The Q&A Archives: Gardenia Blossoms

Question: I have three--2yr old magnola, the small one that do not become huge trees. I have been getting at least two blossoms on each tree per week. The problem is that the blossoms have brown spots on them as soon as they bloom making them unattractive to put in vases. Why the brown spots? Will I ever get a pretty clean white bloom? Is there anything I can do? The trees do no have pests. Thanks

Answer: Magnolia flowers bruise easily and can turn brown quickly. They also begin to turn brown as they age. The only other cause is feeding by thrips. These insect pests can damage the petals before the flower buds even open. There are several chemical controls you can try: Insectidical Soap, Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub Insect Control, Bonide Eight Liquid, Hi-Yield Indoor/Outdoor Broad Use Insecticide and Spectracide Triazicide Once & Done Insect Killer are all registered for use on ornamentals against thrips. Best wishes with your magnolia.

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