En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 11, 2009

From: San Ramon, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native gardenias in San Ramon, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Gardenia tree planted in my front yard that gets shade and sun. It is dropping leaves and the leaves that are left are yellow. I had been watering it every day, but decreased that to every other day. I have another Gardenia tree planted about 10 feet away ( they flank my living room window outdoors ) that is doing just fine, although neither of them have bloomed since I planted them last year. Can you tell me what is wrong with the tree that is having yellowing leaves and de-leaving ? Thank-you

ANSWER:

There is only one gardenia in our Native Plant Database, Gardenia taitensis (Tahitian gardenia) and it is native only to Hawaii. It is more likely that you have Gardenia jasminoides, native to tropical Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed t the care, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.

We looked for a website that could give you some help, and found this website from eHow: How to Care for a Gardenia Tree.  From that, we picked up this interesting excerpt:

"Gardenia plants thrive in daily temperatures in the low 70s. Do not plant the gardenia outdoors if your region is consistently hotter or colder."

It looks to us like Contra Costa Co., California, is in USDA Hardiness Zone 9, with minimum average annual temperatures from 25 to 30 deg. F, and probably maximum temperatures somewhat above the low '70s. We don't know if that is, indeed, the situation, but check out all of that website and see if you can find the solution to your problem. 


Gardenia taitensis

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

What is wrong with cultivars of native plants?
May 26, 2009 - What is wrong with cultivars of native plants? My state native plant society won't allow cultivars at their annual sale, and the native plant nursery from which I order only offers the species. But a...
view the full question and answer

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Honolulu HI
April 24, 2014 - We have a ground cover in our Honolulu garden that I have been told is Watermelon Plant. (Not the fruit). We would like more, but cannot find it or the proper name for it. Aprox. 6" round leaf. It...
view the full question and answer

Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
October 12, 2012 - What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in non-native crape myrtle from Wesley Chapel, FL
June 12, 2012 - I just bought a 12 ft. crape myrtle and planted it, giving it plenty of water I think. After 3 days the leaves are wilting and flowers are falling off.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center