Care Instructions Gardenia
An evergreen plant with glossy, deep green leaves and fragrant white flowers. Placement:
Your gardenia needs to receive very bright light for best flower and foliage growth. A location next to a window receiving bright indirect light or lightly filtered sunlight is best. If this is not possible, give it the brightest location you can and supplement the natural light with fluorescent lighting.
During its active growing season, spring through fall, daytime temperatures of 70° to 85°F and night temperatures 55° to 65°F are ideal. During winter, temperature may drop to 45°F. When all danger of frost is past your gardenia may be moved to a partially sunny area outdoors.
Since humidity is required for your gardenia, place it near other leafy plants, or next to an open container of water, or in a decorative tray filled with pebbles and water. (Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the planter, however, or the plant will be over watered). Misting the leaves frequently will also be beneficial.
Keep the soil evenly moist but never soggy. Never allow the soil to dry out completely. Remove the plant from the decorative container each time you water to allow for drainage. Apply water until it runs out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Water overhead monthly to wash off the leaves. During cooler weather months, reduce watering frequency to allow the top one-half inch of soil to approach dryness before rewatering.
Cut back long, unbranched growth to keep your plant bushy. Make the pruning cut just above a leaf joint.
Apply an acid-type fertilizer (such as an azalea/camellia food) at half strength once a month from spring to fall. If new leaves are yellow with green veins, apply iron chelate, obtainable at your local nursery.
Spider mites and mealy bugs are potential pests of gardenias. If they become a problem, spray with a house plant insecticide following label instructions or wash off leaves with a soapy water solution and follow with a fresh water rinse.
Plant material, such as this product, should not be eaten. While most plants are harmless, some contain toxins.
Gardenia flower buds are very susceptible to dropping off before blooming. There are several causes of premature bud drop: over or under watering, sudden temperature changes, night temperatures over 70° F, and insufficient light. Lack of adequate light or allowing the soil to dry out excessively may also cause some older leaves of your gardenia plant to turn yellow and drop off.