The Q&A Archives: Gardenia Bud Problem

Question: I have a small but gorgeous gardenia - I just got it (about 8inch pot)5 gallon), wonderful fat buds BUT THEY DON'T OPEN and get yellow, black, then fall off. Please help. I don't even know what acid based fertilizer would be = can you give me any brand names or composition or maybe I can order. I'm actually in Ensenada Mexico and plant is on my porch but would like to bring in during winter. thanks

Answer: Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. 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 is required or buds will drop. Lack of humidity is another cause of bud drop. Try irrigating or misting your plant each morning when the flower buds have formed. This added humidity might be all your plant needs to coax it into blooming. I hope so! You can feed with an acid-based fertilizer. One formulated especially for azaleas and camellias would be perfect. Apply in amounts as recommended on the label. Best wishes with your gardenia!

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