The Q&A Archives: Care Of Gardenia's

Question: I was given a beautiful Gardenia plant over the summer. I planted it in the ground in a larger pot and it did very well. I dug up the pot and let the plant go dormit. Will it come back in the spring or did I do more harm then good by letting it go dormet? It was placed in the ground outside in a pot because I knew I would be moving during the winter months and wanted to take the plant with me.
It is very difficult to find information on gardenia's on the computer and the proper care instructions for it. Any help in the above mentioned issue would be appreciated.
Thank you

Answer: Unfortunately I suspect it may be a goner. Gardenias are very difficult to grow as houseplants and are very susceptible to shock caused by abrupt changes in conditions. Allowing it to dry out while it was in active growth was probably not a good thing to do, especially combined with the digging and so on. Generally, these plants need an evenly moist soil except during the winter when they require slightly less water since they never really go dormant. Here are some pointers for next time:

Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to
gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. For
flower buds to form and thrive, night temperatures need to
be between 60-65F. During the day, temperatures should
be 70-75F. A very constant, even temperature is required
or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, avoid direct
mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil moist at all times
except winter when watering should be reduced. Mist the
leaves frequently, and repot every 2-3 years. Good Luck!

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