When Can I Cut Back Gardenia?

October 20, 2016 | By | Comments (4)
gardenia phixr When Can I Cut Back Gardenia?

Photo: Steve Bender

Faithful reader, Andy, asks: “Our gardenia bushes have grown out of control and I want to prune them back. What’s the best time of year to do this?”

Grumpy’s sure-fire, no messing around, always guaranteed correct answer: Gardenia blooms on new growth, so you can prune it now, this winter, or early spring without eliminating the blooms. Cut it back as far as you need to. The only time you don’t want to prune is when it’s setting flower buds or you’ll cut off all the flowers. These buds form at the ends of the stems and are quite large and obvious.

What about cutting back other shrubs now? Well, if it’s a non-flowering or summer-flowering shrub, it’s OK. However, if it blooms in spring (like azalea, forsythia, spirea, lilac, rhododendron, quince, viburnum, loropetalum, etc.) and you cut it back now, you’ll cut off all the flower buds. Wait to prune until after it blooms.



  1. Judith Bennett

    Hmm. Then when do I prune my Camellias please?

    October 25, 2016 at 4:40 pm
  2. Jbjb

    I disagree. Gardenias should be pruned right after blooming, usually in mid summer before new growth occurs. Prune liberally to shape. But not now (October) when any new growth will be frostbittem.

    October 22, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  3. Shirley

    My gardenia bush as well as my crype myrtles have black on them. We had a lot of rain in Aug and Sept, every day. What can I do?

    October 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm
  4. Susan

    My gardenia bush has stopped blooming what can I do??

    October 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm

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