Question: I was sold a couple of gardenias this past weekend. I was told that they were August Beautys, however when I got home, the leaves appear a bit larger than the august beautys I already have. I am starting to wonder if I got mysterys instead. What is the best way to tell them apart?

Answer: The best way to tell gardenias apart is to compare their flowers, not their leaves. Believe it or not, the leaves on the same species can vary in size due to exposure to sunshine (those grown in shadier sites will have slightly larger leaves than those exposed to more sunshine), and they can differ in size as a result of more frequent feeding and also because of the maturity of the plant. If you're uncertain about your new plants, why not take them back to the nursery and voice your concerns?

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