The Q&A Archives: Gardenia

Question: How and when do you prune a gardenia? Mine are taller than I would like and looking rather raggied.

Answer: Pruning now will sacrifice some flowers for several weeks, but you'll be rewared with a nicer looking and healthier plant. When the branches have the tip intact, the hormones stimulate the branch to keep growing in length. When you prune the tips, the hormones then signal the plant to activate more buds for side branches making the plant "fill up". The more we prune our gardenia the more flowers we get. Also, when pruning them (and most shrubs) cut back to about a scant inch above a strong 'Y' (fork) in each branch. Usually a bud will break out and grow from each side of the "Y' and this is what helps to shape and thicken a shrub.

Good luck with your gardenias!

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