Yellow leaves on my gardenia - Knowledgebase Question

orlando, Ge
Question by cedaygil
April 3, 2010
My gardenia is 3 yrs. old and lately i have noticed that the leaves are yellow,and buds do not open.What can I do? do I need to prune it?
Thanks so much.

Answer from NGA
April 3, 2010


Gardenias are very fussy, as you are finding out. Providing ample humidity is one of the most important things you can do, next is to make sure it is receiving enough light. To start the budding process the plant needs a daytime temperature that is about ten degrees warmer than the night temperature, within a range of about 60 to 65 at night to 70 to 75 degrees during the day day. Buds that turn black and drop, and bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that gardenias aren't getting enough sunlight. Yellow leaves can be a natural occurance since the old leaves normally turn yellow and fall off, or could indicate inadequate light, or can signal insufficient water or even the use of hard water. Although leaf drop can be caused by improper soil pH (gardenias require 5 to 5.5 pH - on the acid side), yellowing and leaf drop are also possible signs of various soil nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, zinc, and iron. Using a low dosage of a water soluble fertilizer formulated for acid loving plants can help with this, check the label also to make sure it includes micronutrients or "minors" to assure a broad based supply of minerals. Follow the label instructions for use. I hope this helps you troubleshoot the problem with your plant. Don't be discouraged, this is a tough one to grow. You can prune your plant back a bit to encourage healthy new growth as well as to help keep it dense and bushy. Best wishes with your gardenia.

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