En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 31, 2012

From: Southampton, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native gardenias in Southampton Ontario
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I purchased 3 gardenias this year for the garden. Now I'm told that I can't leave them out all year round here in mid/western Ontario. Is this true, and if so, how do I keep them over the winter in the house? Confused in Southampton Ontario Canada

ANSWER:

One of the first instructions we would like to give to gardeners is to make two trips to the nursery. The first one is to select plants you are interested in, write everything you can find on the label down and go home and search on the plant on the Internet. If it appears that plant will thrive without major intervention (such as building a greenhouse) then you can go back and buy it. If you are ordering from a catalog, you will at least not have to make 2 trips to the nursery; but you still need to turn away from the gorgeous pictures and glowing descriptions and research the plant objectively.

Gardenia is a genus of 143 species, native to Africa and southern Asia. In North America, it is considered a plant for the southeastern gardens of the United States. From the University of Rhode Island, here is a fact sheet on gardenias. The article mentions growing it in a pot in full sun (sunny window?) in the winter in colder areas or planting in a sheltered spot and wrapping it in the winter.

When we searched the Internet on "growing gardenias in Canada" we found this article from Top Tropicals on growing gardenias, that said their outside planting should only be in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10. This Atlas of Canada Plant Hardiness Map indicates that your location in Bruce County, on the shores of Lake Huron, is approximately 3B.

Since these are not plants native to North America, which is the center of interest for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, we really can't tell you what you should do with your (in-ground, we presume) plants. We do hope you plan ahead next time.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

10 year old Wisteria fails to bloom in Rockwall, TX.
May 15, 2013 - I love wisteria. I had four (4) wisteria plants professionally planted at least ten (10) years ago. These wisteria plants have NEVER bloomed. Why not?
view the full question and answer

Non-native bougainvillea from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Bougainvillea isn't a native, but since they are so prevalent here, I hope you can help. I have three, one established in-the-ground, which is pruned almost to the ground every winter; two new this y...
view the full question and answer

When (and whether) to plant non-native red-tip photinia in Austin
October 30, 2011 - With the current and forecast drought I'm wondering if the usual rules about when to plant might change. I'd like to plant red-tip photinia.
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center