Gardenia buds wither or do not open - Knowledgebase Question

Lompoc, Ca
Question by jdsawyer
June 9, 2009
What does my gardenia plant need? I keep it watered and fertilized.


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Answer from NGA
June 9, 2009

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You didn't say if your gardenia is indoors in a pot or outside in the landscape, but considering your location I'm going to assume it's outdoors. Gardenias need at least a half day of full sun to bloom, but at the same time, the hot afternoon sun can be tough on them. Morning sun is best, so an eastern location would be ideal. You might also try a southern or western exposure with some filtered shade. Buds that turn black or drop and bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that gardenias aren't getting enough light. Leaf drop can also be caused by improper soil pH (gardenia require 5 to 5.5pH - on the acid side.) Yellowing and leaf drop are also signs of various soil nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, zinc, and iron. Finally, if the air is too dry, your plant will drop buds and leaves. Try sprinkling the plant every morning to increase humidity (and also discourage spider mites!). Hope these suggestions help!

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