How to grow healthy gardenia - Knowledgebase Question

North Lauderdale, Fl
Question by jodiefaye
April 22, 2010
This is my 2nd attempt in growing a gardenia bush. I planted a smaller one and it receives direct Florida susnlight. The bottom leaves are yellowing. I want to make sure it lives and prospers. is there anything I should do?

Answer from NGA
April 22, 2010


Gardenias are finicky, and any change of location or humidity or sun can set them back. I suspect the fact that it's newly planted is the reason for the yellowing leaves. Just for general information, gardenias need at least a half day of full sun to bloom, but at the same time, the hot afternoon sun can be tough on them. Morning sun is best, so an eastern location would be ideal. You might also try a southern or western exposure with some filtered shade. Buds that turn black or drop and bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that gardenias aren't getting enough light. Leaf drop can also be caused by improper soil pH (gardenia require 5 to 5.5pH - on the acid side.) Yellowing and leaf drop are also signs of various soil nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, zinc, and iron. Hope these suggestions help!

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