1st Love Gardenia - Knowledgebase Question

San Ramon, CA
Avatar for Diegel
Question by Diegel
May 3, 2002
We bought 5, 5 gallon 1st Love gardenia plants last month and we followed the exact planting guide given to us from the nursery including acid soil, iron, and plant start up food. The plants have been planted in Northern Ca facing Western exposure against our house. At first, the plants had tons of buds but they would not open and then they would turn a brown black. After talking to the nursery they said we were over watering. We were watering every other day on a drip line for 3 minutes. So we cut back on the watering and now the plant still has tons of buds and one actually opened buta few of the leaves are turning yellow and some are a light green not that deep rich green that they should be. I did check for spider mites and we do not have any. We have just switched the drip timers to 20 minutes every 6 days. Please help! Sincerely, Jenifer

Answer from NGA
May 3, 2002
Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. For flower buds to form and thrive, night temperatures need to be between 60-65F. During the day, temperatures should be 70-75F. A very constant, even temperature is required or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil moist at all times except winter when watering should be reduced. Mist the leaves frequently, and fertilize with an acidic-based fertilizer (gardenias love acid soil). Best wishes with your gardenia!

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