Gardenias are often grown outdoors or placed indoors as houseplants. These plants produce lovely flowers that have a rich, fragrant aroma. When growing indoors, gardenias are susceptible to drying from reduced indoor humidity and nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Outdoors, gardenias are susceptible to drying from improper irrigation.
Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that typically reach 2 to 15 feet in height. These plants produce glossy green foliage and creamy white flowers that have a unique fragrance. Gardenias are most often used as hedges, borders and ground covers. They are also placed indoors as houseplants but can be difficult to grow inside the home. Gardenias thrive when planted in full sun, as planting them in heavy shade can cause reduced flower production.
A gardenia growing indoors may turn dry if the indoor humidity level is too low. Plants and flowers must have some humidity to thrive. Increasing indoor humidity levels can help reduce drying of leaves. Gardenias may also dry out from a lack of water. Improper irrigation of outdoor gardenias or reduced indoor watering can dry leaves and cause premature bud drop. A lack of sunlight may also cause drying of gardenia leaves, as well as leaf yellowing and premature bud drop. Nutrient deficiencies in the soil may also cause leaf drying. Reduced levels of nitrogen, iron and zinc may cause leaves to dry and buds to drop.
Cultural control methods can help reduce drying of gardenia leaves. Increase indoor humidity, avoid drastic temperature changes indoors and reduce drafts near your plants to keep your gardenias looking healthy and moist. Provide ample water and avoid watering with hard water. Use distilled water for best results.
Chemical controls may be necessary to keep gardenias healthy. Applying a water-soluble fertilizer formulated for use on acid-loving plants may provide the nutrients that your gardenia needs. Be sure to choose a fertilizer with micronutrients for best results and follow the directions on the label. Proper fertilization can help your gardenia flower properly and maintain good health and vigor.