Between their beautiful blooms and more than 140 species, it’s no wonder all the Gardenia varieties are so popular.
One particular cultivar of the well-loved Gardenia jasminoides (gar-DEEN-ya jaz-min-OY-deez) is ‘Veitchii, commonly known as the everblooming gardenia.
Some other common names include:
- Cape jasmine ‘Veitchii’
- Cape jessamine ‘Veitchii’
- Veitchii cape jasmine
- Veitchii gardenia
Originating in Japan and southern China, this perennial plant has been cultivated to be a heavy, reliable bloomer.
Fun Fact: Gardenia jasminoides is a member of the Rubiaceae family. While it’s not a type of jasmine, it’s often used to flavor jasmine green tea, making it an unexpected drink option in the coffee family.
Cape Jessamine ‘Veitchii’ Care
Size & Growth
Veitchii is a medium-sized, moderate-growing evergreen shrub that typically grows 4′ to 6′ feet tall and 3′ to 4′ feet wide.
The foliage is a dark, glossy green that makes it stand out, especially in full bloom.
Flowering and Fragrance
The single biggest draw of Veitchii gardenia is its blooms.
From May into November, luscious white flowers cover the plant.
The showy flowers complement a sweet fragrance, which is great for attracting both pollinators and human admirers.
Light & Temperature
Unlike many plants, gardenia care differs slightly depending on where you live.
The plant will grow well in USDA hardiness zones 8b to 11.
However, it has a very slight sensitivity to sunlight, so you will want to give it dappled or indirect bright light in southern zones but can leave it in full sunlight in northern zones.
It will also do well when placed to catch the morning or evening sun but have light shade from the hottest part of the day.
When grown as a container plant, you can put this species out during summer months as far north as zone 4a but must bring it inside as the temperature decreases.
When properly cared for, Veitchii will tolerate temperatures as low as 20° degrees Fahrenheit.
Indoors, Veitchii will need moderate humidity levels or frequent misting to thrive.
Placing a pebble tray or humidifier nearby are both good options for keeping the plant happy.
Watering and Feeding
Thoroughly water your Veitchii gardenia when the soil is dry to the touch at a depth of 1″ inch.
Cut back on watering during the winter, as the plant is dormant during these months.
Gardenias as a whole prefer light fertilization after the final frost and again six weeks later.
Aim for a quality Gardenia fertilizer that has a roughly 2-1-1 NPK ratio.
Most azalea fertilizer mixes work well. Consider supplementing or fertilizing using neem cakes (typically 4-1-2 NPK) to add fungicidal and insecticidal properties.
Avoid fertilizing in the fall, as this may make tender new shoots vulnerable to frost.
Soil & Transplanting
As with all gardenias, Veitchii prefers rich, well-drained soil.
Most general potting soils will work,
This plant tolerates neutral and acidic pH levels of 6.0 or under and will thrive when the soil is complemented with organic mulch.
Some good mulch options are a 2 to 3″ inch deep layer of compost, ground bar, or pine needles.
When growing in a pot, you should replace the soil annually in spring to check for root binding and ensure there’s not too much salt buildup.
Grooming And Maintenance
Aim to prune the plant once blooming has ended to remove any straggly branches.
You may also deadhead the flowers to encourage new blooms.
How To Propagate Veitchii Gardenia
Veitchii gardenias propagate easily through cuttings.
Choose softwood cuttings at least 5″ inches long from the end of a branch.
Trim away all leaves except the top two sets.
Dip the lower end of the cutting in root hormone and place in a pot of equal parts peat or potting soil and sand.
The cutting should be kept in a spot that provides bright, indirect sunlight with high local humidity and a steady temperature of around 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep the soil moist and test after 4 to 6 weeks for root growth by giving a gentle tug if planning to transplant to a more permanent home.
Cape Jessamine ‘Veitchii’ Pests or Diseases
Veitchii is deer-resistant, making it a wonderful choice for homes near natural woodland.
It is cold-sensitive, meaning it will tolerate brief drops in temperature but may be damaged or killed by the sustained cold.
The most common pests are Gardenia aphids, mealybugs, nematodes, and whiteflies.
Bud drop, root rot, and sooty mold are also common issues for Veitchii.
Read this article on Gardenia Pests And Diseases.
While you may enjoy a cup of tea made from your Veitchii, it should be noted that the plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and horses.
It contains both gardenoside and genioposide, which may cause diarrhea, hives, and mild vomiting if ingested.
Some humans with sensitive skin or allergies may also experience mild skin irritation when coming into contact with this plant.
Veitchii Cape Jasmine Uses
The flowers of this and other jasminoides cultivars are edible and often eaten pickles, raw, or in honey.
This plant and its sisters is used as a flavoring in jasmine green tea.
The heavy blooms and contrasting foliage make this a perfect plant for borders, flower gardens, patios, and porches.