How to take care of a gardenia

cindy39May 13, 2008

The gardenia is very special to me. My grandpa use to grow them in Greece and I remember the sweet smell of their flowers as a child.

We live in the US in the chicagoland area (cold winters/hot summers). As a gift for Mothers day, my husband suprised my with a gardenia plant.

I dont know how to take care of them. I would like to keep it in the house. Where do I put it? What soil do I use to pot it? And what are its daily needs?

Ive had them before and had no success. Someone told me to put it in the bathroom because of the humidity.

Any help is appreciated.

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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Hi Cindy,

I'm not quite sure myself but I bought one in February and researched on the internet that they are actually quite fussy indoor plants, needing good light and humidity. Mine is looking quite poor and keeps losing leaves. So, I think it's going outside as a patio plant for the summer and we'll see how it does there.

My Mom has one as well, and keeps it in her south window with afternoon sun. It likes quite a bit of water and it has bloomed a few times here and there. Maybe do an internet search for "indoor gardenia care" or something similar.

Glen

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 2:27AM
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Elizabeth White

This isn't helpful, but you might be amused! Search on garden web for "suicidal gardenia thread." There's an old one that's really funny. On a similar note, I asked a greenhouse here once if they sold gardenias, and they said, "no, we prefer to sell plants that actually want to live."

I think they just don't like indoor-type conditions. I live in SE WI, and I have gone to TN (where I'm from) and bought one each summer, only to have it die slowly over the winter. In my experience, they are *much* happier outside. They definitely like humidity. (My sister lived in Georgia for a year or two and the parking lot for the apartment building had a bunch of gardenias that were 5' tall as landscaping. I was so excited, but apparently they were all over the place there. She now lives in Miami, and they are huge there.)

I finally bought a large gardenia (in TN)--sold as a landscape plant instead of an indoor plant. I kept it by my sliding glass door that faces west. It actually started to bloom indoors this spring. It's outside now. I think they always sulk and lose leaves when you change their growing conditions--even if it's for the better.

In my experience, they like lots of sun and humidity. You can't let them dry out, but you shouldn't overwater either.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 3:21PM
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jomc--heirloom

Hi, I raise heirloom Gardenias. I can go back 100 years on the line I have. I always pick the best ones to get my cuttings from. Some of my older bushes are 7' high and 6' wide. The blooms are huge and smell like Heaven. The leaves are dark green 4'' long and 3'' wide. I hardly ever water them and never fertilize. I really think they are meant to be outside bushes. I never have any trouble with the heirloom. I do know they could not live in cold climates outside.
I need to experiment and come up with an indoor bush! I know this doesn't help. If I were you I would set it out in the summer and spray lightly with water daily. Just for humidity, not over watering. Set in bright light, but not sun. In the winter set in full sun and bring in when the temp. drops to freezing. Set beside or in a sunny window. Water spray leaves daily. I hope this helps, but I have never raise one inside either.
God's blessings, Jomc

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:48PM
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makini(9)

Aloha,cindy39 Here in Modesto Ca, the Lowes carries a frost proof gardenia infact I think thats what its called, it has a smaller flower and more narrow leaves. I too had trouble with gardenias one year I used bone marrow fertilizer and I got my first blooms good luck.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 12:48AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I put my gardenia outside, light shade, inside my gazebo. It responded by getting a flush of new growth. We will see if the blossoms actually develop/open or if they fall off without opening as they had been when I kept the plant inside.

I think my plant could use a transplanting into one pot size larger. Or, do you think they like being somewhat pot bound? One thing is that I have been pretty faithful in watering, so I know the blossoms haven't fallen off due to drought. I think it's kept just moist enough.

My Mom also put her gardenia outside on the patio for the summer. Her plant did bloom while inside but for whatever reason it kept being plagued by little brown spec-type bugs. She sprayed numerous times with neem oil, even other strong insecticides. Finally she just put it outside hoping that perhaps outdoors the bugs will be more under control.

Glen

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:21AM
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