How to Care for a Gardenia Plant
Gardenias are beautiful flowers with a strong, pleasant fragrance. Gardenia plants do best growing in full, bright sunshine and high humidity. Gardeners find gardenias to be a difficult flower to grow, yet others have succeeded with no problem by following a few specific requirements. Keeping gardenia plants in a cool location, with temperatures no higher than 55 degrees F during the night and 65 degrees F during the day, is the best match for the gardenia's native environment.
Place your gardenia plants in a south facing window where the sun shines brightest.
Place the gardenia plants on moist pebbles and run a humidifier nearby; this will increase humidity, especially in the winter months.
Water your gardenia plants whenever the top inch of soil dries.
Add a fertilizer made for plants that thrive in acidic conditions, such as azaleas. Check the labels on the fertilizer containers to find the right one. Fertilize between April and November.
Remove and destroy all diseased leaves to prevent spreading infection. Sterilize any knives or snips used for cutting with bleach. Use a fungicide on the plant if it gets infected. Follow the instructions on the label.
Save A Gardenia Plant
Feed both your outdoor and indoor gardenia with a 15-5-10 fertilizer in March, June and September. It needs direct light for at least six hours a day. Adjust the temperature and humidity for indoor gardenias. Gardenias needs cool temperatures at night to remain healthy -- 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the night and no more than 10 degrees warmer during the day. The air needs to be more humid than that of a typical home, so use a humidifier or place plants on trays of pebbles, then fill the tray with water. An overdose of fertilizer leads to too much salt in the soil. Too much water drowns the roots. Treat the gardenia for nematodes (microscopic roundworms) if the gardenia wilts, displays a mottled yellow color on its leaves and stops growing.
Gardenia plants prefer a well draining, organic soil.
Spraying your gardenias with a water bottle does not produce the humidity gardenia plants need. Excess water sitting on the leaves can cause fungus. The soil does not need to be constantly wet; this deprives the plant from air.