The Q&A Archives: Strawberrys And Gardinias

Question: I have two questions. First, I have great strawberry plants but the fruit is a little sour. How do make the fruit sweeter and not sour.

My second question, is about gardenias. This is my third year and I can not get them to bloom. Once in a while I get a flower or two but mostly the buds don't bloom. Some times they just don't bloom and some times they rot. I do put azalea compost in the soil and also azalea or acid loving plant food. The plants are on the north east side of the house so they get morning to noon heavy light and shade the remainder of the day.

Thank you

Answer: Strawberry flavor varies from variety to variety - some are just naturally sweeter than others. To make sure yours are as sweet as possible, give the plants all day sunshine, keep them well watered during fruit formation, and don't harvest until the berries are absolutely ripe.

The most common gardenia is the G. jasminoides or cape
jasmine. Gardenias require a rich very acid soil, with a pH
of 4.5 to 5. An abundance of moisture is the most important
factor in successful gardenia culture, and providing humidity by sprinkling the leaves each morning will help your gardenia produce her fragrant flowers.

Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. For flower buds to form and thrive, night temperatures need to be between 60-65F. During the day, temperatures should be 70-75F. A very constant, even temperature is required or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil moist at all times except winter when watering should be reduced.

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