learn How To Grow And Care For Gardenia Plants

Caring for Gardenia Plants

Gardenia Flowers

The gardenia plant produces beautiful milk-white flowers that have an amazing fragrance. These plants really stand out in a garden area when they are in full bloom. I Have a gardenia in my front yard that has been growing for some years now and during those seasons when this plant is in full bloom the clusters of white flowers that are produced are very pleasing to the eyes that you can’t help but enjoy this beautiful display.

Many homeowners have gardenias as a part of their garden design, I was not aware of this until traveling back and forth passing many homes and seeing them beautifully growing in their front yards. If you are interested in growing and caring for these garden beauties then follow these simple steps for growing gardenias success.

Things you need to know

Here are some rules that are a must to be successful at growing gardenias.

  • Planting Location
  • Soil Type
  • Watering Methods
  • Fertilizing Methods
  • Gardenia insect pests problems
  • Disease
  • Where to install Gardenias

Planting Location

The planting location should be an area that gets full to partial sunlight.

Soil Type

The soil type for these garden beauties should be acidic and the soil ph should be anywhere from 5.0-6.0. Adding organic matter to your existing garden soil will help in building your soil to hold moisture and allow excess water to drain through.

Watering Methods

Gardenias don’t like wet feet so avoid overwatering, the soil should be somewhat moist not waterlogged.

Fertilizing Methods

Fertilizer your gardenia during the growing season with a fertilizer that is formulated for acid-loving plants. During the fall and winter months discontinue fertilizing until the next growing season because this will encourage new growth which will be killed by the winter frost.

Gardenia insect pests problems

This garden beauty has its share of insect pest, here are a few to be on the lookout for.

  • Whiteflies
  • Mealybugs

Mealybugs and whiteflies are sucking insects that suck the sap from your garden plants which can have an adverse effect. To bring these garden insect pests under control the use of insecticidal soaps will have proven to be effective. When using chemicals read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Diseases of gardenias

Gardenias do have their share of plant disease but with proper treatment, this garden beauty can bounce back. With that said let’s take a look at these diseases.

  • Bud Drop
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Stem Canker
  • Root Rot

Bud Drop

Gardenias that are infected by bud drop is caused by those garden insect pest that was mentioned earlier. The buds of the gardenias will dry up and fall from the plant, also a black mold known as sooty mold appears on the leaves. These molds are a result of these sucking insect pests. The use of insecticidal soap or neem oil will eliminate these garden insect pests.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew appears as a white powder on the leaves of garden plants. This disease is encouraged because of poor air circulation. When installing gardenias give them proper spacing from other garden plants also thining your gardenias will help in this process. Applying neem oil has proven to give good results.

Stem Canker

Stem canker is caused by a fungus that affects the gardenia by entering wounds that are found on plants. Signs of this disease are lesions that are dark and oval with wilt and leaf drop. To control the spread of this disease prune the infected part back to the sound wood and properly discard the infected part. Remember to sterilize your pruner before using it on healthy plants. A mixture of 2 tablespoons of bleach to a cup of water. Soak a piece of rag in this solution and gently wipe the blades. Be careful not to cut your hand.

Root Rot

The signs of root rot are the yellowing of the plant’s leaves. Root rot occurs when garden plants are overwatered or growing in soils that have poor drainage. Plants that are infected by root rot should be removed and installed in an area where the soil has good drainage or the infected soil should be removed and replaced with soil that drains well.

Where to install gardenias

Gardenias can be installed.

1. In a garden area that meets their requirements

2. Alongside porches.

3. Near fences, the advantage of planting garden near fences is that a chain-link fence is designed with openings that allow air to freely pass through. Proper air circulation is so important for these plants.

4. Installed in pots and placed at the entry of doorways.

5. Can be used as a stand-alone or specimen plant.

Container grown gardenias

A great way to grow gardenias is in containers, the method of planting should be as stated above. Ensure that your containers have drain holes to allow excess water to drain through. The advantage of growing gardenias from containers is as the winter season sets in you can bring your plant indoors or place it in a secure area where it will be protected.

Growing gardenias indoors

When growing gardenias indoors it is of the utmost importance that you keep a close eye on your plant. This is a great way to get this fragrance indoors. The area that is chosen should be an area that gets a lot of indirect bright sunlight. Humidity also plays an important part in the life of your gardenia, if the humidity is not right your plant will suffer. The humidity should be in the range of the ’50s during the day and the ’60s at nighttime.

The use of a humidifier or misting the leaves will offer your gardenias much-needed help. Because your gardenia is growing indoors there is no need to water as much as if growing outdoors. The soil should be somewhat moist, allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering. Fertilize your gardenia as stated earlier.

A few uninvited guests ( garden insect pests) may seek to pay your plant a visit that’s why it is so important to ensure that your plant is stress-free by meeting their requirements. If your gardenia has fallen to these insect pests then the use of insecticidal soap sprays will offer some help, neem oil has also proven to give good results. Remember the containers should have a saucer to allow excess water to drain through, this excess water should be emptied from the saucer.

The final word

Growing gardenias both out and indoors is pretty simple, all it takes is some know-how and you will have these garden beauties in full bloom with their milk-white flowers and green shiny leaves that fragrance the air with such a sweet aroma. Investing in a plant like this is worth the effort so I encourage you to go ahead, install these plants, and reap the rewards.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

8 thoughts on “learn How To Grow And Care For Gardenia Plants”

  1. I absolutely love the Gardenia! I live in a cold climate and the periods of sun and warmth are short. I can only enjoy the beauty of this flower only indoors.

    I have noticed that from time to time my Gardenia falls the leaves. Is the air the cause or the soil humidity?

    Are there any varieties of Gardenia?

    Thank you for an informative article.

    • Hello so happy to hear from you. So sorry to hear about the challenges you are having. It is good to go through the process of elimination. Is your plant getting sufficient light, are you overwatering or not giving your plant sufficient water, is your plant in and an area where it is getting proper air circulation, how about the day and night time temperature is it just the right fit for your plant.

      Doing a bit of detective work will help you to find the answer. Hope this helps and please let me know how it goes. Have a good day.

  2. Hello Marshall! I have finally arrived at the right post. I have been trying to grow gardenias. But I ignored quite a few things. And I had been trying to research but the information I found was just too generic. So, that’s why I’m so happy I found your site.

    Among the misconceptions I had were the soil type and watering methods. I’ll follow your advice and see how my gardenias come along. Thank you very much!

    • Hello so happy to meet you and thanks a lot for those kind words. I am so happy that I could help and please let me know how it goes. All the best to you, have a good day.

  3. While this is not my line of interest the statement holds true, “You learn something new every day.” I am tempted to go out and get a Gardenia plant for the inside of my house. They are beautiful and now I know exactly how to care for it. I think I will call it the Norman.

  4. These plants makes a beautiful atmosphere, truly something I’ll consider as we only have veggie plants at the moment. Not too sure if it will grow in sandy soil though, but will use your methods to grow the Gardenias in a container. Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂


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