The Q&A Archives: Winter Killed Gardenia's

Question: I planted 4 Gardenias last spring that were thriving in a planting area adjacent to my front walk. They bloomed profusely all summer, and stayed a beautiful through fall and most of winter. However a week of mid 20's temperatures turned them purple overnight and eventually brown. Is there any hope of these coming back or should I just dig them up and start over?

Answer: Sorry to hear about your plants. They may well resprout from the lower branches or even from the base, especially if they were mulched. I would suggest you nick back the bark in various places going down the trunk to see if it is green or cream colored indicating healthy tissues, or brown indicating dead tissue.

If you find healthy wood, trim the bushes back to that point. If not, trim them to a few inches high and wait a month or so to see if they will sprout out again.

Good luck with your plants.

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