Gardenia, How to Winterize Outdoors
My gardenia died back last winter but slowly grew back bigger and more beautiful. Is there some way to leave plant in ground and protect from cold winter? I live in VA on the east coast. . .usually mild but the occasional cold snap.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Most gardenias cannot survive outside in areas that drop below 15 F in the winter. If you live in an area that gets colder than this in the winter, you will need to bring them in. If you need to bring it in, dig the shrub up from the ground with the rootball being as wide as the widest part of the canopy. I would trim back the plant at this time too, to help it adjust to a smaller root system. Then acclimate it for bringing in the house. This article will help:
Since you stated that you have fairly mild winters with the occasional cold snap, mulching and wrapping the plant in the winter should be enough to help protect it against the cold.