Califonia Bountiful

Gardening Q&A

May/June 2021 California Bountiful magazine

As a California Bountiful reader, you have the opportunity to get your seasonal gardening questions answered by gardening expert Pat Rubin. Here are a few questions from our readers.



My gardenia buds turn brown and fall off. Why?

Gardenias like to be kept moist, and bud drop is often associated with too little water. Typically, the buds turn brown or black and fall off before opening. Make sure the plant stays moist, but not waterlogged. Gardenias also drop buds when they are moved. If you recently planted or transplanted the bush and it is dropping buds, let it get settled and the problem should remedy itself.

The leaves on the tip of my "Howard McMinn" manzanita are curled and swollen and turning red.

The leaf curling is caused by the manzanita leaf gall aphid. It is usually harmless to the plant, although a little disfiguring to the new growth. Your manzanitas are likely being too well cared for and getting too much water. Cut back on the water and don't fertilize the plants either. Next season, apply a horticultural oil just before the new leaves appear in the spring if the problem persists.


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