Answer: Unfortunately, the gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. In some cases it is better to consider it as a florist bouquet and dispose of it once it has faded.
Gardenias are finicky, and any change of location or humidity or sun can set them back. They are also very susceptible to spider mites, which can distort the buds and cause leaves to yellow and drop. Look on the undersides of the leaves for tiny black specks and whitish webbing. Use an insecticidal soap spray according to the label instructions to control these, be sure to repeat to control subsequent generations. Routine misting with water also helps raise the humidity and consequently discourages spider mites or better yet, set it on a humidity tray of pebbles and water or use a humidifier.
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 within these ranges is required or buds will drop. Also avoid drafts or moving the plant.
In general, bright light is essential, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times except in winter when watering should be reduced slightly to compensate for the slower growth. Fertilize regularly with a water soluble fertilizer for acid loving plants according to the label instructions.
I hope this helps you trouble shoot and Good Luck!
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