The Q&A Archives: Indoor Gardenia Tips

Question: I just bought a small gardenia bush. I've bought one before but I killed it. Any special tips on keeping this one alive?

Answer: It can be very difficult to transition the plants to home
growing after they have been used to being in a greenhouse or outdoors for the summer. The
dryness and extremes of indoor heating tends to cause the
leaves and buds to drop.

The best you can do is to locate
your plant away from heaters and heating vents, use a pebble tray or humdifier and possibly mist your
plant daily. Gardenias need at least a half day
of full sun to bloom, so keep it in a bright location indoors.

Buds that turn black or drop and
bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that
gardenias aren't getting enough light, or that the room
temperature varies more than 15 degrees F beween night
and day, or that you have over or underwatered.

The plants need an acid, moist yet not soggy soil and should be repotted only every few years.

Gardenias are very susceptible to spider mites,
which cause tiny webs on the undersides of leaves and
where the leaves join the stems, so keep an eye out for these and use an insecticidal soap to
bring them under control if necessary.

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