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Another Gardenia question

Posted by phantom_white Tennessee ( on
Sat, Apr 21, 07 at 15:04

I bought a Gardenia plant a few weeks ago at my local garden center. The plant was in good condition, but has declined in health very rapidly over the short time I've had it. There were about 8 stalks growing in the pot, each about 4-5 inches tall, and all but one has died. I took it back to see what was wrong, and they told me it was overwatered. So, I brought it home and did everything they told me to do to get it in good shape. It's stiil dying though. Can anyone help me out? I really wanted to keep this little plant alive...


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Another Gardenia question

Welcome to the club! I'm currently killing 8 of them myself so I'm no help but here's a helpful link found here:

It's littered with some very helpful tips that I'm planning on trying too.

Here is a link that might be useful: So you want to grow a gardenia, huh? (also known as the infamous suicidal gardenia thread)

RE: Another Gardenia question

It's difficult to give an definite answer. By "dead" do you mean that all the leaves turned yellow and fell off the branches? Gardenias will often drop their leaves from the shock of change in environment. If so, they'll grow back.

If you enjoy watering frequently, you could try moving it to a clay pot. The clay will dry out faster and make root rot less likely. The general rule of thumb is to only water when the surface of the soil appears dry, or to stick a finger into the mix and if it's dry down to one nuckle/inch, then water.

Also, they really are much happier outside. In the past I dreamed of growing them indoors and tried and tried. First of all, they don't bloom indoors. Most homes just don't have the temperature differential they need to set buds. If they do, there will only be one or two flowers.

Second, even if you're content with just the foliage, they almost always attract and come down with a serious case of spider mites, which ruins the foliage if you don't catch it in time.

So if you have it indoors, stick it outside. It will be easier to keep it healthy and it will bloom more reliably and freely. You can cut the flowers for a vase or bowl when it blooms. They last for a few days if you cut the flower when it's still pretty tight, and the scent lasts until the flower turns brown.

Good luck. They CAN be finicky. But nothing beats that fragrance! As I've read elsewhere: "If you find a plant that performs for you, treasure it."

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