gardenia plants - Knowledgebase Question

Jackson, Te
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Question by cottonbole
September 9, 2010
Could you please tell me if needed what insecticide should I use. Also need advice on how to keep them healthy. Bought 2 from Home Depot this spring. No blooms yet. says they can withstand 0 degree weather, is there anything else I need to do to preserve them for winter. Thanks Sue Allen

Answer from NGA
September 9, 2010
Gardenias grow outdoors in mild climates, and as an indoor houseplant in other areas of the country. With good care and a little luck, your plant will bloom every year. Place it in a spot that will provide a few hours of morning sunshine but shaded from hot afternoon summer sunshine. In order to bloom, your plant needs a nighttime temperature of 60F - 65F degrees and a daytime temperature about 10 degrees warmer. Without an even temperature and careful watering, gardenias will drop their flower buds while they're still unopened. Keep the soil moist and feed with a water soluble fertilizer for acid loving plants such as Miracid, following the label instructions. It's natural for the older leaves of gardenias to turn yellow and drop off. New leaves will grow in their places. To keep your plant tidy and to encourage new growth, pinch back the growing tips of the stems. If you periodically hose your plant off with plain water you'll discourage most insects, including spidermites which seem to love feeding on the leaves. Your plant may suffer some frost burn this winter but pruning any winter damage from the plant in early spring will encourage healthy new (and hopefully flowering) growth. Enjoy your gardenias!

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