Ask a Question forum→Bonsai Gardenia Buds

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Hebz
Sep 10, 2018 9:54 AM CST
The buds on my bonsai are turning brown at the base leading to the stem. I water the plant daily and have even put a lamp next to it for some added light, but the buds seem to keep turning brown. So far on bud has fallen, one looks like it is about to, and one is beginning to brown. The other 2 look healthy. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop it? I really want to see some flowers bloom!
Thumb of 2018-09-10/hebaelahmad/8182b7

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 10, 2018 10:23 AM CST
Back up and take a photo of the entire plant, including pot. My guess is that you are overwatering.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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Florida
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Hebz
Sep 10, 2018 10:42 AM CST
DaisyI said:Back up and take a photo of the entire plant, including pot. My guess is that you are overwatering.


Heres a picture! Do you think I should water once every couple of days then?
Thumb of 2018-09-10/hebaelahmad/7b66e4

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Sep 10, 2018 3:56 PM CST
Don't water on a schedule, water when water is needed. Gardenias like to be damp but not wet. But, under watering can be just as detrimental as overwatering. I would water when the soil surface dries. Don't let it sit in water (I assume your container has drainage).

How long have you had this plant? Other problems you might face with an indoor gardenia are insufficient light, drafts from A/C or heat vents, and lack of humidity.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Florida
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Hebz
Sep 12, 2018 12:51 PM CST
DaisyI said:Don't water on a schedule, water when water is needed. Gardenias like to be damp but not wet. But, under watering can be just as detrimental as overwatering. I would water when the soil surface dries. Don't let it sit in water (I assume your container has drainage).

How long have you had this plant? Other problems you might face with an indoor gardenia are insufficient light, drafts from A/C or heat vents, and lack of humidity.


Thank you, you're right it seems that I have been watering too much. Would this cause the buds to turn black? I will try watering only when dry (and yes there is drainage). Do you think I should remove the buds that have blackened, or should I just wait for them to fall by themselves? One is almost completely black but for some reason still hanging in there. I also read that gardenias like acidic soil. Do you think adding coffee grounds to my soil will help it at all? It is not near the AC vent so I don't think that is a problem. Maybe humidity? Should I be misting the leaves?
As far as insufficient light, that's a possibility, but I hope it isn't the reason. I live in an apartment and don't really have a solution for that. I have had the plant for 2 weeks now, and it had the buds when I got it.
Sorry for all the questions! I'm just not the best at keeping plants alive, and I really want this one to last.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Sep 12, 2018 1:01 PM CST
Gardenia buds will blast (turn black and fall off) easily for many reasons, including improper watering and warm temps and any changes in the environment. They are among the most difficult plants to bloom indoors unless you have a greenhouse or other carefully controlled environment.

I suggest that you water a soon as the surface of the soil feels dry. It's very important to keep temps below 68 degrees F. Direct sun will probably raise temps too high.

Remove the buds that have already blasted. It should already be potted in an acidic soil. It will not need any fertilizer until next spring and then you can use Miracid, not coffee grounds.

Misting doesn't really increase humidity significantly and high humidity is not essential anyway.

You may want to be content with keeping your Gardenia as a foliage plant because getting it to keep and open buds is very difficult in a home environment.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Florida
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Hebz
Sep 12, 2018 1:45 PM CST
WillC said:Gardenia buds will blast (turn black and fall off) easily for many reasons, including improper watering and warm temps and any changes in the environment. They are among the most difficult plants to bloom indoors unless you have a greenhouse or other carefully controlled environment.

I suggest that you water a soon as the surface of the soil feels dry. It's very important to keep temps below 68 degrees F. Direct sun will probably raise temps too high.

Remove the buds that have already blasted. It should already be potted in an acidic soil. It will not need any fertilizer until next spring and then you can use Miracid, not coffee grounds.

Misting doesn't really increase humidity significantly and high humidity is not essential anyway.

You may want to be content with keeping your Gardenia as a foliage plant because getting it to keep and open buds is very difficult in a home environment.


Thank you for the info! My apartment is usually at 74 degrees so I guess it is a little warm for it. It doesn't receive much (or really any) direct sunlight. I have had a lamp next to it for some extra light (far enough away so the heat shouldn't be affecting it), but I just read that regular light bulbs don't do the trick.
Any recommendations for lights (possibly that I can put into the lamp I already have)?
I guess I won't expect too much from these buds, but hopefully I'll be able to keep it alive as a foliage plant :)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Sep 12, 2018 5:08 PM CST
Incandescent bulbs produce light in the unusable part of the spectrum for plants. LED grow lights are best, but the bulb should be within a foot or so of the plant.

If you decide to keep it as a foliage plant, then you don't need to be concerned with temperature and perfect watering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 15, 2018 8:55 AM CST
Below 68ยฐ? My Gardenias have a few blooms right now, it's been well above 90ยฐ for months. Without hours of direct sun per day, it's extremely unlikely to be a satisfying plant if you bought it for the blooms. Shrubs in the area that are not in the sun all day are not heavy bloomers, and have a stretched, leaning, droopy appearance. Gardenia buds can take months to finally open into a flower, and can bloom at any time of the year, at least in my climate, but the heaviest flush begins when the heat really starts to kick in.

Gardenias love bananas. If you pureรฉ a banana peel and dilute it in your watering can, that could help. I don't usually bother with the pureรฉ because my Gardenias are ground shrubs in my location so I slightly bury the peels next to the shrubs.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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