The Q&A Archives: Yellowing Leaves On My Gardenia

Question: For Mothers day I was given a Monrovia everblooming Gardenia. The leaves are begining to yellow and fall off. What am I doing wrong? It sits in a spot the receives bright but indirect sunlight from the East. I really love this plant and hate to see it die. Do you have any awnsers? I went to the nursery that they purchased it from and the girl pulled out a book from behind the desk and began to read a description of the plant but no real problem solving type of information was listed. Please help or point me in the right direction of where to go to get more information on this plant.
Thank you
Samantha Grego

Answer: Gardenias grow outdoors in mild climates, and as an indoor houseplant in other areas of the country. With good care and a little luck, your plant will bloom every year. Plan to keep it indoors during the colder winter months and place it outdoors in the spring and summer. Once outside, place it in a spot that will be shaded from hot afternoon summer sunshine. When it's indoors, give it bright light, but not direct afternoon sunshine.

In order to bloom, your plant needs a nighttime temperature of 60F - 65F degrees and a daytime temperature about 10 degrees warmer. Without an even temperature and careful watering, gardenias will drop their flower buds while they're still unopened. Keep the soil moist using tepid, soft water, and mist the plant every day to keep the plant happy. Fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer for acid loving plants such as Miracid following the label instructions.

It's natural for the older leaves of gardenias to turn yellow and drop off. New leaves will grow in their places. To keep your plant tidy and to encourage new growth, pinch back the growing tips of the stems. Gardenias don't like to be repotted more often than every 2-3 years. Do so in the spring, using a good commercial potting soil for acid loving plants, and putting the plant in a new pot that's only slightly larger than the old one.

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