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What is wrong with this gardenia?

Posted by pcola08 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 24, 08 at 23:57

My small gardenia is not doing very well, at all. I think it was one of the first plants I ever bought (last year!), so I really haven't learned how to care for it. I think it was an August gardenia (?), at least I think I remember the tag saying August. I have it planted in the backyard, where it gets mostly shade. I do water it, though it doesn't look like it! I have even put muracid (?) fertilizer around it. It was fuller when I bought it, but about the same height. It has thinned out drastically and has yellow and brown leaves on it, along with some green ones (still). The leaves don't seem to have anything on them, as other posters have stated theirs did. I think I should probably move it to more sun-? Should I put it in a pot, instead of the ground? I'm not so sure how great my soil is. Thank you in advance for your help!
I wanted to attach a picture, but have no idea how....

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What is wrong with this gardenia?

I have only been growing these for a few months, so I'm no expert. I can tell you what has worked for me with the help of many from this forum. They like morning sun and prefably some shade in the hottest part of the day. Although I've heard when they are established, they can take full sun. For me I have it in morning sun and afternoon shade. I fertilize mine every two weeks with miracid and I give it plenty of water. It is in the upper 80's for us now, and no rain yet. Keep the soil moist, not "Wet". If you pot it use a fast draining soil. you can do a search in the "Container forum" for a really good soil mix. Al (tapla) has several great ones. They like high humidity and since I live in Florida that's one less thing I have to worry about. I also use Iron Chelate once every 6-8 weeks to keep the leaves dark green. These plants in my opinion is one that requires more feeding, care and upkeep. I've noticed that if I don't check them on a regular basis, they let me know. Yellow leaves, aphids, bud drops. Sometimes brown leaves are caused by either too much or too little water or low humidity. Yellow leaves are common with gardenias, as long as its not excessive. I have 2 in pots and one in the ground. I've attached a link below on gardenia care. Hope this helps and good luck with your gardenia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenia Care

RE: What is wrong with this gardenia?

Pug lover,

You are very successful with Gardenia! I predict your plant with triple her size this summer.

In your zone, you could try all kinds of fragrant plants, for example Magnolia insignis which has sweet melon fragrance (scroll down to view the pictures).

RE: What is wrong with this gardenia?

  • Posted by jimshy z7 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, May 2, 08 at 15:51


Mostly shade is not good for gardenias; even in Florida they need at least 4-6 hours of direct sun for best blooming. The second thing about gardenias in FL is that the ground often has nematodes in it that attacks gardenias -- did you buy yours at a nursery or a flower shop? Many FL nurseries carry gardenias that are grafted onto nematode-resistant rootstocks, but flower shop plants usually are not.

Finally, don't pour on the water and fertilizer if the plant starts looking sad -- you'll just rot the roots! Keep it evenly moist, but not too wet, and hopefully your plant will recover!


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