is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 7 – 12 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 7b, 8a, 8b and the ideal climate zone is between 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Miniature Gardenia is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Miniature Gardenia are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ can grow up to 6″ – 1′ (15cm – 30cm) in 6″ – 1′ (15cm – 30cm) and 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm). 

These dimensions make the Miniature Gardenia a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 36″ (90cm) free so the Miniature Gardenia can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Miniature Gardenia is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Miniature Gardenia in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Miniature Gardenia is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Miniature Gardenia prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Miniature Gardenia requires soil with high organic matter, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Miniature Gardenia requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ in from little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy), to full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Miniature Gardenia will be present year round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), and during the summer (early).


You can expect your Miniature Gardenia to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its fragrant and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Miniature Gardenia produces some beautiful white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Miniature Gardenia have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite and whorled organization in its leaves. You can expect the leaves from your Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Miniature Gardenia is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Miniature Gardenia? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Radicans’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage, asian/zen and tropical gardens of all types. 

In particular, the Miniature Gardenia’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, beds and borders, ground covers, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a specimen, houseplant, hedge, ground cover, cutting garden, container, border, or a woodland garden.


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Miniature Gardenia, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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