The Q&A Archives: Gardenia

Question: I planted 7 gardenia shrubs in full sun in my back yard. My yard has mostly sandy loom. I prepared the hole with top quality potting soil and then covered them with mulch. About three weeks ago, I noticed 3 were burnt. One has yellow leaves. I purchased the Burpee meter and it indicated 7.5 level. What can I do? Furterlizer?

Answer: Gardenias do like acidic soil so you may want to mulch with peat moss and feed with something like Miracid. You can also give them a little Ironite. Depending upon the type, most gardenias do best in morning sun and afternoon shade. If you can move your gardenias to a spot more protected from hot afternoon sun, you won't see the sunscald on the leaves. Otherwise, you'll just have to put up with the sickly looking leaves and fewer flowers. If you decide to move them, amend the planting bed with lots of compost and/or peat moss to help lower the soil's pH. Good luck with your gardenias.

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