Gardenia Chuck Hayes is hardy!

katyajini(z6 NYC)April 22, 2005

I planted two Gardenia Chuck Hayes last spring. They grew beautifully and bloomed a little. The scent was all that I could dream of.

Well I promised to report back how they over-wintered. I covered them with construction grade insulation (because that's all I could think off) and then slipped a garbage bag over each plant. Hey, they were still greeny and happy when I took the covers off and still very much alive!

These will grow in our area!

Mehitabel where are you? Are you listening?

Happy spring to everybody!


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There are 2 problems with your conclusion that it is hardy there:

1. You've only gotten it through one winter

2. You protected it.

Hardy is usually taken to mean overwintering indefinitely, without protection.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 11:46PM
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katyajini(z6 NYC)

Geeez Ron B!

I think the report was meant to indicate if we, here in zone 6, can grow a gardenia AT ALL in the ground outside.

On the other hand I didn't know that the technical definition of being hardy meant that the plant has to survive WITHOUT winter protection. Thanks.

One other experience of mine has been that if a plant makes it through the first winter it has much better chances the subsequent winters. But my experience is pretty limited.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 2:44PM
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Now you've done it! I've been thinking about a hardy gardenia as an indoor/outdoor plant, brought in only for a limited time during the winter, and you're leading the charge!

Are there any buds yet?

Ron B., you're point's well taken that one winter does not "hardy" make, but let's not trash Katyajini's accomplishment -- in my book, a winter survived is a summer with fragrance -- 'nuff said.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 8:54AM
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"Hardy" is an imprecise term - think of all the plants reported as "hardy with protection".

And while single-season survival gives limited information, it is also true in many cases that established plants overwinter more readily in succeeding years.

Thanks for the info and congratulations.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 9:17AM
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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

Congratulations, Katyajini!

Here near DC, Chuck has made it through three z7A winters (fairly mild). I spray it with Wiltpruf each fall, but that's the only protection.

Kleim's Hardy is another one to try (to me, it smells even better than Chuck)...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 2:21PM
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Congratulations, katyajini, and thanks for letting us know! Definitely wonderful news for those of us who get tired of hauling giant pots around and trying to maneuver around them all winter!!! Do you have it in a very protected spot? How much sun/shade?? Thanks, 'Mare

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 3:25PM
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skippy05(z7 PA)

I bought a Chuck Hayes last year also, finally planted in September or October.
Mine survived the winter also. And we had a bad snow storm.
It has grown but no buds yet. The man at the nursery told me not to expect flowers the 1st year....

When I found out it was going to snow I put a tomato cage
around it & wrapped a plastic trash bag around the cage.
After we had a foot or so of snow, I realized that was probably a dumd idea (with the plastic!)
Luckily Chuck survived i

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 5:11PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

If this one continues to get good reviews, next spring I will really need to get one.

I did look earlier this summer, but had no luck finding them available. I considered K. Hardy, and may have to do that one instead.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 12:20AM
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michaelk(z8 Oregon)

I finally found some Chuck Hayes Gardenias about 6 weeks ago
or so at the Al's Nursery new store grand opening day (a retail nursery with about 10.5 acres, including several
acres that are covered with auto-retractable roofs). It's
about a ten minute drive from me here in Beaverton, Oregon.

Anyway, so they've been in the ground for 4 or 5 weeks and
are about two feet above the ground in height (bought three of them).

They're planted in the same spots as my previous "regular"
non-hardy varieties where the longest one lasted 3
years (we had a really cold winter with a long cold spell
of about 20 degrees a couple years ago that took out the remainders).
Nursery I had bought previous ones "joked"
about how I was buying the Gardenias as annuals. :-(

pH measures a bit marginal (6) using the colored water vial sort
of hand-wavy measurement. I think 5.5 is supposed
to be the nominal, but I think 6 is close enough (is it?).
I had acidified it quite a bit several years ago, but it's
next to the house's concrete foundation that's rumored to
make things go in an alkaline direction over time. I put
a tiny bit of sulphur into it for long term acidification when I re-rototilled it up for these three (using a
Mantis tiller).

Got my fingers crossed both for the health of the plants
as well as hoping for mild winters (typically a high of 50
and permanent drizzling).

In the month or so they've been in the ground, they've
not minded too much. They've all started to generate
quite a lot of buds, of which they had none when

I attached a link to a photo of them about a week or
two ago. Still need to put down some stuff on the
surface, but was waiting for the first generation of
weeds to come up so I can get rid of them easier
before covering it up. I had tilled some grass and
weeds here (it was being saved for when I finally found
some Chuck Hayes plants!).

With fingers crossed in Oregon...


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 4:03PM
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So fess up. How many of you were enabled by me to try Chuck? Don't you just love the fragrance? And to think, a doubled gardena suitable for zone 6. What will they come up with next. Maybe a repeat blooming hydrangea? Oops, that one has already been done too.

Best wishes,

Molineux (the rose enabler)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:23PM
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skippy05(z7 PA)

I would just like to give an update, my Chuck Hayes is bigger than life & full of blooms! It is from 2004 & has survived our snow filled winters. I live in Philly. It was planted as a small plant (maybe a quart or gallon size?) back in 2004 & is currently taking over our yard!
I give it no special care, I think it likes to be left alone.
Once in awhile I put some used coffee grinds or some egg shells in the soil. I read they like milk?? So when the milk carton is empty I fill it up w/water & shake then give Chuck a drink. Guess he likes it!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:51PM
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do you think chuck hayes or kleims hardy would be suitable for covering a wooden fence in CT zone 6? It faces south.
If I bought enough to cover the whole fence (about 120 ft long) I would not be able to cover it. It is in an elevated area so would get good drainage.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:04AM
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