How to Take Care of Gardenia Bushes


Gardenias require high humidity and a warm climate to thrive. Often a gardenia plant purchased in prime condition from a nursery begins a slow decline once at home. The buds of the temperamental flower will often fall off the plant before opening if conditions are just slightly less than perfect. Avoid the frustration of a flowerless plant with a bit of care and perseverance.

Step 1

Keep the temperature between 70 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit if you have your gardenia indoors. Lower the temperature by 10 degrees at night.

Step 2

Place gardenia plants in full sun inside and partial shade outdoors. Bring your gardenia inside if the temperature threatens to drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

Line the bottom of a tray with small stones, and add water to just below the tops of the stones. Place your gardenia container on the tray to provide extra humidity. Make sure the bottom of the gardenia pot does not come in direct contact with the water.

Step 4

Keep the soil of your gardenia plant moist but not soggy. Never let the soil dry out completely. The buds on the plant will drop in soil that is too wet or too dry, so try to find a happy medium.

Step 5

Apply a fertilizer specially made for acid-loving plants each month from April to November. Always follow the instructions on the fertilizer package.

Step 6

Check your gardenia for bugs regularly, especially if your plant has spent time outdoors. Remove any visible bugs and treat infestations based on the variety of insect.

Tips and Warnings

  • Misting your plant can cause damaging fungal growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Tray
  • Small stones
  • Watering can
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program: Gardenia Care
  • Plant Ideas: Growing and Care of Gardenia
Keywords: gardenia plant care, caring for gardenias, growing gardenia

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.