The Gardenia is a genus comprising many species, most of which are natives of Asia. All are evergreen small shrubs with sweet-scented white or yellow flowers, the single varieties having funnel-shaped flowers. The double-flowering varieties are, however, the most desirable, some of them being as double as a Camellia and bearing flowers which are four inches in diameter.
The Gardenias should be planted in every garden, however small, as they form compact little bushes while their beautiful fragrant white flowers make a handsome decoration. The climate of Oakland and of the South as far as San Diego suits them admirably. They delight in a warm sheltered situation and plenty of water at the roots during Summer. Gardenia Fortuni and Gardenia radicans major are the varieties best suited to the conditions of California. Any good light loam, if well drained, will suffice them for soil purposes.
Propagate by cuttings of half-ripe wood placed in a cold frame, in August, in soil composed of half well-decomposed leaf-mold and half silver-sand. After putting in the cuttings, the frame should, for two weeks, be shaded during sunshine.