How Do You Keep Your Gardenias So Emerald Green And Healthy? - Knowledgebase Question

Napa, CA
Avatar for RaflZax
Question by RaflZax
May 29, 2002
So, just how do you get your gardenias' leaves so emerald green and healthy? How does a home gardener like myself get a gardenia to thrive in the flower bed at my house? What mistakes am I making? It makes me sick to watch them struggle along and then die. You know, in the garden in my brain the gardenias are healthy and thriving and beautiful with bloosoms. In the garden outside my front door, in physical reality the plants don't look so hot. Bummer!
Help me, please. What do you do?

Answer from NGA
May 29, 2002
Growing healthy gardenia plants can be a challenge, even for seasoned gardeners. You're lucky, though, because your mild weather makes it possible to grow gardenia's outdoors. Many gardeners must winter them over indoors.

Gardenias require a rich, very acid soil (pH 4.5 to 5.0). An abundance of moisture and high humidity is the most important factor in successful gardenia culture.

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. Best of luck with your gardenia!

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