The Q&A Archives: Mystery Gardenia

Question: The leaves on my Mystery Gardenia are all turning yellow. What can I do to stop this?

Answer: Growing healthy gardenia plants can be a challenge, even for seasoned gardeners. You're lucky, though, because your mild weather makes it possible to grow gardenia's outdoors. Many gardeners must winter them over indoors. Gardenias require a rich, very acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.0). An abundance of moisture and high humidity is the most important factor in successful gardenia culture. 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, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. To help green up the yellowing leaves, feed with an acidified fertilizer (such as one formulated for camellias and azaleas). Best of luck with your gardenia!

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