Gardenia Buds fall off - Knowledgebase Question

Arizona City, Ar
Question by joancox
May 4, 2010
My Gardenia Buds fall off before blooming..plant looks healthy, but we have a LOT of white flies.
What do mealy bugs look like & what damage do they do?

Answer from NGA
May 4, 2010


Gardenias require a rich very acid soil, with a pH of 4.5 to 5. An abundance of moisture is the most important factor in successful gardenia culture, and providing humidity by sprinkling the leaves each morning will help your gardenia produce her fragrant flowers. Unfortunately, gardenia is often a disappointment to gardeners because it can be very, very demanding. 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 is required or buds will drop. Bright light is essential, avoid direct mid-day sun in the summer. Keep the soil moist at all times except winter when watering should be reduced. White flies are difficult to control because they fly off when the plant is disturbed but you may be able to kill some of them off with Insecticidal Soap sprays. Spray them early in the morning or in the early evening when they are resting on the leaves. Since more will fly in from neighboring gardens, you may have to make repeat applications of Insecticidal Soap. Mealybugs look like cottony masses on the crotches of the stems and the undersides of leaves. They feed by sucking the fluids from the plant and can cause the stems and leaves to die. Hope this answers all your questions.

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