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Hello everyone, I live in Lynchburg, SC, and I love to plant in my yard. Had a home built last year, moved in the last week of August and I have been working to get grass and different plants and trees established. Just found this forum and am hoping to get some questions answered and maybe impart some things I’ve learned. If there are any gardenia experts on here I would love some assistance, having trouble with my variegated gardenias.
 
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I am not an expert in gardenias but I have grown them and killed them too. A relative in Columbia, SC also grows them so you are in the right neck of the woods for them. They are very persnickety and will yellow out foliage just by moving them from one place to another. I will try to answer your question if I can. Be aware that you are in USDA Zone 8a and many(all?) variegated gardenia cultivars tend to be winter hardy only to zone 8; they may perform poorly in zone 8a when temps sometimes drop into zone 7b territory.
 
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Thank you for the response. I have the variegated gardenias on the north and south sides of my home, I planted in September 2020. Over the winter the leaves in the south side all fell off along with the majority on the north side. However, they started sprouting new growth in abundance but the leaves seem to be wrinkly and deformed. I’m not home right now but can upload a pic this afternoon. Willing to do whatever it takes to save the beauties. I planted them mostly for the foliage because like I said they are beautiful from the foliage alone.

On a side note I do have dwarf gardenias in the front of my home that were planted at the same time and they are doing well and ready to bloom. Same soil prep for all. I have mixed vinegar and water ( 1 cup per gallon) and tried that to help and have started them on Miracle Gro (Miracid). Thanks in advance for any pointers.
 
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I experienced the same leaf drop issue as well here. My winters are mild and temperatures zig zag so that contributed a little. I tried to remember not to fertilize about three months before my average date of first frost (the first week in November for Lynchburg).

Frost can damage some of the foliage and you got close to/below freezing 33F on April 1-3 when overnight temps dipped from 29 to 36 on those three days. I would now wait for new foliage, mulch and continue your watering program.

I would not try to use the diluted vinegar + water solution on gardenias' tiny roots. Some people use vinegar to acidify the soil but I find it causes problems with plants like azaleas, hydrangeas and camellias. These plants all have shallow, tiny, fibrous roots, similar to gardenias but gardenia roots do grow down a bit more but are still shallow (top 6" or thereabouts). Vinegar is used in organic programs as a weed killer so you could be injuring some of the gardenias' roots as the root system is still small. If your soil is not already acidic, I would amend the soil with either greensand or with garden sulfur.
 
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Thank you Luis_pr, I will definitely give it a go, and thanks again.
 

zigs

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Welcome to the forum :)
 
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