Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Don't Worry Too Much about Yellowing Gardenia Leaves

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Don't Worry Too Much about Yellowing Gardenia Leaves

Article excerpt

Byline: PAULA LAMB

We need to move our gardenia bushes. What conditions do they grow best in? Also, some of the leaves on them are yellowing? Is something wrong?

The highly fragrant gardenia grows well in full sun or in shifting sun. Planting them in heavily shaded areas will reduce flowering. They prefer well-drained soil amended with organic matter with a soil pH of 5.0 to 6.5.

Yellowing on new leaves can occur if the soil is too alkaline. You indicated that it is the older leaves of your gardenias that are yellowing. Some yellowing is normal on older leaves and unless it is excessive, should not be cause for alarm.

To keep your gardenias healthy, fertilize them in the early spring and early fall with an acid-forming fertilizer formulated especially for these acid-loving plants.

I have several loropeta-lums planted in different areas of my landscape. In one particular area, they are starting to die. In other areas, they are still thriving. What could be wrong?

Loropetalum, commonly known as Chinese fringe bush, has become a popular addition to our Florida landscapes. It prefers an acidic soil and does well in part shade/part sun. Compared to azaleas, they are a bit more sun tolerant. Recently there have been reports of dieback with the Ruby variety of loropetalum. Since you report that you have a variety other than Ruby, I think there are other issues going on with your plants.

You indicated that you prune your plants back several times a year to keep them at a height of about 3 feet. You also mentioned that they are in full sun most of the day. While they are more tolerant of sun than azaleas, the constant pruning, coupled with the stress of the harsh sun, could be the cause of the decline.

Other factors to consider is the presence of soil nematodes, which sometimes appear when plants are under stress. …

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