Gardenias are a favorite of gardeners in warm climates, who understandably love the plant for its glossy green leaves and sweet-smelling white flowers. However, this exotic plant can be somewhat finicky and it can be difficult to determine the reason when a gardenia plant is not blooming. If your gardenia won’t flower, there are several possible factors that may be to blame. Read on to learn about the most common reasons when there are no blooms on gardenias.
My Gardenia Won’t Flower
Troubleshooting when there’s no flowers on gardenia plants is often necessary in order to pinpoint the best possible reason.
Improper pruning – When a gardenia plant is not blooming, the reason is often pruning too late in the season. Prune gardenia plants after flowering in summer, but before the plant has time to set new buds. Pruning too late in the season will remove buds in the process of developing for the next season. Keep in mind that some cultivars flower twice during the season.
Bud drop – If buds are developing and then falling off the plant before flowering, the problem is likely environmental. Be sure the plant gets sunlight, preferably in the morning with shade during the heat of the afternoon. Gardenias prefer well-drained, acidic soil with a pH less than 6.0. Soil with an improper pH may be the reason when there are no blooms on gardenias.
Extreme weather – Temperature extremes, either too hot or too cold, can also prevent blooming or cause buds to drop. For example, if you want know to how to get blooms on gardenia, temperatures should be between 65 and 70 F. (18-21 C.) during the day and between 60 and 63 F. (15-17 C.) during the night.
Lack of nutrition – Feed gardenias lightly in early spring after all danger of frost has passed, using a fertilizer formulated for gardenias, rhododendrons, azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Repeat in about six weeks to ensure the plant has adequate nutrition to support continued blooming.
Pests – A severe insect infestation may be to blame when a gardenia won’t flower. Gardenias are susceptible to attacks by spider mites, aphids, scale and mealybugs, all of which are usually easily controlled by regular applications of insecticidal soap spray.