Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gardenias turing black and dying

I live in Charlotte NC. I have five hanging gardenias ( jasmine ). I've been getting nice fragrant flowers every spring but this year as soon as the young buds are formed they turn black and die. Please help!!

-- Sarla

Anne's Response:

The problem is probably a fungus - Botrytis cinerea - that is more common in greenhouse plants on the east coast but does affect outdoor plants. (I am not sure where you keep the hanging plants in the winter.)Most references still give the control as removing affected buds and destroying them. To prevent the problem next year, clean up debris on the soil at the base of the plant this fall. Be sure there is good air circulation around the plants and the plants are generally healthy.

The plants may need to be repotted when you take them down this fall. Next spring as new buds swell in the spring you may try treating the plant with a systemic fungicide.

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