Answer: Gardenias are difficult plants to grow, so don't blame yourself for your plant's failure to thrive. They need afternoon shade, rich, moist soil (but don't over-water!) and high humidity. I think your plant is reacting to the hot, dry summer weather. Over-fertilizing plants can cause brown, crisp leaf margins, but hot dry air can do the same. Although your gardenia is stressed out now, it should recover and begin to develop healthy new leaves in a few weeks. You might take this opportunity to prune your plants back a bit. Pruning with encourge healthy new growth and new flower buds. When the temperatures cool later this month and next, your gardenia should releaf and look nice. In the meantime, try hosing the plant off each morning to increase humidity and make the environment more hospitable for it.
Good luck with your gardenia!
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