The Q&A Archives: gardenia tree

Question: I planted a gardenia 4 ft. tree in a large pot. I put the hose on it and forgot about it, soaking it thoroughly. Then, trying to dry it out, it became too dry. I hoped to save it by planting it in the ground. The leaves (most, but not all) are turning brown and though there were buds, they are not opening. However, when I snip a branch, the inside is still green. Is there still hope?

Answer: I think your gardenia will be fine, providing the roots were not submerged for more than about 24 hours. Sitting in water, or in saturated soils for prolonged times can suffocate roots. Since you rescued it and planted it in the ground, it should be fine. The browning buds are probably a result of root stress, both from the the water and from being transplanted. I'd just give the plant a few weeks to adjust. When you start to see new growth, cut it back a little to encourage even more healthy new growth. It should flower for you later this summer. Enjoy!

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