How do you care for gardenias?


Quick Answer

To care for gardenias, grow the plants in ideal conditions, keep them watered, fertilize them twice a year, look for pests, and prune when necessary. Gardenias can be challenging to grow, and frequent care is required.

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Full Answer

  1. Provide ideal conditions

    Gardenias require full sunlight, high humidity and soil with minimal salt and a pH balance below 7.0. They can also be grown as indoor container plants in humid sun rooms.

  2. Water the plant regularly

    Indoor gardenias should be watered on a weekly basis. Outdoor gardenias should be kept consistently moist as deep as 2 inches, without being overly saturated. During summer, be sure to water more often. Avoid getting water on the leaves, and water the plant from below.

  3. Fertilize bi-annually

    At the beginning of spring and summer, fertilize the gardenias. Use an acid-loving fertilizer for outdoor plants and a container gardening fertilizer for indoor plants.

  4. Watch for pests

    Check for pests on a regular basis. Gardenias often have pest issues with white flies, aphids, mealy bugs, scales and spider mites. Use insecticide to get rid of infestations.

  5. Prune as needed

    When the blooms drop, prune the plant with sharp gardening shears. Remove any dead material, and keep the plant trimmed to your desired size.

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