Gardenia Care Guide – Introduction


Welcome to the Gardenia care guide and Gardenia care tips site! Are you having problems caring for you Gardenia? For years I like so many others struggled to grow Gardenia with little or no success at all. I’d almost given up trying to grow this beautiful plant but through reading, researching, perseverance and many many conversations with my expert uncle and other successful growers, I now know I’ve finally cracked it!

With the gardenia care tips and advice that I’ve been given and have amassed over the years, I have now grow some really stunningly beautiful Gardenias that really are the envy of my neighbors, street and town. I’m always getting comments, praise and questions from my neighbors and work colleagues on Gardenia care and so rather then repeat myself all the time, I decided to write it down and hence the Gardenia care guide was born. What I’m going to do is share my accumulated knowledge, success stories and some of the disasters with you so you may improve your Gardenia care knowledge so that you too can be the envy of your gardening friends.



By following this Gardenia care guide you could be growing blooms like this one!

I’ve always loved Gardenia’s and Gardenia flowers … I remember them from my childhood and the scent of the Gardenia flowers has always reminded me of the garden of the house in which I grew up in and spent so many happy years with my family. So naturally when I was finally lucky enough to own my own home and a garden, one of the first plants I bought was a Gardenia. But sadly my Gardenia care knowledge was severely lacking and the results did not match my childhood memories or aspirations.

Gardenia Care Is Not Easy!

It’s been said many times before that a Gardenia is a complicated plant and it truly is! Gardenia plants grow in a very specific band of pH and moisture levels and will punish you if you fail to keep within these boundaries. Problems like ‘yellow leaves’ are very common and can be the result of various causes. However help is at hand – by following the steps and tips within the Gardenia Care guide I hope to guide you through pitfalls of growing gardenias so that you too may enjoy the blooms of these beautiful plants.

Gardenia Care Video – Mulch!

Its very important that our Gardenia plants have sufficient moisture – but how do we retain the moisture and so improve our gardenias chance of survival? The answer is the regular application of mulch. Mulch? What is mulch? The term mulch is given to any type of material that put or spread on the top of the soil. The primary purpose of using a mulch is to improve the moisture retention in the soil and keeping it cool, but it also does a fine job of suppressing weeds and some garden pests too. If your using an organic mulch like bark then this will rot and decompose over time adding to the soils nutrients.

In this gardenia care video Jose shows the best way in which to apply mulch to your gardenia plants and he recommends that you re-mulch every 3 months. Its evident from watching the video how finished a garden looks with an application of mulch – it really makes the plants stand out!

Other Gardenia Care Video And Posts You Might Be Interested In

If you found this gardenia care video useful then why not check out some of the other video and posts on this site.

Gardenia Care Video – Potted Gardenias

I came across this gardenia care video awhile back and never got around to posting for you – which is a shame really as it has a couple of excellent gardenia care tips – not just for those of you growing gardenias in containers or pots but for all gardenia growers.

Aaron (who works in the Waterloo gardens greenhouse so he should know what he’s talking about) presents the video in a nice relaxed style and gives clear and concise gardenia care advice. He talks through some general gardenia care points covering watering, pruning a gardenia and maintaining your gardenia soils pH.

Here are some of the gardenia care tips from the video – but don’t take my word for it watch the video

  • Gardenias will tolerate cold temperatures down to around 55 degrees but prefer temperature of between 60 and 76 degrees.
  • When keeping your gardenia plant indoors to avoid those lower winter temperatures try and ensure that it still gets full sun. However when the weather warms up and you move your gardenia plant outdoors, try and place it in a position that will have filtered sun but with protection from the hot afternoon sun. Don’t be tempted to place it directly under trees though as your gardenia plant wont appreciate the drips off the trees as this can promote fungal attacks.
  • Fertilize your gardenias in spring, summer and early fall. Gardenia care experts use Miracle-Gro Nursery Select Miracid to fertilize gardenias.
  • Use soft water rather than hard water as the minerals contained in hard water overtime will build up in the gardenia soil and eventually raise the pH level. To prevent this (I love this gardenia care tip) once a month mix one cup of white vinegar to one gallon of water. Water your gardenia with the vinegar solution and this will help dissolve and leach out the alkaline mineral deposits thus helping to maintain your gardenia soils pH. This is a very good gardenia care tip and one I will be passing on to those of you growing gardenia in pots and containers.
  • When wintering your gardenia out gardenia care expert says don’t fertilize, prune your gardenia or re-pot it.

Other Gardenia Care Video And Posts You Might Be Interested In

If you found this gardenia care video useful then why not check out some of the other video and posts on this site.

Gardenia Black Leaves? Help is at hand!

A common problem I hear when talking to fellow gardenia care experts and lovers is that of black gardenia leaves. We strive to keep our gardenia healthy with lots of loving care, only to see our prize plants succumb to black leaves. So what are the causes of gardenia black leaves?

The Gardenia Care Expert On Causes of Gardenia Black Leaves

There are a number of causes of gardenia black leaves.

  • Is the actual gardenia leaf turned black or is it covered in a black residue that can be removed by hand? If the black can be removed then your gardenia black leaves are caused by a fungus growing on the gardenia leaves namely sooty mould. This is the most common cause of gardenia black leaves.
    Gardenia Black Leaves And Sooty Mould

    Gardenia black leaves caused by sooty mould

    While sooty mould isn’t harmful to the gardenia plant it looks very unsightly. Sooty mould affects gardenias and citrus plants and is a common cause of black leaves. Where does it come from? Well the sooty mould on your gardenia black leaves is most probably growing and feeding off the sticky excretions of sap sucking insects like aphids and white fly. While the mould itself isn’t harmful to the gardenia a gardenia care expert would look to eradicating the cause of the problem namely the insects.

    The insects feasting on you gardenia can be treated with horticultural insecticide although I feel this is a little harsh on your garden environment. I only use a green / organic insecticide sparingly and as a last resort if the insect infestation is particularly heavy and brushing and squashing isn’t addressing the problem. The mould on your gardenia black leaves can be simply washed off, but if you don’t address the insect problem you’ll find that you are doing this more and more.

    Gardenia aphids can be the root cause of gardenia black leaves

    Aphids can be the root cause of gardenia black leaves

    You can try and prevent gardenia black leaves issues, by using horticultural oils and soaps but I believe your best protection is to try and attract more of the insects natural predators into the garden like ladybugs. As always when using chemicals and products always read the label and instructions and see proper advice if you are unsure.

  • Is the actual leaf black? Gardenia black leaves can be caused by the gardenia plant being exposed to sub 50º temperatures. If you regularly experience sustained temperatures below 50º maybe you should investigate if your gardenia plant is suitable for your zone. If you know that the temperatures are about to drop then try covering your gardenias in order to keep them warm and keep out the cold.

Gardenia Care Video – Preparing Gardenia Plants For Planting

This informative Gardenia care video shows us how to prepare the Gardenia plant roots for planting. This Gardenia care video assumes that the Gardenia plant that your about to plant is a recently purchased one from a garden center or Gardenia supplier and is currently growing in a pot. A Gardenia plants roots (like most plants) are very delicate and should be handled with care. Ensure that you have prepared a suitable sized hole for your new Gardenia plant. Gardenia plants require a specific soil pH of around 5.0 to 6.5 see our post Gardenia Care Video – Preparing Gardenia Soil to find out more. A Gardenia care expert will always advise you to try and avoid planting Gardenias near concrete walkways or buildings as leeching from the concrete may affect the pH of the soil.

Gardenia Suppliers And Buying Gardenias

As the above video dealt with preparing potted Gardenias for planting I thought it was worth mentioning a few pointers for those of you purchasing Gardenia plants. All of us at some point will buy a Gardenia plant either from a specialist Gardenia supplier or our local garden center. But what would the gardenia care expert be be looking for to ensure that our Gardenia plant is healthy and worth the price tag?

  • Firstly a gardenia care expert before they even start to look at the Gardenia plant, would check the pot that’s it growing in! A cracked or damaged pot may have allowed access to disease and pests that could be attacking roots and give you problems later on.
  • The pot should be free of leaves, weeds and other plant debris. Any weeds in the pot will have been taking vital nutrients and moisture from your potential Gardenia purchase which may have reduced its resistance to disease and seeing as we are potentially going to stress the plant by transplanting it in to the ground we want our gardenia to be in tip top condition. Old and decomposing leaves and blooms on the surface of the pot are the perfect place for pests to breed and multiply. We don’t want to give a free ride to pests that have been breeding in a garden center back to our garden?
  • Check the stems of the plant. The gardenia care expert is looking for broken and damaged stems (recent or old) reject those plants that have damage to them.
  • The leaves of the Gardenia should be lovely glossy green. Any yellow leaves might point to the pH of the potting soil being incorrect or a bad watering regime. Gardenia’s can also be susceptible to leaf spot so check for sign of this too.
  • In general the Gardenia plant should look healthy and be a good shape. Obviously you can shape the plant to you liking however I would hold off pruning until the Gardenia is well established in your garden.


Other Gardenia Care Videos You Might Be Interested In

If you found this “Gardenia Care Video – Preparing Gardenia Plants For Planting” video and post useful then why not check out some of the other videos on this site.

Gardenia Care Video – Gardenia Pruning

Gardenia pruning is the subject of today’s Gardenia care video and I give to you a short video on how to prune a Gardenia. If left alone your gardenia will become spindly and unshapely – this Gardenia care video gives tips on how and why you should be pruning you gardenia. Although not essential to the health of gardenia, I always prune my gardenia once a year and it should be part of your annual gardenia care routine as well. By pruning regularly I’m able to keep my gardenias in the shape and size that suits my garden, it also ensures that I keep an eye on my gardenia plants, checking for disease and pests.

When Should I Prune My Gardenia?

I always prune my gardenia straight after the flowers have dropped. This ensures that I don’t inadvertently remove any of next years buds. The buds are normally formed in the fall ready to burst out in the following year. So pruning after the blooms have gone, means I can shape the plant and remove some of the old wood safe in the knowledge that I’m not going to inadvertently remove or hinder next years growth. Please note that some of the newer hybrids of gardenia can flower twice in a season – so be sure you know what variety of gardenia you have before sharpening those pruning sheers. Always ensure your pruning sheers are sharp as ragged cuts to a Gardenia plant can lead to disease.

Other Gardenia Care Videos You Might Be Interested In

If you found this gardenia care video useful then why not check out some of the other videos on this site.

Gardenia Care Video – Preparing Gardenia Soil

Preparing soil is today’s Gardenia care video and we have an excellent video tutorial and resource for those of you wishing to further your Gardenia care knowledge. The video shows you how to mix you own Gardenia soil rather than buying the prepared store compost or soil. Some of you may be surprised about the addition of coffee into the mix, but Jose explains that the coffee grains provide the acidity in the soil that we need to keep our Gardenia healthy and that the addition of coffee grains into the top soil should be a part of your regular Gardenia care plan.

Gardenia Care Tip: Gardenia Soil pH

So what is the best pH for Gardenia soil? Well a Gardenia plant is best grown in a soil that has a pH balance of between 5.0 and 6.5. If your soil pH is outside of these boundaries then your going to be asking for trouble. The best way to test your Gardenia soils pH is to buy a soil testing kit. Soil testing kits are readily available and are the only way that you will be able to determine what your soils pH really is. If the soils pH is not to your Gardenia plants liking then it will have problems in absorbing the trace elements that it requires to promote healthy and sustainable growth. Testing your Gardenia soils pH is one of the fist steps in the gardenia care experts handbook without knowing the soils pH you may have problems in diagnosing future Gardenia problems.


Other Gardenia Care Videos You Might Be Interested In

If you found the “Gardenia Care Video – Preparing Gardenia Soil” post and video useful then why not check out some of the other video posts on this site.