Gardenia's dropping their buds - Knowledgebase Question

Omaha, NE
Avatar for ajennings7
Question by ajennings7
July 4, 2006
I recently purchased two August Beauty Gardenias, they were full of blooms. I brought them home and repotted them into decorative pots. Since then, they have lost all of their blooms and as new buds appear they fall off before blooming. I will not try to diagnose the situation but I was wondering about the drainage, I have broken pot shards in the bottom of the pots. Please help me figure out how to get the fragrant blooms back. thank you

Answer from NGA
July 4, 2006
Gardenias are finicky, and any change of location or humidity or sun can set them back. Transplanting can upset them, so I'm not too surprised they're acting the way they are. In general, bright light is essential, but avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Buds that turn brown and drop, and bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that gardenias aren't getting enough light. 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 within these ranges is required or buds will drop. Simply moving the plant often causes bud drop, as may any imbalance in the growing conditions. Keep the soil evenly moist (but not sopping wet)at all times except in winter when watering should be reduced slightly to compensate for the seasonally slower growth. Fertilize regularly but lightly during active growth periods (spring and summer) with a water soluble fertilizer for acid loving plants according to the label instructions. Check the label also to make sure it includes micronutrients or "minors" to assure a broad based supply of minerals. I hope your decorative container has drainage holes and that you're using the pot shards simply to keep potting soil from flowing out the drainage holes. Broken pot shards placed in the bottom of a pot without drainage holes will only act as a well to collect excess water. The water will sour and begin to smell and eventually the potting soil will absorb this tainted water and it will reach the roots of your plant. If you want to use a decorative pot that does not have drainage holes, my best advice is to plant your gardenia in a regular nursery pot with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom and simply set the nursery pot into the decorative pot. You can camoflage the top of the pot with a layer of spaghnum moss.

Best wishes with your gardenia.

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