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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by Oui on November 14, 2005 12:57 AM
I live in Northern Alabama. I was told by a local nursery that Gardenias cannot survive the winter here. I planted them anyway. All but 1 plant died the first winter. The surviving plant has lived in my VERY SUNNY garden for 4 years now. This summer is the first summer it has bloomed for me. The first 3 years I babied it watering it daily and giving it food. This spring and summer I had other commitments and did not baby the plant and wah la it bloomed..I mean it was covered with blooms. For the life of me I cannot figure out what I did. I am wondering if I should just leave it alone to get the best results from it.

I guess I should make my questions clear.

Are Gardenias suppose to live through the winter in Northern Alabama?

How tall can gardenia plants get?

Are they suppose to bloom every year?

If I trim the plant to try to make it grow more like a tree will I kill it? Does anybody know how to trim a gardenia without killing it?

It is planted in the worst RED Alabama clay and seems to be VERY happy. Is that normal??

Obviously I am a novice verses Gardenias HELP!!!! if you can.
by Oui on November 14, 2005 01:00 AM
PS My Gardenia is over 4ft tall right now. How much taller will it get?
by ServantsHeart2003 on November 14, 2005 04:05 AM
Here is some good info that should answer all or most of your questions!! They overwinter outside here in South Carolina so I don't know why yours wouldn't be ok--especially after 4 yrs already overwintering outside!! Bonnie

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by Oui on November 14, 2005 10:15 PM
Thanks for the link with the Gardenia info. I see that they like acidy soil. I guess Red Alabama Clay is acidy..I have never given it high acid food. I wonder if I should. I have a white oak tree in my yard and it drops leaves all over my gardenia in the winter. I leave the leaves there all winter. White Oak leaves are very acidy so I guess the leaves are giving the plant enough acid.
The link also says that they get as tall as 8ft. OH BOY that means I have to move it next spring. Cuz it is in my "front walk garden" and it will be blocking my porch if it gets any taller. I am afraid to move it. It seems so happy where it is. I mixed peat moss into the soil of the original planting..4 years ago. I conditioned the soil of all the plants but 1. The plants with the conditioned soil DIED over the winter. The sole survivor was planted in Alabama Red Clay with no soil conditioning. Hummmmmm maybe conditioning the soil is not so good.

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