The Q&A Archives: Spider mite problem on a gardenia

Question: I have a gardenia plant which I purchased last summer. During the summer it grew beautifully in a large pot. I decided to take it in the house for the winter. Around January it began to develop buds and at the same time became infested with spider mites. (I took some leaves to the garden center and was told that it was spider mites.) I have been treating it with sprays and a systemic insecticide ever since. I have also been trying to wash away the mites before I spray with the insecticide. During May I put the plant outdoors. I hoped that the mite problem would disappear once the plant was outside again, but it hasn't helped. Should I give up and just discard the plant? Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Spider mites typically prefer dry, dusty environments so placing your gardenia outdoors and misting or sprinkling the foliage every day or two will probably chase the critters away. Keep your gardenia isolated or at least somewhat away from other plants (you don't want an infestation elsewhere!) until you're sure the spider mites are gone.

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