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I'm raising my first-ever gardenia, and its requirements are quite different from many other houseplants I've had. It took me a while to figure out how much water it wanted, and when, and getting the light just right was difficult. For the past couple of months, it's been really happy, lush dark green mature leaves, bright green new growth on all stems -- but no flowers.
The rosette (I think that's the term) of tightly-clenched new leaflets looks just like a flower bud at first, but has always unfolded into just another ring of leaves. We've had lots and lots of new growth, and each time there's a new spurt, I think the new growths are really buds, only to be disappointed when they unfold into more leaves. I'd almost given up on it.
Now, however, I think it's considering blooming! Inside the rosette of new leaves on several stems is a thing that looks a lot like the tightly-clenched fist of a new rosette, but it's dark purple instead of bright green. This is either a new kind of leaf appearing, a disease that's causing the color to change, or the plant's first flower buds.
It's always exciting when a plant one has nursed and pampered shows that it's happy, but it's especially exciting when it's a species one hasn't raised before. I hope I'm right about the new stuff being buds.
My gardenia is getting ready to bloom as well. I almost threw it out last year. It's bloomed before, but never had this many buds on it. I've noticed when it's budding it takes more water. I keep a watering ball in mine. Be sure to keep it out of any draft, It takes forever for the buds to open.
Well done Dallasdad, you raised this from seed or a cutting?????, these plants can be really temperamental as indoor plants, as our other friend said, they dont like drafts, they sure dont like being moved when they get flower buds on them and any ones I have had, prefere rain water to household water, also at flowering/bud formation, I give them a diluted liquid feed, half the strength it says and maybe once per week. they are known for sending out several branches from the one stalk, they are after all bushes/shrubs in there natural habitat, keep an eye on the leaves you think might be changing colour as they are also prone to diseases like rust or mould, if you have the plant in a warm room, then you need to mist it, even underside of the leaves to give the humid conditions they like, but dont overdo this as the flower buds could rot if they sit with tons of water on them. I feel sure you are doing the right thing, not to warm but not too cold setting is best. good luck. WeeNel.
I'm very sorry to hear that Dallasdad, I know I had that fustration when trying to keep them in pots. I did notice though it happened more if I tried moving it while in bud, sometimes I'd have them outside in a pot and them move them indoors to enjoy the smell, and a few days later the buds would just fall off.
This summer, try looking out for an extra Gardenia and trying it in the ground...as I said, all 3 of mine, after putting them in the ground, took off, not only with blooming but were more healthy looking too.
I think this year I'll just look for the bushes at HD or Lowes with the most buds, buy it and enjoy it indoors and then plant it later on...
Hope you get blooms again and they stay there this time round. Keep trying, I've got my fingers crossed for you.
Sorry wrong pic. First pic was it on Jan 6. Those 2 blooms where the only ones that opened. The rest fell to the ground. I thought it was because it was still in the pot, so I planted them.. This was taken on Feb 25. I was so excited. It got lots of buds and one bloomed. The rest are on the ground.
I forgot to mention, they prefere an acidic soil, so if feeding, use a feed specially for acidic plants but start with half the dosage the packet/bottle Say's, dont allow the indoor plants to sit in a saucer with water, drain any excess off. WeeNel.
Help! Just recently bought a 3 foot potted gardenia tree from Lowes'. Tag doesn't name what kind of gardenia. I've been on the web researching how to care for it (live in Iowa...too cold to put outside yet). I've read that it's the plant from "hell" to keep alive, especially indoors. So I mist it for humidity, I put it on a bed of rocks for more humidity and so it doesn't sit in water, I talk to it!!!! It's in front of my NORTH patio window, which is the largest window; indirect bright light. I know they like a huge amount of indirect southern light, but my house gets little southern exposure. I bought Acidic MiracleGrow (haven't applied yet - only 2 days in the house and afraid to do too much too soon.) So far, no leaf drop...but, I had two blooms open, but the rest of the little buds + one big bud seem to have frozen in their growth. What do I do...move it? Leave it? Pray?
Thanks for the reply. I've read, though, that they don't like being misted on their "flowers", or they'll reward you with dropping off. Almost impossible to not hit the flowers with mist. Is that true? Also read that they like coffee grounds...as absorbed when watered...true? Myth? Any tips for good health as it progresses and I freak out? This is the most tempermental plant I've ever bought, according to bloggers.
The best advice would be don't freak out about it being temperamental--most likely all that'll do is make you do too much stuff to it and you'll kill it with love.
In my experience, water on the buds doesn't make them drop but it can give the flowers brown spots. Not sure if that just happens outdoors with sun or if it would happen indoors too (I've never grown them indoors). Misting is a pretty inefficient way to raise the humidity--as soon as the water droplets evaporate there's no more extra humidity, so unless you stand there misting it constantly you're not going to give it much more humidity than it would have normally. So if you're worried about what the water might do to the buds I'd skip the misting.
The reason people say to use coffee grounds is because gardenias like acidic soil, but the grounds don't really have much acidity to them (coffee itself is acidic, but most of the acidity winds up in the coffee after brewing, not the grounds). They won't hurt, but if the soil in your container is too high there are better ways to lower the pH. You'll know you need to lower your pH if the leaves turn yellow but the veins are still green (leaves that are yellow all over are typically a sign of a watering issue, so make sure you don't confuse the symptoms)
Do make sure that you keep the Gardenia out of drafts from fans and AC/Heat blowers. They do best in a temperature rage of 60 to 75 degrees. Underwatering is just as detrimental to the plant as overwatering is. It will drop leaves and buds will turn dark brown and drop off.
Yea, the first thing to go when they aren't getting enough water are the buds- which is what it sounds like happened to you. I know it can be so frustrating!
I live in Zone 6 and so have yet to get a Gardenia through the winter (they just don't like being indoors), however, for two summers now I've had success with them on my front step, in indirect sunlight. My method for watering is to thoroughly soak the soil and then let it dry out COMPLETELY before watering again. The plant tells you when it wants more water- just as the leaves begin to droop, that's when you should water immediately.