The Trick to Get Really Green Gardenias in Melbourne

The Trick to Get Really Green Gardenias in Melbourne - Wholesale Plants Nursery

A lot of our Melbourne customers have noticed how healthy and green our Gardenias are recently. What is our trick?

Well, firstly, let’s talk about why Gardenias sometimes aren’t green. Simply stated, it is a lack of nutrients, and is referred to as chlorosis. But simply feeding them will a general purpose fertilizer won’t keep them from suffering. The story is a bit more complicated, involving both soil Ph and temperature.

Chlorosis occurs when the plant cant take up sufficient iron or manganese. Iron and manganese may be present in the soil, but when the Ph is over about 6.5, is not available for the plant to take up, leading to chlorosis. This can be overcome by using a fertilizer that has chelated iron in it. Chelated iron is iron that has been bound to another molecule, to enable it to be taken up by the plant, even where the Ph is above 6.5.

Temperature also plays a part as all chemical reactions slow down as temperature decreases. Even in soils that a moderately acidic, nutrient uptake can be too slow during cold weather to keep the plant looking healthy.

Because of this, gardeners in Melbourne are often advised to plant Gardenias in full sun, to keep them warm during winter. However, in warmer climates Gardenias thrive in lightly shaded positions, and in Melbourne in summer Gardenias can suffer from dehydration and scorch.

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Consideration should be given to finding a lightly shaded spot that could benefit from some extra heating.  Planting near to large areas of brick or stone can help, as these will absorb warmth from the sun and radiate it back out at night.

A lightening of the leaves is unavoidable in most outdoor plantings of Gardenias in Melbourne, but it is possible to still keep them looking reasonably good by using a targeted top-dress. We use one that has a mixture of short and medium term release chelated iron, with other important trace elements such as manganese and zinc.

An application of this in Autumn, and another in Spring, helps to fortify the plants and get them through the coldest months. We now sell this topdress in convenient 1.5kg bags.

Hope this Gardenias Melbourne information would be useful. Come in and see us during the week at Kilby Park Tree Farm to look over our extensive range of wholesale plants for any landscaping or design project.

Contact us by calling 03 9859 9190 for more details.


  • Kerrin Appleton says:

    Hi there, we have had a beautiful hedge of gardenias planted three years ago. Unfortunately now we have a few that are looking as if they have died, the leaves have curled and browned up… is this because they aren’t getting enough aeration and what should we do… cut it back hard or remove it?!?
    Thankyou in advance.

    • Kilby Park Tree Farm says:

      Hi Kerrin,

      It’s hard to say what the cause might be, it could be due to a range of factors. If you’re in Australia, the recent wet weather may be contributing to the issue; leaf curl and browning leaves can be symptoms of waterlogging. Aeration and the addition of compost will certainly help. Depending how far gone the plant is you may choose to replace it. Often that’s easier than waiting for the plant to regrow.

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