Rules for growing gardenias?

Hi,
Can someone please help me with what is required to grow gardenias successfully.
It is the one plant I always have problems with. I assume I am doing something fundamentally wrong.
thanks
-j
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I've got an old one as a house plant that is moved outside in summer. Main problem I had was scale which was cured with a systemic. It gets spider mites but they are kept down by misting. I keep it well watered, throw in a handful of fertilizer occasionally and have done pruning and root pruning. Frank
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Both hardy and florist's gardenias appreciate the same sort of care. They like an acidic soil that is well draining and rich with organic matter. If grown outdoors, they like a lot of sun but some protection from midday sun in very hot climates. They prefer even moisture (don't allow to dry out) and regular fertilizing - they are heavy feeders. Indoors, keep in bright light and mist daily to maintain humidity. That will help to reduce the frequency of spider mites, aphids and white flies, which they are prone to. This link should provide additional details: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/gardenia.htm
pam - gardengal
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James Dawson wrote:

gardengal gave good advice.
A gardenia can be hardy to 20F in the winter but really needs heat in the summer to bloom. While many agree that 'Mystery' is the nicest looking bush with the best flowers, I was unable to get that variety to thrive. I now have 'Veitchii', which is in bloom right now (despite night temperatures in the 40s and upper 30s). This bush has been in my garden for many years but is still under 2 ft tall.
--

David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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