Answer: Gardenias like an acidic soil which you can provide by mulching with peat moss, compost or even pine needles. You can feed with Miracid or with a specially formulated fertilizer for gardenias or rhododendrons/azaleas. Each has acidifying agents and your gardenia will be thankful. Ironite Plus is a source of iron which can help change the soils' pH and make nutrients more readily available to plant roots. It is often used for plants and/or lawns in areas where soil is naturally alkaline (as is yours). You can use Ironite in amounts as suggested on the label. I use about a half a cup for my large shrubs - a quarter cup might be good for a smallish gardenia. Be sure to apply only in amounts as suggested on the label. Insecticidal soap is available in many brands. Safer's and Miracle Gro are two products I have used with great success, but there are others available. Hope this answers all your questions!
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