The Q&A Archives: Where should I plant your grafted Gardenia in pot or ground/South Side or where?

Question: I have a large Monrovia grafted Gardenia in one of your pots. El Cajon, CA is very hot in the summer and my yard gets a great deal of sun. Where and how should I plant the Gardenia, in the ground or in a larger pot or what? If I plant it in a larger pot what mixture should I use? Right now the plant is losing a lot of it's leaves. Help !

Answer: Gardenias require a moist, acidic soil to thrive. If you can amend a planting bed with peat moss and compost, then plant your gardenia, it should be quite happy. In order to bloom, gardenias require some direct sunlight. Since your summer weather is hot, plant your gardenia where it will receive a few hours of morning sunshine but be shaded from the hot afternoon sun. If such a spot does not exist in your landscape, your second option is to keep it in a container. A containerized plant can be moved as the arc of the sun changes with the seasons. If you plant it in a pot, use the next size pot and fill it with an acidified potting soil. One specifically for gardenias or azaleas. Keep the soil moist but not soggy wet and feed every 2-3 weeks with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer. Best wishes with your gardenia!

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