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 the plant or when gardenia buds won’t bloom. Let’s look at some of the issues that can cause this.
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.
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.
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 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.
In addition to non-blooming buds and the 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 that 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.
Did you know that gardenia bushes are part of the Rubiaceae, or Coffee, plant family?
These elegant flowers are native to tropical and subtropical regions and come in a wide range of colors. Yet, it’s white gardenias that are the most popular.
While beautiful and fragrant, gardenias can be quite demanding. They need constant management, which, if not done right, can cause problems.
One common problem is Gardenia buds drop off the plant before they’ve had a chance to bloom.
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.
The Master Gardener programs are UC Cooperative Extension, county-based volunteer organizations dedicated to providing research-based gardening information to home gardeners. And they love sharing information and answering questions.
Contra Costa Master Gardeners, 925-646-6586, 9 a.m.-noon, Mondays-Thursdays. http://ccmg.ucdavis.edu
Santa Clara Master Gardeners, 408-282-3105, 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. http://mastergardeners.org/scc.html
Alameda County Master Gardeners, 510-639-1371 or 925-960-9420. http://acmg.ucdavis.edu
Solano County Master Gardeners, 707-784-1321. http://cesolano.ucdavis.edu/Master_Gardener
San Mateo/San Francisco Master Gardeners, 650-726-9059, ext. 107, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. http://ucanr.org/sites/MGsSMSF
California Master Gardener website, http://camastergardeners.ucdavis.edu
A problem often faced by flower lovers – apparently no-reason Hibiscus bud drop. The causes can be multiple, and if the problems are fixed, there is a good chance to enjoy Hibiscus blooming again.
-Hard to believe, but water is the main cause of bud drop. Both excess and lack of water stress the plant very much, and the first to be affected are the buds.
– In summer, the plant is water daily. If it will suffer from thirst, the flowers and buds will wilt and fall and the leaves will soften. Anyhow, if you act immediately, the Hibiscus will re-bloom.
In winter, however, during the rest period, the watering will be done less often and in small quantities.
– On the other hand, excess water suffocates the plant. The capillaries from the ground, instead of being filled with air will be filled with water. On long term excess watering leads to root rot. Hibiscus is one of the plants that can’t stand too much water. Drain the water that remained in the pot plate a few minutes after you have water it and after the plant has “pulled” enough water.
The reason why Hibiscus buds drop?
– The pests are also to blame for bud drop. The most dangerous pests for Hibiscus are red spiders. They colonize the back side of the leaves, and they sting the tissues nourishing with the cell juice. As the plant loses leaves massively, there is no question of being able to hold flowers, and for the buds to bloom again.
– Beware of the attack of Whiteflies and Aphids. The plant lice especially attack the buds, which will fall immediately. Leaves twist, gasp and fall too.
– Low temperatures are also a cause of bud drop. In the case of younger plants, 59 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum temperature for disaster: buds will drop and the leaves will turn yellow and fall. The mature plants also withstand somewhat lower temperatures.
– Last but not least, a properly planted plant will not have enough resources to open its flowers, and the buds will drop. That’s why in the growing season, from the beginning of spring to mid-autumn, you should fertilize the plant.
Image Credits: Gardenloversclub
Read on for some common factors causing your gardenia buds to drop before they’ve had a chance to bloom.
Gardenias flourish when the soil is moist. When their soil dries up, their buds tend to fall off.
Try to keep an eye on the soil to make sure it’s always moist. Moisture levels should be evenly distributed. The soil should never be soaking wet or soggy.
Tip: Use peat-based potting soil whenever you can. You can find it online or make it yourself and save yourself some money.
If you’re using good-old tap water to keep your gardenias moist, then it’s time for a change. Regular tap water contains large amounts of minerals, which is why it may appear cloudy at times.
Gardenias are sensitive to these minerals, especially lime. If you’re watering your gardenias with tap water, this could be one reason causing the buds to drop.
Tip: Switching to distilled water can help prevent gardenia buds from dropping. Distilled water boosts plant health and allows it to grow more heartily.
We mentioned earlier that gardenias are native to the tropics and subtropics. Still, you may be surprised to know they don’t like dry air.
Try to increase humidity levels for your gardenia plants, especially in the winter. One thing you can do is to use a pebble tray underneath the flower pot. Fill the tray with water and throw in some pebbles.
Your gardenia plant will soak up the humidity it needs when the water evaporates. At the same time, the pebbles keep the pot raised so the roots don’t become saturated in the water.
Tip: If it’s an indoor plant, use a humidifier. It’s a great way to keep your gardenia plant vibrant and healthy year-round. Plus, humidifiers are good for you and your home as well.
Gardenias can be picky when it comes to light. They prefer filtered or indirect light and don’t do well in direct sunlight, especially in hot climates.
To prevent buds from wilting and dropping off, place your gardenias somewhere well-lit. It should be somewhere that gets minimal direct sunlight.
If it’s an indoor plant, make sure you place it near a sunny window where it can get 6 – 8 hours of light daily.
Tip: Place your gardenias in a place that gets filtered shade. This way, they get the light they need without being subjected to harsh, direct sunlight.
Gardenias are super sensitive when it comes to their location. Once they’ve started growing, they don’t like to be moved or touched, or disturbed in any way.
Pro-tip: Before your plant, your gardenias, plan ahead. Observe your garden or home closely throughout the day for the perfect spot to place your gardenia plant.
Because they’re typically found in hot climates, gardenias can tolerate varying degrees of temperatures. For example, during the days, they flourish when it’s between 70 – 75° degrees Fahrenheit. At night, they prefer cooler temperatures, which range between 60 – 65° degrees Fahrenheit.
Above all, gardenias are highly sensitive to drastic temperature changes.
Tip: Add some mulch around the plant to stabilize its core temperature. This can make it less susceptible to varying temperature changes.
If your gardenia plant is lacking in nutrients, it may start dropping its buds. A great way to enhance plant health is to add fertilizer once a month. This is preferably done from March to October, which is their growing season.
Avoid fertilizing gardenias from November to February when they’re mostly dormant.
Gardenias are acid loving plants and prefer acidic soil. A gardenia fertilizer should be high in acidity with a pH level between 5.0 and 5.5.
You can choose to mix the fertilizer directly into the soil. Another way you can try is to dissolve the fertilizer in the water, then apply it to the soil.
Tip: Fertilizers that contain iron and/or copper can boost flower growth. They can also improve the health of plant leaves. Gardenia plants can experience iron deficiency or iron chlorosis. One ounce of iron mixed in water or iron chelate for plants once per month can usually fix the problem.