The Q&A Archives: How do I bring my Gardenia back to life?

Question: I have a gardenia that I took outside this year and there is no new growth yet. What do i do? It did well inside for a while..HELP

Answer: Gardenias can take a few weeks to acclimate when they are over wintered indoors and then taken outside in the summer time. If you so no new growth I suspect it is because the plant is trying to adjust to the different light levels, air temperatures and degree of humidity. If it has been outside for more than two weeks you may want to prune or pinch it back to encourage a flush of healthy new growth.

First, make sure you give the plant plenty of bright light, preferably direct morning sunshine. A healthy, blooming gardenia will need to be nurtured with a steady supply of water and nutrients, but don?t overdo. The goal is to provide the proper balance of water, air and nutrients. If soil is kept constantly wet, the roots will be starved for air. Too much fertilizer can lead to damaging salt accumulation. Monitor the soil frequently for moisture content, and water thoroughly as the top inch of soil dries. Use a fertilizer that is formulated for acid-loving, blooming plants, such as an azalea-type product, according to rates listed on the label. Don?t be afraid to prune the gardenia; in fact, blooming will be more prolific on younger growth. Though the responsibilities of gardenia care can be daunting, if you persevere, you?ll be rewarded with elegant white blossoms and sweet fragrance that simply cannot be matched by other plants.

Hope this information helps!

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