Gardenia - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, Ca
Question by rubi31
May 8, 2010
Gardenia tree is dying. I check the soil ph and its 7.0 neutral. Can I save my tree, all the branches are now brown and leaves are falling, no new leaves.


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Answer from NGA
May 8, 2010

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It is really difficult to dianose a plant problem without actually seeing it so I can only offer some general gardenia growing guidelines. I hope you can determine from this information just what might be going on with your gardenia.

As beautiful as they are, gardenias can be a real challenge to grow. They're very picky about their surroundings. They 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. Finally, if the air is too dry, your plant will drop buds and leaves. Try sprinkling the plant every morning to increase humidity (and also discourage spider mites!). Hope these suggestions help!

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