gardenia pruning

woodcrafters(z7 tn)May 23, 2007

our gardenia was fully leafed when we got hit by a late frost. there are a few new leaves at the base and on a couple of the branches. should we cull all the dead leaves? how long to wait before prunning it way back? it's been three weeks since the dogwood winter!

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Soeur(z6b TN)

Gardenias are evergreen by nature, and it takes a hella-shock like our killer freeze to make them defoliate.

What I'd do is start cutting the twigs back carefully and stop as soon as you see green wood. These plants will releaf from green wood, although it may take a while. Don't feed it, though, just make sure you keep it watered so it suffers no more stress.

Marty

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:09PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

For all plants zapped by the late freeze...you can safely remove any leaves or parts of the plant that you are sure are dead. The experts were saying to wait just after the frost because of a number of reasons. It's often hard to tell what's dead and what's not. You wouldn't want to lop off a branch only to find it was still alive but without leaves. Also, branches and leaves that looked alive after the freeze may still die because of cell damage. Lastly, cutting semi-live or live parts of the plant back could have caused extra stress by initiating rapid growth like normally can occur following pruning.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:11PM
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woodcrafters(z7 tn)

Thanks for the response and information. Happy to say i'm seeing green sprouts on quite a few of the branches. I'll take your advice and wait it out to make sure the dead ones are really dead.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:57AM
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