The Q&A Archives: Loss Of Large Number Of Buds

Question: Our Monrovia Gardenia tree we recently bought from a local nursery seems to be loosing a lot of buds. The buds appear to have black spots on them. When the buds flower they seem to be a little deformed recently, The leaves are green no yellow ones and all the surviving buds are normal in color. We have the plant in a large pot and it is placed so it receives sun up through 12:00am the rest of the day it is in the shade. Any suggestions in reducing bud loss would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Rockie

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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