Question: I have 2 semi large gardenias in pots, which are sunken into the ground facing south. Will they withstand our sometimes below freezing nites as is, or should I take the pots up, and store in a potting shed, or a south facing front porch? Thank you for your help! Connie
Answer: Gardenias grow outdoors year 'round in mild climates where winter temperatures don't dip below 55F. In your part of the country your plants will need to be brought indoors, or kept in an area where temperatures remain above 55 during the winter. If you take your plants indoors for the winter provide bright light light and some direct sunshine and they will continue to bloom and grow.
In order to bloom, your plant needs a nighttime temperature of 60F - 65F degrees and a daytime temperature about 10 degrees warmer. Without an even temperature and careful watering, gardenias will drop their flower buds while they're still unopened. Keep the soil moist using tepid, soft water, and mist the plant every day to keep the plant happy. Fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer for acid loving plants such as Miracid following the label instructions.
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