Spots On Gardenia - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, IL
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Question by laronacoope
June 1, 1998
What is the best way to prevent the small brown spots on my bonsai gardenia plant?

Answer from NGA
June 1, 1998
Gardenias are extremely demanding plants and the least infraction will cause them to drop buds, drop leaves, develop spots, or just generally be unhappy. Gardenias like average warmth, with a minimum of 60F degrees in the winter. They definately like nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. Give them bright light but not direct afternoon sunshine, moist soil and lots of humidity. You should mist the leaves once or twice a day to help refresh the plant. If you're not providing the above conditions, that's probably why the plant is rebelling. If you are already giving it the right conditions, perhaps the problem is caused by insects or disease. Closely examine the leaves; if you find insects, wash them off with plain water. If you see fungal growth or the spots are getting bigger, remove the affected leaves. While it may temporarily spoil the appearance of your bonsai, you'll be protecting the plant from the spread of disease. New leaves should grow wherever you remove an old, diseased one.

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