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Gardenia Plants

Q.Gardenia Bush Turning Brown

Anonymous added on April 11, 2011 | Answered

My gardenia bush is very established and pretty large. Late last summer it started turning brown. It is still turning brown (dead) at the bottom, though I can see a lot of green growth. What can I do to it? Can I cut it way back to rid it of the brown? I cannot see disease. Is there something I should spray on it?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 12, 2011

Gardenias love a moist environment, but they don't like being drenched and having water on their leaves. If your gardenias have brown leaves or you notice brown spots on them, this is usually due to:

Poor drainage – Gardenias love to be moist but not soaking wet. Be sure the plant is allowed to drain thoroughly between waterings.
Not enough humidity for indoor plants – Try using a humidifier in the room where you keep your gardenias.
Pests – Check your plants for pests underneath the leaves, in the soil, and on the stems.
Improper pH - Check your soil pH (it should be 5.0 to 5.5).
Rhizoctonia Leaf Spot (fungal disease) - Leaves infected with this fungal leaf spot disease have tan to brown spots up to 1/4 inch in diameter, usually begins on the older leaves and spreads upward when the plants are watered excessively or from poor air circulation. Diseased leaves should be destroyed and sterilized soil should be used.

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