Gardenia Blossom Drop
June 30th, 2005
Gardenias are among our most grown and least understood plants. They’re often put in the wrong spots, such as small, shady patios, where they invariably get whiteflies. Wrong locations can also cause bud drop, especially in warm zones. Gardenias need acid soil, good drainage, adequate moisture, full sun in cooler areas or part shade in warmer areas, protection from thrips. They also need regular fertilizing for growth and flowers, with an acid-type product that contains trace elements to prevent chlorosis. Try fertilizing every 2 to 4 weeks.
However, you can meet all these requirements and still have gardenias that drop buds instead of blooming. The reason is that if night temperatures get over 60 degrees to 62 degrees the buds won’t develop. They’ll stay on the plant but they won’t grow. Then.. if suddenly a few cool nights occur, they’ll all drop off. So don’t grow gardenias where they’ll be subjected to warm night temperatures. For example: in patios, on porches, or close to house walls. Put them where temperatures are colder at night, away from the house and out under the open sky; with the daily temperature spread they’ll bloom.