The Q&A Archives: Gardenia Tree

Question: I don't know if it's a seasonal thing, or if it's just getting too much water, but my Gardenia tree needs help.

The flowers turn brown and shrivel up before they bloom.
I also can't seem to control the leaves from turning yellow.
It's only a few leaves that are turning yellow, some with green veins and some just all yellow.

The rains have been doing the watering and I've been feeding it once a month with "Miracid" and "Ironite".

The only thing I can think of is that it's raining a lot and the weather has been very cold... 30's-50's! But it's starting to warm up... 70's.

Any ideas???????

Thank you for your time and expertise.

Last month I saw a lot of ants in the pot, but they're gone now. Would that of had anything to do with it??

Answer: You've pinpointed the most difficult part of growing gardenias: getting those buds to open. Gardenias are finicky, and any change of location or humidity or sun can set them back. I suspect the problem is only temporary, and due to the excessive rainfall. Too much water will wash away fertilizer, which is probably why the leaves are chlorotic. Continue to fertilize and you should see an improvement. Gardenias are also very susceptible to spider mites, which can distort the buds. Look on the undersides of the leaves for tiny black specks and whitish webbing. Routine misting with water also helps raise the humidity and control mites. I'm sure the ants vacated the area because of the overly wet conditions. They probably had nothing to do with the plant's performance. Hope your gardenia perks up soon.

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