The Q&A Archives: Gardenia

Question: I have a gardenia in a pot. water everyother day, leaves turned YELLOW, bright yellow, lots of them. what might be wrong? put some Ironite today to see if it helps. Help!

Answer: Ironite may help solve the problem, but plants in containers are usually grown in potting soil, not garden soil. Potting soil is not as alkaline as garden soil and therefore should not need iron applications. But, it won't hurt your plant, either. The leaves will become chlorotic if the plant needs iron. The veins will be bright green but the rest of the leaf will be yellow. Gardenias, because they are evergreen, regularly lose their oldest leaves, but new leaves are generally produced to replace them. If only the innermost leaves are turning bright yellow, that's probably the cause. If the new growth is also turning yellow, it indicates overwatering. Water only as often as necessary to keep the soil damp but not soggy wet. It might be that your plant needs to be watered everyday because of the weather and because it is in a container - but maybe not. Poke your finger into the soil to see if it is still moist one inch below the surface. If so, don't water. If the soil is dry, it's time to water. Hope this information helps!

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