Gardenia plant pest control - Knowledgebase Question

Steilacoom, WA
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Question by kayakers51
October 28, 2006
I have had two small gardenia plants they looked like they were thriving and having multiple blooms indoors, suddenly the new leaves and buds began to turn black, the leaves distorted in shape and they died. I bought two more which are healthy what type of pest bother them and what is good prevention? Please help.
Thank you,

Answer from NGA
October 28, 2006
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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