Q. How can I prune my potted gardenias?

Pruning gardenias My gardenia (in a 20” diameter container) is 50 years old and looks like a large very dense bush. How to best to prune? I can forward a photo if necessary.Thanks very much for any suggestions.


Hi Wendy,


I assume that your gardenia plant is very over grown by now. If so, you will probably want to do some drastic pruning.


Cut back about a third of the branches down to the trunk. Prune the remaining branches lightly to shape the plant. Make a cut at a 45 degree angle close to a side branch or bud.  


Repeat this every year for the next two years. Any dead wood should also be removed. After that prune it lightly to keep the shape.  


A hand-held pruner should be suitable unless the branches are very thick in which case you will want to use a lopper. It is a good idea to sterilize the blades of the pruner with rubbing alcohol first.  


The best time to prune is immediately after flowering.


Good luck with your gardenia.


NYBG Plant Information Service


  • Last Updated Aug 06, 2018
  • Views 59
  • Answered By Ken Lloyd

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