What Fertilizer Is Best For Gardenia And How Often Should It Be Applied?

Filed Under: Shrubs, Fertilizing, Techniques & Methods · Keywords: Best, Fertilizer, Nutrients, Gardenia, When, How Often · 3827 Views
I love gardenias but haven't had luck growing them. We have alkaline soil. What kind of fertilizer do they need? And how often?

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Answer #1 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Sandra - I love gardenias too and have just about every variety that will grow in zone 8a of Georgia growing in my landscape: Frost Proof, Radicans (dwarf), Daisy, Fall In Love, Crown Jewel, and Jubilation.

If your soil is alkaline this is definitely what's causing the problem. Gardenias like an extremely acid soil with a pH in the 4.5 to 5.5 range. Alkaline soil will cause the leaves of gardenia to turn a pale shade of green or yellowish and the plant will produce few if any blooms. The remedy is to apply nutrients that will increase soil acidity. Mulching with an inch or so layer of organic compost and applying soil sulfur, chelated iron and/or aluminum sulfate will help increase the soil acidity. Milorganite is a natural, non-burning fertilizer that contains 4% naturally occurring iron so is a good fertilizer to use on plants that prefer acid soil conditions. On gardenia, I apply it twice a year, in early spring and again after the plants have finished blooming. I also usually give the plants a light pruning to shape them up a little. It's very hard to burn plants with Milorganite so you can fertilize quite heavy with it. But it's always a good idea to follow application rates and instructions on the product package when applying nutrients or fertilizers.

Hopefully applying these nutrients will help out your gardenias and you'll start having better "luck" with them. Let us know if you need more details or have any other questions.


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