Gardenia Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

fort Worth, Te
Question by goyalmk16
May 13, 2010
recently i planted a Gardenia plant. It didn't bloom yet but it strated giving flower buds (about to bloom). i noticed that near the flower buds it has lots of black spots and the leaves are also turning blackins. I have seen some black ants also on teh flower buds. Is it normal for Gardinia? Any suggestion?
location- Dallas, TX

Answer from NGA
May 13, 2010


Because ants are visiting, I suspect that your gardenia has a population of aphids or whiteflies or mealybugs. When these insects feed they exude a sticky substance called honeydew (which will attract the ants because of the high sugar content). When the honeydew ages it turns black and is technically called sooty mold. It is just a coating on the leaves and flower buds and you can scrape it off or wash it off. If you control the insects, there will be no more honeydew, no ants and no sooty mold. Insecticidal soap can take care of the softbodied insects feeding on your gardenia.

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