The Q&A Archives: Problems with plants

Question: How to grow gardenias, Magnolia, and Lorpedelum?
Can you plant an Angel Trumpet in ground?

Answer: Growing healthy gardenia plants can be a challenge, even for seasoned gardeners. You're lucky, though, because your mild weather makes it possible to grow gardenia's outdoors. Many gardeners must winter them over indoors. Gardenias require a rich, very acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.0). An abundance of moisture and high humidity is the most important factor in successful gardenia culture. Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. For flower buds to form and thrive, night temperatures need to be between 60-65F. During the day, temperatures should be 70-75F. A very constant, even temperature is required or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer.

Magnolia likes rich, loose, moist soil and full sunshine. Water deeply once each week and it should thrive.

Brugmansia, or Angel's Trumpet is hardy to about 25F. If your garden remains above this temperature in the winter time, you can plant it in the ground. If not, plant it in a container and take it indoors during the winter months.

Best wishes with your garden.

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