The Q&A Archives: Pruning a gardenia

Question: I'm growing a gardenia in a protected courtyard. The plant is four feet tall and has a leggy habit. How and when should I prune to make it bushier? Fred Mercer Charlotte, NC You should prune your gardenia after it flowers - usually the end ofJune or early July in Charlotte, says M.

Answer: Powell, ornamental specialist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Gardenias in Charlotte normally grow to about five feet tall and prefer a sunny or partly sunny, well-drained site that has western exposure and is protected from the early morning sun. Their natural habit is to be an open bush, he says. To make the gardenia bushier, lightly thin this year. Cut stems you want to shorten back to a side branch that's about three feet above the ground. Every year after this, tip-prune the last few inches of the branches to help keep the plant below five feet tall and bushy, Powell explains.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Coreopsis"