The Q&A Archives: Gardenia Won't Bloom

Question: I have this gardenia plant purchased about 4 years ago. Last year, it had buds that did not open, this year again the same problem. It is planted in semi-shade. Growth is very minimal. Should it not grow in height also? Help?

Answer: 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 feed with an acid based fertilizer.

If your plant is not growing, it might not be getting all the moisture and food it requires. Try keeping the soil moist and sprinkling the plant each morning to help increase humidity. Good Luck!

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