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How to get Gardenia to grow more leaves

I’m back with more questions! Has anyone had luck or know the best way to coax a gardenia to grow more leaves in the center of the plant? I am reviving a standard tree gardenia that has lost a lot of leaves due to root rot in the center of the plant. It has a decent amount of leaves on the tips of the branches where the buds were, but nothing in the center. It still has a good amount of yellowing leaves too but I am afraid to pick them off and further defoliate it! LOL... I would love to bring it back to it’s full gorgeous self! It’s been in bright shade for a week since the barerooting into the 511 mix and is doing beautifully. I guess I am just anxious to get it it filled out before winter comes and all that entails. See pictures below:

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