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Sunday, May 26, 2002

Growing Gardenias.

i didn't even realize we had gardenias until they bloomed. obviously, i haven't been giving them any special care, but they seem to be doing just fine despite what might be considered trying conditions.

the larger bush is almost five feet high, now that it has been propped up. this particular bush got mashed down last august when our house was re-roofed prior to us moving in. all fall / winter the bush was left prone; finally in february or march we put a cinder block under what appeared to be the main trunk. despite all the neglect, in late april / early may the bush was covered in flower buds and erupted into full bloom with dozens of super-fragrant flowers.

yesterday afternoon i did some maintenance pruning in an attempt to improve the shape of this bush. i saved some of the cuttings to try to root them. i'm also trying to root some crape myrtle cuttings.

the other gardenia is much smaller - about two and a half feet tall. it's next to / underneath the recently identified star jasmine between the back door and garage, squeezed into a tiny patch of soil bounded by the driveway (concrete) and deck (wood). last fall darin "pruned" it rather brutally (he isn't allowed to prune without supervision now), but did no permanent damage. despite the abuse, this bush also bloomed beautifully.

this afternoon i pruned the second bush slightly, as well as the star jasmine that was threatening to engulf it. i think having a bit more space and light will help the gardenia.

Posted by Erica Bess Duncan in Shrubs & Trees, What's Blooming... | Permalink


We have a Gardenia bush, but it is more of a tree. It
is very tall and full -at least 7 foot tall and 4 feet wide. Could you sort of guide me in how much I can cut this back. I would like to keep it in the area of 4 feet high and 4 feet wide so I can reach it. Would it come back if I cut it all back to the base so I could start shaping from the start?
I appreciate any help you can give, as I also am not a good gardener.

Posted by: Paul Antonelli | Apr 27, 2005 8:56:11 PM

I have a Gardenia bush and we didnt' realize it was a gardenia either until it started blooming. Now I've been noticing that there is black stuff on some of the leaves and some of them are turning yellow. I've heard it may be white flies...but I have no idea what to do about the yellow leaves as well. I don't want it to die because its such a beautiful asset to our yard! Help! What can I do to save it?

Posted by: Nicole | Jun 2, 2005 2:44:00 PM

Was recently given a gardenia bush and have planted it in Kansas. Does it need to be in the shade as it doesn't look as if it is going to survive in this area. Should I not have planted it while it was in bloom? Hope you can give me some advice. It's too beautiful to lose. Thanks

Posted by: Jean R. | Jun 24, 2005 4:30:39 PM

I have two gardenia bushes at our northern Alabama home. Each winter the leaves seemed to be burned by the cold. During the spring it recovers but looks rather sparse with the leaves. Is there something that I can do to counter this damage? The leaves are dull and partially black.

Also, I would like to prune them back because they are getting too big for the area I have them in. Please tell me when and how much I can cut them.

Thanks for your help.

Posted by: M.M. | Aug 15, 2005 2:55:47 PM

I bought a gardenia bush about two foot tall or less, and at first it looked good but in the last few days the leaves seem to have turned yellow and become dry?? I am in the Houston area, and it is planted where it receives full sun, but I water it everyday due to the high temperatures this summer. What the heck am I doing wrong?? Also my pikake bush is doing likewise afer blooming twice. HELP!!!!

Posted by: Heather | Sep 4, 2005 8:17:19 PM

i purchased a very expensive gardenia plant (1-2ft. tall) about 4 months ago. I transplanted it into a good spot that drains well w/full sun. It started out fine, but then appeared to be dying (brown leaves). I then provided it w/some acid-loving plant food. That didn't appear to help either. The bottom of the plant still appears to be alive (a few green leaves left). I figured it was getting too much sun. I transplanted it into a large pot to where it will only get a 1/2 day worth of full sun.
Am I able to prune the dead parts in the summer or should i wait? I live in southern Texas (very hot). Please help. We'll do anything to save it. Thanks.

Posted by: brandie | Oct 1, 2005 11:50:29 PM

My Grand Daughter was given a Gardenia Bush for Baptimal and I have no idea how to care for it. We have it in the house where it gets light and I water it when it is dry. We live in Las Vegas and don't know whether to plant it outside or not. Most everuthing dies outside unless it is a desert plant. Can anyone tell me how to keep this Gardenia alive?

Posted by: Jan | Oct 6, 2005 11:25:45 AM

We received, as a gift, a gardenia house plant approx 2 feet tall about 4 years ago. Since then it has grown to approx. 5 feet tall and has become very sparse in foliage. It's outside for late spring and summer and inside for the rest of the year. Can we prune it to return it to it's original size and fullness?
Thanks for any help.

Posted by: carole | Nov 23, 2005 1:39:24 PM

I have a one year old gardenia that lived outside till the cold weather hit. I brought it in and am now wondering what do for it. Should I prune it back, should I of left it outside. I really want this gardenia to do well and haven't a clue where to go from here. I would appreciate any help. Thank you.....Anna

Posted by: Anna O'Donnell | Dec 4, 2005 9:49:11 AM

Come on all you Gardenia lovers!

The answer to the bugs and scales and gross white linen looking stuff....ARE LIVE LADY BUGS!.

WORKS EVERYTIME. I use them 2 times per year and haven't lost a plant yet

Go to your Nursery to get a container.

You'll be amazed what we knew as children and forgot.

Posted by: Andrea | Jan 17, 2006 11:53:45 AM

My gardenia bush looks wonderful, it has lots of buds but before they bloom they die....why?

Posted by: yvonne | Feb 25, 2006 1:08:15 PM

I have 2 gardenia bushs one is very big about 12 to 15 feet high and does well, the other sits right next to the large one but is turning yellow and losing it's leaves. It sees maybe a little less sun then the other. however, these plants have been on the property for over 25 years. what should I do to revive the smaller plant and get it healthy again?

Posted by: marylu | Mar 9, 2006 10:53:07 AM

Hello i bought a gardenia bush at a nursery in Miss.when visisting& brought it to Ill.with me.It was outside in summer no blooms,i brought it in for the winter, stationed it by a nice sunny south spot, it has buds appering,but the leaves fall off & are hard.Please offer some advice

Posted by: cyndi brown | Mar 17, 2006 1:58:13 PM

I just bought 2 gardenia bushes and i want to know the basics on how to take care of them, where to plant them, what kinda fertilizer, ect...

Posted by: Eva Nicoll | Apr 3, 2006 12:24:29 PM

I just bought a gardenia bush How do I care for it and where do i cut the flowers. It is blooming very nice does it hurt the plant to cut the flowers. I need to know the basis on the care for this plant should i keep it inside I live in Michigan very cold winters.

Posted by: Penny Hess | Apr 29, 2006 3:40:49 PM

Gardenias are not that hard...I promise. They like to be kept moist, but not soggy. They like day temps of around 70 degrees and night temps around 60 degrees. They also like to be fed constantly. What no one tells you is that a Gardenia will shock very easy. When I first received mine one of them almost died. I just cut back all of the brown and kept it watered...you must not cut all of the leaves off or it will die. Before long it will pop back out and be gorgeous. I live in southern Louisiana and have learned that with our harsh summers they have to be kept in a place that gets half a day of shade and half a day of sun. If you live in a milder climate you could leave them in full sun all day, but don't let them get too cold. I left mine out all this winter, but we stayed in the 40- 50 degree range for most of the winter. We only had a couple of nights of freezing weather and I left them out uncovered and they did fine. I have two that were bought at the same time and you can't tell that one almost died. They have began to bloom and they smell wonderful. A little care is all thay need. Good luck!

Posted by: Dee Pryor | May 1, 2006 1:57:00 PM

I have bought 5 gardenia bushes, but havent the slightest idea ware to plant them. I live in conroe Tx. Near Houston. We have extremely hot humid summers, and springs for that matter. Should my bushes be planted in full sun as it says on the tags, or will they need shade given our extreme wheather conditions here, we are talkind 100+ degrease at times.

Posted by: sheri | May 9, 2006 10:09:55 AM

I have just received a gardenia bush for Mother's Day and live in Central Illinois. When & where should I plant it? Will it survive outdoors in the winter time?

Posted by: Nancy Foulke | May 13, 2006 6:25:03 PM

I have 2 beautiful gardenia bushes, instead of purchasing more I would like to know what to do to get roots from the plants that I have. Please help !
Thank you !

Posted by: Kat | May 15, 2006 11:04:59 AM

My gardenia bush leaves seem to be turning yellow! What do I need to do?

Posted by: Georgia | May 23, 2006 5:33:58 PM

My gardenia bush leaves are turning yellow then falling off. Help me save my gardenia, my dad planted it for me before he died!!!

Posted by: Cheryl | May 25, 2006 4:39:37 PM

My Gardenia bush also has leaves that are turning yellow. I live in Southern California, and it's been pretty hot lately. It gets full sun for part of the day, but the leaves have never turned yellow before. I've raised this plant from a 6" pot to a three foot bush planted in the yard. It's in full bloom right now, but I'm afraid of the yellow leaves. HELP?

Posted by: Richard | Jun 2, 2006 10:44:52 PM

I have 2 Gardenias the plants look beautiful but they never bloom. I live in southern Middle Tennessee. The soil is acidic, may be too much shade? Get mid day & early evening sun shaded only by the eve of the house.

Posted by: Christine Pulley | Jun 8, 2006 9:04:21 AM

I have a 7'-0" high by 10 to 12 wide gardenia bush.

I am looking for suggestions and tips for taking care of it.

I planted it 20 years ago in my backyard in Athens, Georgia. It generally blooms from around May 30th (late wife's birthday) to June 30th (my birthday).

Looking for tips on fertizer, pruning,etc.

Should the dead, flowers that have turned brown be removed or pulled off during the blossoming period.


Posted by: Alan | Jun 13, 2006 3:08:01 PM

How do we get the answers. I see my question about brown leaf many times but there are no answers just questions!!

Posted by: Spirit | Jul 4, 2006 2:22:20 AM