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Item No: 821XX
Try to keep the soil of a Gardenia evenly moist but never soggy. The top inch or two of soil should dry out before you water the plant; never let a Gardenia sit in water. Over watering a Gardenia causes root rot, brown spots on leaves, and buds not to open; under watering a Gardenia causes green leaves to fall off. A Gardenia is an acid loving plant that requires lots of nutrients in order to bloom. Fertilize a Gardenia from spring through late fall with a food that is specifically made for blooming plants that require an acidic soil; i.e. azalea plant food or miracid.
Year round
A Gardenia requires very bright light for at least 6-8 hours during the day; place it near a south-facing window if possible. Be prepared to move your Gardenia to different locations in your home during the winter to ensure that it gets enough light. Grow lights may be necessary if there is not enough natural light for the Gardenia. High humidity is another requirement for Gardenias. You can increase your basic household humidity, especially during the dry winter months, by placing a humidifier near your Gardenia, putting your Gardenia on a pebble tray filled with water (be sure the plant sits on the pebbles not in the water), or grouping several plants near each other. Misting doesn't really help & causes fungal growth on the leaves of a Gardenia.
A Gardenia needs well-drained acidic soil with some peat moss added to it. You can increase the soil acidity by watering once a month with left over tea or very dilute vinegar.
Gardenias attract mealy bugs, spider mites, white flies, thrips, and aphids. The best way to keep these insects away from your plant is to provide good air circulation, avoid getting water on the leaves, and keep the temperature cool. If your Gardenia does become infested, spray the green solution. Be careful not to spray the buds or flowers.
Temperature is extremely important for Gardenias. They do not do well when it is too hot or too cold. Temperatures should be between 65-70 degrees during the day and 60-65 degrees at night. Cool night temperatures are essential for the blooms of a Gardenia to set. Buds will drop off when temperatures go over 70 degrees.
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