The Q&A Archives: Leaves Falling Off Gardenia

Question: What do I do to bring my gardenias back to health. I purchased a bug spray to get rid of the white bugs that produce a sticky web on leaves, and they are no longer spinning webs, but the leaves are still turning brown and falling off, and now my healtly gardenias are catching the same thing. and loosing their leaves too.
What is the proper care for gardenias? I have lots of buds but they dont bloom.

Answer: You've pinpointed the most difficult part of growing gardenias: getting those buds to open. The plants require high humidity and lots of water. Gardenias are finicky, and any change of location or humidity or sun can set them back. Spider mites can also cause bud distortion, and mites also thrive in dry conditions. Look on the undersides of the leaves for tiny black specks and whitish webbing. If you find the mites, use insecticidal soap or a neem-based insecticide to control them. Routine misting with water also helps raise the humidity and control mites. I also recommend sinking a few small containers of water into the soil around the plant. As the water evaporates, it will humidify the air immediately around the plant. Hope this helps!

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