Did I kill my gardenias?
I have three gardenias, probably August Beauty, forming a 8' by 5' by 3' hedges in my back yard. In the past 7 years they have provided excellent blooms every June. However they did start looking leggy and not so healthy from 2 years ago. Last November, against my yard person's advice, I decided to cut them back because they have grown too tall that are blocking the view. I did not prune but maybe 2 inches off. But over the winter I notice all the leaves turned brown and eventually all fell off. Now there are only 1 or 2 branches still have leaves at the one side that is protected from wind. What a sorry sight! Would they come back at all? If they will, can I cut them down more since I would like them to be no more than 4 feet high. My family love the sweet scent that are always there every June. If these three won't come back, I need to replant soon.