Why can't I get Gardenia's to grow?

I have tried for over 20 years to plant and grow them. I have tried different areas in my yard, With shade, without shade. Plenty of water. Plant food. Fertilizer. Everything. They will look beautiful all spring and summer, but will die in the winter, and will not cone back the following year. Are they not an ever green?
  5 answers
  • Judith Judith on Jun 13, 2017
    Yes, they are evergreen. We have two that are planted in full sun and are fairly abused - don't fertilizen or get a lot of water - and they are huge and full of blooms. We have light freezes in the winter and have had these bushes over 20 years.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 13, 2017
    What is your location?

  • Adrain Clyburn Mattli Adrain Clyburn Mattli on Jun 14, 2017
    I have the same issue. Min won't grow now matter what I do.

  • Gardenia does not like direct sunlight. Plant in a shady area or a filtered light area. When you dig the hole for the plant, mix compost and top soil into the ground, blending it into the surrounding soil well. When digging the hole, go wide so that the roots have a place to grow into that has the amended soil. As you get to the outside of the hole, blend the amended soil with the local soil well so there is no abrupt end to the amended soil, but a gradually change. Plant the bush. Top dress with more compost and keep the plant well watered, especially the first summer. If you mulch, keep the mulch from touching the stem; pull mulch away about three inches away from the stem. Check the mulch after rain and pull back as needed. Fertilize with a formula that is designed for gardenias as directed, but wait a couple of weeks after planting before you add any fertilizer so you do not burn the new roots. I have had some bushes attacked by very small insects that do a lot of damage but most of the bushes come back in time. The soil in your yard could need more organic content for the gardenias. The organic material feeds and helps hold water for the roots of the bush. Every area has an Agricultural Extension Office (check phone directory, probably with county numbers. ) Call your Ag Office; master gardeners can give you information for your area and there is no charge for their help. You can grow new gardenia plants from stem cuttings but start new plants in a flower pot so the plants have good organic soil to get started in. When you have several new baby bushes, try planting them in different areas to see what is the best location. Do not plant the bushes too close to the house or brick walls. These walls reflect heat back onto the bushes and kill them. Often the care labels on plants give directions that are meant for climates that are not as hot and sunny as in the South; things I would have planted in full sun in the North need to be in half-shade in the South. When you are out for a walk, look to see where the neighbors are locating plants that are doing well. Ask neighbors for their advice and for cuttings and starts of plants they have. Most gardeners are glad to share plants when it is time to divide their plants. Some Agricultural Offices have plant swaps; you bring a plant and then swap it for other plants... this is the best way to get plants that do well in your area for free!

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    • Joni Kelly Lmt Joni Kelly Lmt on Jul 23, 2017
      I would like to thank you for such extensive info. I've tried repeated over the last 30+ years and have killed every gardenia plant I've ever had. The last was a beautiful gift from my daughter and s-i-l, it bloomed beautifully for about 3 months and then died a miserable death. I would love to try again, with success, for a change!

  • Fancy Fancy on Jun 15, 2017
    I live in albuquerque nm i have a gardenia in a flower pot I keep it out side why are the buds falling of