The Q&A Archives: Growing Gardenias

Question: I bought a gardenia from you, because my husband loves the smell, and brought it inside for the winter. It bloomed one bloom and the other flower buds are all deteriorating at the stem end. What could be causing this and how can I correct it? I have it in a pot in my laundry room with fluorescent lighting above. Should I fertilize it? Will it survive?? Help!

Answer: The most irritating problem encountered with gardenias is "bud drop,"when flower buds abort just before blooming. Common causes include low humidity, over-watering, under-watering, insufficient light, high temperatures, rapid temperature fluctuations, cold drafts or change in plant locations. In other words, gardenias are temperamental! For best performance, provide bright light, high humidity and temperatures between 68-75F with a 10 degree drop at night. When your gardenia adjusts to its new surroundings, it should reward you with lots of fragrant flowers. Enjoy!

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