How Do You Prune Gardenia Bushes?

prune-gardenia-bushes Credit: Lars Hammar/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Gardenia bushes add soft white flowers and deep green leaves to gardens and landscapes. According to SFGate, they add both beauty and fragrance to the landscape. Regular trimming encourages new growth and a healthy plant.

  1. Use proper timing

    Trim gardenias after their flowers fall but before the new flower buds set for the next year. This window only lasts a few weeks. If you wait too long to trim, the number of blooms on the tree are reduced.

  2. Sanitize the pruning tools

    Mix equal portions of alcohol and water. Wipe all the tools you use to prune the plants to prevent transferring disease. Use lopping shears for branches less than 1.5 inches in diameter and a thin pruning saw for larger ones.

  3. Remove old branches

    Remove at least half of the older growth at the trunk of the bush to encourage new growth. Trim the remaining old growth to the height you want the bush to be. Cut just before a leaf node to encourage the formation of new branches.

  4. Trim new growth

    Limit trimming of new branches to no more than half of their length. Trim these branches above the leaf node as well.

  5. Remove dead wood

    Cut any dead branches back to the trunk of the bush. Trim any broken branches back to above the node.