Weak Gardenias – When Should I Prune And Fertilize?

how to prune gardenia

Q: I have some gardenias that once had large flowers. They have declined in the past couple of years. Now they have small leaves, small flowers and lichens on the stems. Should I prune and fertilize them now to help them regain their robust beauty? 

A: My feeling is you should wait until mid-February and prune them severely then, perhaps as low as two feet high. In April, fertilize with Ferti-lome or Holly-tone. You’re probably not going to have very many flowers next year but in my experience gardenias respond very well to severe pruning. In years to come, prune your gardenias after the heaviest flowering is over.

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