The Q&A Archives: gardenia yellow leaves

Question: my gardenia in a pot has lots of blooms ready to pop but the leaves are yellowing from the base up and the blooms falling off before popping. It is under some trees and i fertilized with product for gardenias and azaleas and it gets filtered sun. It was growing fine until recently. lots of rain here lately. what do i need to do to stop the leaves from yellowing and buds dropping off??????

Answer: Yellowing leaves, especially lower down on the plant and from the inner parts of the branches is normal this time of year. Your plant is shedding older leaves in preparation for developing healthy new leaves. As for the browning flower buds, 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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