Buds falling off gardenia



Gardenias are waxy, white and very fragrant flowers Gardenias are one of the most popular exotic flowers

Gardenias are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania. This species can be difficult to grow elsewhere because it demands high humidity to thrive and bright (not direct) light. Some types of gardenias can be grown as houseplants.

Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Gentianales Family Rubiaceae Genus Gardenia

Gardenias symbolize purity and sweetness. They indicate secret love. They convey joy. They tell the receiver “you are lovely”.

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Some Interesting Facts About Gardenias

  • Gardenias are grown for their beautiful foliage and they make great cut flowers.
  • Gardenias flowers from about mid-spring to mid-summer, i.e., May through July
  • Many of the gardenia species are strongly scented.
  • The genus Gardenia is named after Alexander Garden, a physician in Charleston of South Carolina.
  • Gardenias can be used as screens, hedges, borders or ground covers.
  • In France, Gardenia is the traditional flower which men wear as boutonnieres.
  • The most popular cultivated species is the Cape jasmine, native to China.
  • Each gardenia flower is followed by 6-sided berries of rich orange-red with long, elegant stems.
  • Gardenia thunbergia produces a woody fruit which has hard, angular seeds inside.

About Gardenia Flower and Plant

Gardenias are very fragrant creamy-white flowers with glossy, dark-green leaves. Gardenia flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white or pale yellow. The gardenia flowers are with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes petals from 5-12 cm diameter.

Gardenia plants are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1-15 m tall. The Gardenia plant leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four. They are dark green and glossy 5-50 cm long and 3-25 cm broad, with a leathery texture. They are simple, entire, hairless, with wavy margin.

Growing Gardenias

  • Gardenia plants need high humidity.
  • A loose, well-drained organic soil is recommended.
  • For best results plant gardenias in full sun, partial shade, or shifting shade.
  • Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball.
  • Thoroughly mix one part soil and one part planting mix.
  • Check that the top of the original root ball is slightly above the level of the surrounding soil.
  • Take the soil mixture and make a gentle mound of soil sloping away from the plant so that the water drains away from the trunk.
  • Remove any air pockets, if present.
  • Water the plant with a root stimulator.

Gardenia Care

  • Do not over-water gardenias.
  • Fertilize with an acid fertilizer.
  • Check for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips and scales.
  • Also check gardenia plants for bud drop, a common ailment.

A gardener can always benefit from a good gardening guide. View books on gardening online.

Gardenia Flowers – Gardenia Buds Falling Off Plant

While their fragrant creamy-white flowers, tucked amid glossy evergreen foliage, make gardenia plants (Gardenia augusta syn. G. jasminoides) a popular addition in or around the home, these stunning beauties are not the easiest plants to grow. Often gardeners have issues with gardenia buds falling off plant or when gardenia buds won’t bloom. Let’s look at some of the issues that can cause this.

Dropping of Buds on Gardenia Bushes

A commonly seen problem is gardenia buds falling off plants. This can be caused by a variety of things. Probably the most common reason for gardenia buds falling off plants is a change in location. Gardenias do not like to be disturbed. They are extremely sensitive to being moved or even touched. Try to keep gardenia flower plants in one location, moving as little as possible.

Dropping of buds on gardenia bushes can also be due to improper watering. Gardenias like to be kept moist. If they are allowed to dry out too much, they will respond by dropping their buds. Insufficient watering, as well as overly dry air, causes the buds to rot. Keep the soil evenly moist and increase humidity levels.

Gardenia Buds Won’t Bloom

Even under the best of circumstances, problems with gardenia flower buds happen. For instance, one common problem is when gardenia buds won’t bloom. Not enough humidity is oftentimes the reason for this; therefore, you should increase the humidity levels in the home using a humidifier or placing a tray of pebbles with water beneath the pot.

Seasonal changes can also inhibit blooms, as gardenia flowers come in and out of bloom with the seasons.

Prevent Gardenia Buds Falling Off Plant

Proper care of gardenia flowers will help prevent gardenia buds from falling off. Sometimes, when gardenia buds won’t bloom or fall off, it is due to improper care. Gardenia flowers require lots of light; however, you should avoid direct sunlight.

These plants also prefer to be kept moist, not wet, but do require slightly drier conditions during non-flowering intervals. Use a peat-based potting soil, if possible. While gardenia flower plants will tolerate a range of temperatures, they prefer cool nights, between 60-65 F. (16-18 C.), and warmer days, about ten degrees higher.

Gardenia flowers also thrive in humid conditions; therefore, the use of humidifiers or pebble trays is important, especially during winter. Gardenias benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer and, although not a requirement, gardenias can be pruned for shape after flowering has ceased.

Other Problems with Gardenias

In addition to non-blooming buds and dropping of buds on gardenia bushes, other problems may be seen, such as the yellowing or dropping of leaves. Exposure to extreme temperatures, especially cold, can lead to all of these problems. Make sure gardenia plants are kept away from drafts.

Improper watering due to overwatering can also cause problems. Check to see if the plant is too wet. Also, use distilled water whenever possible, as gardenias are sensitive to large amounts of lime found in regular tap water.

Leaf or bud drop is common when gardenia plants are too dry, either from lack of moisture in the soil or air. Once again, increasing humidity levels can help.

Poor light conditions are another possible reason. Keep gardenias in well-lit areas.

Growing gardenia flowers doesn’t have to be a chore. Provide the best optimal care and these magnificent plants will reward you with beautiful fragrant blooms.

Gardenia Leaves Turning Yellow

Beloved for their intoxicating fragrance and attractive, waxy, creamy-white flowers contrasting beautifully with their shiny, leathery, dark green leaves, Gardenias are irresistible evergreen shrubs or trees. Native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania, Gardenias may be fussy and quite temperamental in their cultural needs.

If your Gardenia’s leaves turn yellow and drop, aside from the normal aging process of its leaves, this may be caused by any of these reasons:

  • Over-watering or under-watering: Gardenias need at least 1 inch of rain (or equivalent watering) each week. Keep the soil consistently damp but not soggy. Don’t let the soil dry out and don’t over-water your Gardenias
  • Poor soil drainage: Make sure your Gardenia soil is moist and well-drained.
  • Insufficient light: Although a Gardenia plant prefers full sun, some shade is appreciated during the warmer months of the year or its leaves may scorch and its buds may fall off if they get too much sunlight. In hot climates, Gardenias grow best with morning sun and afternoon shade. In cooler areas, they can tolerate full sun, especially if their roots are covered with organic mulch. Gardenias growing in containers need bright light or filtered shade with no direct sun. Gardenias grown indoors should receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight through a sunny window.



‘Kleim’s Hardy

  • Unusually cool weather: Gardenias perform best in day temperatures of 65-70°F (18-21°C) and night temperatures of 60-65°F (15-18°C). Lower temperatures may cause leaf yellowing and drop.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Gardenias like soil that is rich in nutrients. Add plenty of organic matter to the soil such as peat moss or manure to enhance the growth of your plant.
  • Iron Chlorosis: Iron is a key nutrient that is used by plants to produce chlorophyll. Gardenias prefer acidic soils with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0. If your soil pH is too high (above 7.0), the iron may not be available to your plant.

‘August Beauty’

‘Golden Magic’


  • Root Rots: Various fungi cause a decay of Gardenia roots. This disease stems from wet soil conditions such as poor drainage and over-watering.
  • Nematode feeding: Various nematodes (microscopic worms) feed within plant roots. There are no nematicides available. If your Gardenia is severely affected, it should be removed and destroyed.


‘Chuck Hayes’


Gardenia: care, reproduction, transplantation

Written by Helen Price Feb 25th, 2019 Posted in House

Gardenia is a genus of the family Rubiaceae from the tropics, named after the American physician and naturalist Alexander Garden. In room conditions gardenia flowers do not take up much space, but in its natural habitat, and it grows in East and South-East Asia and South Africa, gardenia plants can be up to 2 m (7 ft) high. Gardenia jasminoides is the most popular species for home; it’s also called cape jessamine or cape jasmine and was firstly brought to England in 1760. Florists grow it not only for its beautiful white wax-like and subtlety smelling of jasmine flowers, but also for its shiny leaves of rich dark green color, that are a worthy decoration of gardenia even when it is not in bloom.

Home gardenia: cultivation features

Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen bush that grows up to 45-55 cm (18-22 in) high. Its shoots can be both naked and downy. The leaves of the gardenia plant are dark-green, bright and shiny, as if covered in wax, and about 10 cm (4 in) long. They are also shortly petiolar, wide lanceolate or reverse obovoid and narrower to the base. Gardenia blossoms in summer with odorous singular or few-flowered (4 to 6 each) corymbose inflorescence. In the beginning of blossoming the flowers are foam white but later they turn yellower. The size of the flowers is up to 8 cm (3 in) wide and most of the cultivated gardenia flowers are polypetalous. Gardenia care at home is not as easy as, for example, pelargonium, but the end justifies the means. So, here are some valuable tips for your own gardenia bush:

  • gardenia does not tolerate either extra dry soil or stagnant water;
  • soil acidity means a lot to gardenia therefore you’d better test it before you plant it; the level has to be less than 5.5 pH;
  • air temperature must always be in the range of 16-24 ºC (60-75 ºF);
  • remove withered buds immediately.

Home gardenia care

How to take care of gardenia at home

Find a bright, warm, protected from drafts place in the apartment: the lighting should be bright but scattered, the temperature, as was said before, must be between 16 and 24 ºC (60-75 ºF). The flower would like the eastern or western windowsills best, northern has to be excluded and southern ones need to be shady from direct sunlight from 11 am till 5 pm. In winter you would have to light it additionally with fluorescent lamps because winter’s day length is too short for gardenia plants. But even if the location is chosen well and you take proper care of the plant, it still may take a long time for it to settle down and get used to new conditions. It still may act capriciously and even lose its buds.

Watering gardenia

One of the most important points of how to take care of gardenia is watering. Watering has to be frequent, especially in the periods of active growth (spring and summer), taking into account the level of drying of the upper soil layer. Autumn and winter watering is much less frequent or abundant, wait out for 2-3 days after the soil surface gets dry. Once a month pour some acidified water in the pot, other times use softer water, preferably boiled or filtered. It also has to be of room temperature.

Air humidity has to be high, especially during budding period, thus put the flower on the tray with damp moss, claydite or pebbles in a way that will not let the pot’s bottom touch the water. Spray gardenia with warm water frequently until the buds start to open. If an open flower gets some water on it, it may lead to appearance of brown spots. Instead of spraying, wipe the leaves of gardenia with a damp cloth. Try not to move or even turn the pot, because that may make the flower dump its buds.

Fertilizing of gardenia

Dosing of a young gardenia is done bimonthly with both mineral and organic fertilizers, alternately. An adult plant needs dosing every week during the whole vegetation period, but do not use fertilizers that contain calcium. Liquid fertilizers are preferable; do not forget to read the instructions before application. Peat humic fertilizers benefit gardenias, liquid potassium fertilizer for houseplants also does not cause reclamations, but be sure to decrease the recommended by the manufacturer dose in half. For pH normalization you need to use iron supplements twice during vegetation. There is no need for dosing during winter.

Gardenia transplanting

Soil used for gardenia plants has to consist of sand, turf, coniferous, peat and leaf soils in equal parts. A proper drainage layer is mandatory, acidity level was mentioned before. If you cannot make your own soil mixture, you may use soil for azaleas. Gardenia transplant should be done in early spring or, in case of necessity, after flowering. For young plants such necessity exists once a year, for older ones once in three years. If you have only purchased this plant, there is no need for an immediate transplant, wait out for a few weeks. If you bought the plant in bloom, wait until blooming ends before you go through with the transplant. In order to spare this whimsical plant extra trouble, put it in a new pot with drainage and add necessary amount of soil.

Gardenia reproduction at home

Gardenia grown from seeds

Growing gardenia out of a seed is not the best way to go if you want to multiply it. Only freshly gathered seeds are suitable for reproduction, and even those lose germination very quickly. Before you put the seeds into soil for azaleas, they need to be kept for 2-3 hours in zircon or aloe juice. After that is done, cover the seeds with 0.5 cm (0.2 in) of the same soil, (let it go through a sieve), water it carefully, cover the container with film or glass, and keep it warm, airing it out from time to time for an hour or two. Sprouts will appear not sooner than in a month. If they appear in wintertime, you might need to light them additionally.

Gardenia grown from cutting

After gardenia sheds its blossoms, one should cut its shoots by two-thirds of its lengths, removing weak ones and thinning it out if the bush became too thick. Occasional nipping is also required even during growing period, for tillering purposes. These apical or half-wooden cuts are the main source of gardenia reproduction. Shoot’s length has to be about 10 cm (4 in), its substrate should consist in halves from sand and peat. Keep the cuts in light pink manganese solution for half an hour before you put them in soil and cover with film or glass to create greenhouse effect. The temperature should be 25 ºC (77 ºF), frequent ventilation and watering is expected. You might speed up rooting with additional heating of the bottom of the container. After the cuts take roots, they should be transplanted into soil for azaleas or grown-up gardenias. When they reach the height of 15 cm (6 in), nip them to stimulate the emergence of side shoots. When those side shoots reach height of 10-12 cm (3-4 in), nip them too. After a new plant becomes more bush-like, transplant it into a bigger pot.

Gardenia diseases

Gardenia loses its buds

Sometimes this issue is laid back in the time of formation of buds due to temperature regime disturbance. Always ensure that the temperature is kept within 18-20 ºC (65-68 ºF) during the day and 16-18 ºC (61-65 ºF) at night. If the night temperature is too high, the buds may not even be formed. And there should not be any sudden changes! Watering ought to be regular. Lack of humidity or improper lighting, drafts and moving the flowerpot from place to place can all lead to the loss of buds. Therefore, be vigilant and disciplined.

Gardenia black leaves

The simplest explanation for the fact that gardenia leaves turn black, is in the wrong watering. Either soil is too dry, or it was too wet for a long time, which may result in gardenia leaves turning black and falling off. Reread the rules of caring for the flower to understand why your gardenia blackens, eliminate deficiencies, create the most comfortable conditions for the plant, dose it with iron supplements and cover it with spacious transparent plastic bag to achieve absolute humidity. Water the plant, when the upper layer of the substrate becomes dry.

Gardenia yellow leaves

If gardenia leaves turn yellow, especially lower ones, it’s a sign of soil overwetting. Decrease watering, remove the plant from the tray with damp rocks, and, mainly, eliminate the drafts! If the upper leaves are getting yellow, this may mean there’s an excess of lime and chlorine in the soil. Immediately transplant gardenia into new ground and eliminate the fertilizer, which contains lime. Water the plant only with rainwater, purified or boiled water above room temperature. Sometimes gardenia leaves turn yellow because of a lack of nitrogen in the soil, or due to poor lighting.

Gardenia leaves fall off

Leaf fall is a direct consequence of their blackening or yellowing, so the sooner you find out the reason why the leaves turn black or yellow, the less leaves the plant will lose. In any case, the main cause of diseases gardenia gets is violation of agro-technical requirements of caring. Correct your mistakes in time, save your gardenia, and it will decorate your home with incredibly beautiful and fragrant flowers.

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Gardenia Not Blooming

Beloved for their intoxicating fragrance and attractive, waxy, creamy-white flowers contrasting beautifully with their shiny, leathery, dark green leaves, Gardenias are irresistible evergreen shrubs or trees. Native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania, Gardenias may be fussy and quite temperamental in their cultural needs.

If your Gardenia does not bloom, this may be caused by any of these reasons:

  • Improper pruning: Prune your Gardenia plant when it is dormant, to promote branching and compact growth. This should occur after flowering in summer, but before the plant has time to set new buds. If you prune your Gardenia too late in the season, you will remove buds in the process of developing for the next season. Be careful – Some Gardenia varieties bloom twice in a season. Check what type of Gardenia you have before starting your pruning exercise.
  • Bud drop: If your Gardenia’s flower buds fall off just before they open, this may be caused by pest infestation (aphids, nematodes), excessive fertilization, over-watering, under-watering, poor soil drainage, insufficient light, unusually cool weather, rapid drops in temperature or very hot, dry weather.
  • Hot and dry weather, unusually cool weather, quickly fluctuating temperatures: Gardenias perform best in day temperatures of 65-70°F (18-21°C) and night temperatures of 60-65°F (15-18°C). Flower buds will fail to form if the ideal temperature for Gardenias is not respected!
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Gardenias like soil that is rich in nutrients. Add plenty of organic matter to the soil such as peat moss or manure to enhance the growth of your plant. Fertilize Gardenias every 2-4 weeks during their growing season (March to October) with a dilute fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Do not fertilize from November to February.
  • Poor soil drainage: Make sure your Gardenia soil is moist and well-drained.
  • Inadequate Ph: Gardenias prefer acidic soils with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0.
  • Pests and microbial threats: Aphids, scales and spider mites can attack gardenias. Check your plant for pests underneath the leaves and on the stems. Spraying your gardenia with an antifungal agent (such as horticultural oil with baking soda and insecticidal soap) can reduce the risk of infection or infestation.

To grow your Gardenia with success, make sure you follow these guidelines.

QI have had a gardenia in my garden for a number of years. When I purchased it at the nursery, it was blooming beautifully, but after the first year, I have not gotten any blooms Well, I have gotten some, but they fall off before opening. What am I doing wrong?

AGardenias can be temperamental plants. They are sensitive to both over- and under-watering, temperatures that are too high or too low, rapid temperature fluctuations, too much shade, and nutrient deficiencies. Any of these factors can trigger bud drop or buds aborting before opening.

Gardenias require particular environmental conditions to stay healthy and keep blooming.

In cooler coastal areas, plant gardenias in full sun, but in hot inland valleys, plant them in filtered shade.

The ideal temperature range for gardenias to produce flowers is from 68 to 74 degrees in the day and 60 degrees in the evening. They need warm days and cool nights and may drop buds or fail to bloom when temperatures fall outside their preferred range.

In addition to narrow temperature range preferences, gardenias require specific soil conditions to maintain overall plant health and flower productivity.

They like a uniformly moist — not soggy — well-drained soil. Because water stress caused by excessively dry conditions can also result in buds falling, establishing and maintaining a thick layer of mulch around the plant will help maintain consistent soil moisture and temperature.

Alkaline soils such as those found in Contra Costa County can reduce the availability of essential nutrients to your gardenia.

To prevent nutritional deficiencies during its growing season, fertilize your gardenia with a fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Gardenias thrive in soil high in organic matter with an acidic pH of 5.0 to 5.5.

To grow gardenias successfully, gardeners must keep in mind that the vigor and flowering ability of gardenias depend on their location in the garden and the cultural care they receive.

Chantal Guillemin is a Contra Costa Master Gardener.

Master Gardeners

Flower Buds Falling Off Gardenia

I have a gardenia with beautiful green leaves and no flowers. I have had several buds on it over the last year, but they fall off. How can I encourage and keep more blooms?

Temperature, light, humidity, and soil moisture are the key factors to getting and keeping gardenia blooms. Keep your gardenia out of drafts and in a room 55 to 65 degrees when trying to encourage or prolong bloom. Warmer and colder temperatures can interfere with flower development and lead to bud drop. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Fertilize gardenias with a dilute solution of any flowering houseplant fertilizer. Use a product for acid loving plants if possible.

Group your gardenia with other plants and place it on a gravel tray to increase humidity and improve bud retention. Just fill the plant saucer with pebbles and water. The pot should sit on the pebbles above (not in) the water. As the water evaporates it increase the humidity around the plant. Move the plant to a south- facing window or supplement the light in its current location.

Don’t transplant. Gardenias need to be somewhat potbound to bloom. Transplanting will encourage more green growth and delay blossoming. Once blossoms form, avoid hot temperatures, dry soils and low humidity. These can all cause bud drop. All your hard work will eventually be rewarded with fragrant blossoms.


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