A friend gave me two gardenias. I brought them home and planted them right
away. However, the leaves are turning yellow and dropping. Is this
something that is normal, could it be the roots were severely trimmed when
it was dug up and the top needs to be cut back? Any ideas?
Thanks, I really appreciate all the experience in this group.
Laura in Chesapeake VA
Yellowing and leaf-drop together are often a sign of too much
water. Gardenias like a soil that is constantly moist but never
really wet. That is, the soil must have almost perfect drainage.
In this, they are much like camellias and azaleas.
Dig them up and replant with a lot of compost and peatmoss stirred
into the soil. It might also help if you create small mounds of
soil and plant the gardenias on top.
Note that, unlike camellias and azaleas, gardenias can be heavy
feeders and can also take lots of sunshine (except in the desert).
However, until they are established, don't feed.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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