The Q&A Archives: General Care For Gardenias

Question: My mother recently gave me a beautiful gardenia, full of buds ready to blossom. However, I have never had good luck with gardenias, for they usually drop their buds and their leaves start to turn yellow within moments of my taking possession of them! How can I keep this from happening? Also, can I put my gardenia in full sun?

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. Bright light is essential, avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil moist at all times except winter when watering should be reduced. Mist the leaves frequently, and repot every 2-3 years. Good Luck!

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