Gardenia leaf problem

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Jul 7, 2017
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I received a gardenia plant as a birthday gift back in 2013, since then it hasn't produced a singe bloom nor have the leave been the dark green color I know they should be. Over the past 9 months or so my plant has been looking rather sad. It's leaves would turn dark brown and dry out leaving the branches bare. I use an acidic water soluble fertilizer every now and then to see if it's a nitrate deficiency. Since doing that I've seen little sprouts of new growth coming in but no improvement on the color or the browning problem. The roots look good, I didn't see any root rot when I re-potted it.
I live in southern California where it gets above 100 degrees in the summer and can freeze at night in the winter.
Can someone give me any advice on how to save my plant?
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USDA 10a - Sunset 22
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United States
It looks very damp and the soil looks very shallow. How often do you water it and how long has it been in that container? What type of sun does it get? I'm in similar zone and they are a challenge.
 
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I had just took out some of the old soil and put fresh soil in it and watered it when I took the pictures. I try to water it every other day because it's been so hot. Sometimes it goes 2 or 3 days without watering. It's been in the pot for about 2 years (I'm not a very good gardener). It gets sun pretty much all day since it's out on my porch.
 

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