How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (2022)

Gardenias are well known for their amazing fragrance and beautiful flowers. They’re often considered to be difficult plants to grow indoors, but if you provide gardenias with what they need to thrive, they’ll grow beautifully in your home.

How to grow gardenias indoors?

  1. Provide as much indirect sunlight as possible.
  2. Use a pot with good drainage and soil with the right acidity.
  3. Ideal daytime temperatures of 65 to 70° F (18.3 to 21.2° C).
  4. Provide a tropical, humid environment.
  5. Feed frequently with 15-15-15 fertilizer.

Here’s everything you need to know abouthow to grow gardenias indoors, including how much light these plants need, howto water them, and what to do if they start dropping leaves.

Why Are Gardenias So Popular?

Both indoor and outdoor gardeners love gardenias. They’re considered to be a flower of “love, purity, and sweetness”, which is why you often see gardenias in bouquets and on tables at weddings.

The leaves are dark green and glossy, the perfect backdrop for the fragrant, creamy-white flowers. When in bloom, the scent of your gardenia will fill the room with a sweet floral aroma that will instantly brighten your day.

Indoor gardenias have a height and spreadof 2 to 6 feet (60cm to 2m). When growing conditions are ideal, thesehouseplants will bloom during the summer and autumn months.

Gardenias belong to the Rubiaceae family –their botanical name is Gardeniajasminoides. Native to China and Japan, gardenias are usually grownoutdoors in warmer, humid climates. Bring them indoors and provide them withthe same growing conditions and you can expect your gardenia to thrive and havelong-lasting blooms.

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (1)

Ideal Light Conditions For Gardenias

Gardenias need a lot of light, at least 6 to 8 hours each day, so choose the sunniest spot in your home for these plants. Windows that have a southeast exposure are a good choice, with the morning sun and sun throughout the day.

Windows facing southwest can often be too hot in summer months so don’t put the plant directly on windowsills. Heat and direct sunlight may scorch the plant and cause the leaves to wilt, even if the soil is moist.

As the seasons change, you’ll want to move your gardenia from one location to another in your home so that it gets adequate light. During the winter months, that southwest window that’s too hot in the summer will become ideal in the colder season when there are fewer daylight hours.

(Video) Care Tips for Indoor Gardenia Plants

If you live in an area where winters are bleak with more gray days than sun, consider investing in grow lights to help your gardenia stay healthy until spring arrives.

Best Location For Gardenia Plants

It’s not just sunlight your gardenia needsto be happy – it also needs the perfect location in your home. Choose an areathat’s well ventilated with circulating air without there being any drafts.During colder weather be sure not to place the plant where it can get directheat from a furnace or other heat source.

Other than moving your gardenia in thewinter to a location where it gets more light, try not to move it around toomuch. Gardenias are more sensitive than other houseplants and once they adaptto a particular location, they may start to drop leaves, buds, and flowers ifyou move them too often.

When it comes to location, bathrooms can bea good choice if there’s a window that provides enough light. Steam fromshowers and baths can provide just the right amount of humidity, making for theperfect tropical environment.

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (2)

What Type Of Pot Is Best For Your Gardenia?

Gardenias do well in a variety of pots –terra cotta, clay, plastic, or ceramic all work well so long as there are holesat the bottom of the pot for adequate drainage. Terra cotta and clay pots aremy first choice as they allow the roots of the gardenia to stay moist longerthan other types of pots.

No matter what type of pot you choose, gardeniasprefer pots that drain well so that water doesn’t pool around the roots and in thebottom of the pot. You want the water to flow evenly through the soil, down tothe roots, and out through the drainage holes. Drainage holes also allow forgood air circulation through the roots of the plant, keeping them healthy.

Best Soil For Gardenias

Use good quality potting soil that’s made with a mix of coarse sand and peat moss. Soil should also contain a small amount of acidic compost, otherwise known as “ericaceous” compost. This will help to keep the soil at the right acidic level for gardenias.

You can buy ericaceous soil at any gardening store or you can make yourself. If making your own, mix together 20 percent perlite, 10 percent regular garden potting soil, 10 percent compost, and 10 percent coarse sand. Another option when it comes to soil is to buy a mix that’s intended for rhododendrons as this plant requires the same soil conditions as gardenias.

Gardenias also like a bit of mulch in thepot – on top of the potting soil add a layer of organic mulch. This is a greatway to keep the roots moist without them becoming too wet. Mulch can also helpincrease the humidity level.

If you purchased your potted gardenia froma garden center or florist, it’s most likely planted in the right type of soil.Be sure to ask before you bring the plant home.

Importance Of Soil pH

Gardenias need acidic soil to growsuccessfully. The pH level of the soil should be between 4.5 and 6.0. If thesoil is too alkaline the leaves on your gardenia may start to yellow and falloff, and the plant most likely won’t bloom.

(Video) FRESH! MODERN INDOOR GARDEN DESIGNS | SIMPLE GUIDE TO START INDOOR GARDENING FOR HOME DECOR IDEAS

The pH level of soil naturally changes over time as you water and fertilize the plant, so you’ll need to be sure to keep the acidity of soil at the right level. Before you adjust the acid level of the soil, you’ll need to know what the pH level is. You can do this by using a soil pH test kit, available in gardening centers.

If you need to increase the acidity of the soil you can water your gardenia once a month with diluted vinegar or with leftover tea. Some indoor gardeners increase acidity in the soil by adding a scattering of coffee grounds to the top of the soil before watering. Use organic coffee grounds if possible.

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (3)

Gardenias Love Humidity

Like many tropical plants, gardenias loveand need humidity. Mist your gardenia every day to add humidity to the plant’senvironment. If you can, avoid misting directly onto the buds and flowers as thismay cause them to discolor.

During winter, when you’re heating yourhome, mist the plant two to three times every day. If you misted earlier in theday, check to see if the leaves are still wet before misting again.

Another way to provide more humidity foryour gardenia in the winter months is to put a humidifier nearby. Or group yourgardenia together with other potted gardenias or houseplants to keep up thehumidity level.

Here’s an easy tip to maintain humidity for gardenias: Place about an inch of coarse gravel into a drainage dish. Pour water into the dish, covering the gravel about half way up with water. Place your potted gardenia on top of the gravel, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot.

Using this method is ideal for those cooler months when you’re heating your home with electric or gas heat. Gardenias don’t like this dry heat and will often start to drop leaves if the air isn’t humid enough.

A word of caution on misting – while gardenias like misting and thrive on humidity, too much moisture can also cause problems such as fungal growth on the leaves. This is why good air ventilation is essential when you grow gardenias indoors. Circulating air will help dry the plant, preventing moisture from pooling on the leaves where it can cause problems.

How To Water Gardenias

You’ll need to take a lot of care when watering your gardenia. Water just enough so that the soil stays evenly moist. Don’t over water or the soil can easily become waterlogged or soggy.

Gardenias that are overwatered will often develop brown spots on their leaves. Other hazards of overwatering include buds that won’t fully open and root rot. Waterlogged soil is one of the quickest ways to permanently damage gardenias.

At the same time, don’t let your gardeniadry out completely or the leaves of the plant may start to drop off. As well,once the roots become too dry it can be hard to revive them. As with overwatering, not watering enough is a sure way to kill your gardenia!

(Video) 12 Indoor Gardening Hacks That Make You Throw Your Hands up and Sprout!

As a basic rule, check before watering.Stick your finger into the soil, about two inches deep. If the soil still feelsmoist, it’s not yet time to water your gardenia. Or buy a soil moisture readerfor indoor plants that will help you determine if the plant needs watering.

During the winter months, when the plantisn’t growing, you can water a little less, letting the plant dry out a bitmore between watering.

Always use water that’s been standing atroom temperature. Cold water can shock and damage the plant. I keep water in awatering can so it’s always at the right temperature, filling up after the lastwatering in preparation for the next.

Gardenia Temperature Needs

Ideally, grow gardenias indoors in room temperatures between 65 and 70° F (18.3 to 21.2° C) during the day and 55 to 65° F(12.8 to 18.3° C) during the night. If the temperature is above 70° F (21.2° C) the buds on the plant may drop off.

The reason for low night temperatures is sothe buds on the plant are able to set so the gardenia will bloom again in thespring. The plant will also need the longer dark days of winter asencouragement to flower in the late spring.

If possible, avoid sudden temperaturedrops. As I mentioned previously, gardenias are sensitive and quick temperaturechanges can cause leaves and flowers to fall.

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (4)

Do Gardenias Need Pruning

Most of the time your gardenia will keep a nice shape and grow uniformly in size. To help the plant keeps its shape, clip off any stems that start to grow too long. If you want your gardenia to bloom, you’ll need to carefully prune it.

The buds and flowers will only form on the new stem growth, so old stems that are dry and woody will need to be removed. This will encourage new stems to start growing so that your gardenia will flower again.

During the dormant months when little to noplant growth is happening, pinch the tips of the stem just below the first leafto encourage the plant to grow thicker and bushier when it does start growingagain.

As well during the winter months, wheneveryou see stems that are damaged or dead use sharp scissors or pruning shears toremove them. This will keep the plant healthy even when it’s not growing. Andkeep it looking pretty as well.

Do Gardenias Need Fertilizer?

Feeding your gardenia can help it thrive in indoor conditions. During the spring and summer when the plant is in full growth mode, fertilize your gardenia every two weeks.

(Video) 14 Clever Plant Hacks That Will Really Grow on You! Blossom

Choose a water soluble fertilizer that’s made for plants that need more acidity than other plants. To keep from adding too much fertilizer, dilute the solution to about half of the strength that’s recommended. It’s better to under-fertilize than give the plant too much.

Plant and garden centers will have a wide selection of fertilizers to choose from. The best ratio of fertilizer for gardenias is 15-15-15: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

During the fall and winter months, whenyour gardenia is in its dormant phase, you’ll only need to feed the plant oncea month.

Propagating Gardenias

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (5)

Want more beautiful gardenias in your home?These plants can easily be propagated from stem cuttings. During the spring andsummer when you prune your gardenia, keep some of the larger clippings to startnew little plants. Place each stem in a rooting medium made of half peat mossand half perlite, and water just to moisten.

Once rooted, plant each stem in its own pot,using the right soil to get the correct pH balance. With care and patience,you’ll soon have more blooming gardenias to display around your home…or to giveaway as a gift.

When To Repot

Indoor gardenias are slow growers and don’toften outgrow their pots. You’ll only need to repot when the roots of the plantare starting to fill the pot and grow out through the drainage holes. If youshould need to repot, do so in the late spring as the plant is coming out ofits dormant state.

Common Pests and Diseases

If you are going to grow gardenias indoors, at some point you will have to deal with pests that damage its leaves, buds, and flowers. Some of these pests include aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs.

Aphids are by far the most common pest forany houseplant. You can deter aphids by using a solution of one part water withone part of mild liquid soap. For spider mites and mealy bugs you can use thesame solution of water and soap – or use neem oil, which is made from the seedsand fruits of the neem tree, also known as Indian Lilac.

If possible, only treat the leaves forpests, avoiding the blooms or buds to prevent damage.

Gardenias are also prone to disease, suchas bacterial and fungal diseases that are caused by high humidity. You cansafeguard against disease by making sure the plant is located in an area wherethere’s good air circulation.

A Note On Blooming Gardenias

When you first bring home your gardenia,chances are it will be nicely in bloom. If you want your gardenia to bloomagain in spring and summer, you’ll need to make sure that all of therequirements I’ve gone over here are met.

(Video) GARDENA garden award 2020 🏆

Related Questions

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide (6)

Can I take my gardeniaoutside in warm weather?

You can take your gardenia outside in the summer months, keeping theplant in a shady location. Bring the plant back indoors when the temperaturefalls below 60°F (15° C).

The buds and leaves arefalling off my gardenia. What am I doing wrong?

One of the main causes for gardenias to drop buds and leaves is notenough light. Move the plant to a window location where it will get moredaylight hours.

Why are the leaves on my gardenia turning yellow?

When leaves on gardenias turn yellow it’s a sign that the plant isn’t getting enough fertilizer. Feed the plant with fertilizer that’s meant for plants that need acidity.

FAQs

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips) - Smart Garden Guide? ›

How To Grow Gardenias Indoors (Top Care Tips)
  1. Provide as much indirect sunlight as possible.
  2. Use a pot with good drainage and soil with the right acidity.
  3. Ideal daytime temperatures of 65 to 70° F (18.3 to 21.2° C).
  4. Provide a tropical, humid environment.
  5. Feed frequently with 15-15-15 fertilizer.

How do you care for a gardenia plant indoors? ›

Gardenia requires temperatures above 60 F, free of cold drafts. This plant also prefers a high humidity level, above 60 percent. Indoor plants may require the use of a humidifier or constant misting during a cold, dry winter to maintain proper humidity.

Can gardenia plants be grown indoors? ›

Gardenia Houseplants

Growing gardenias indoors, within the confines of your home, requires close attention to humidity, light, and pest control. If placed in the correct environment and given proper care, an indoor gardenia will reward you with glossy, green leaves and aromatic flowers.

How do I get my indoor gardenia to bloom? ›

Humidity. Especially if you're counting on them to develop buds and bloom, gardenias will need plenty of humidity indoors. Their preferred level is 50 percent! It helps a bit to mist them with plain water, but you'll also need to provide a tray with wet pebbles or moist sand positioned below each pot.

Do gardenias do better in pots or in the ground? ›

Outside, gardenia is best grown in a pot so it can be moved under cover in winter to protect from frosts or winds. In areas with favourable conditions year-round, plant gardenia in a raised bed or in the ground.

Why is my indoor gardenia dying? ›

The most common cause of a Gardenia dying is root rot caused by soggy soil conditions or overwatering. Look for generalized leaf yellowing and wilting despite wet soil. Pests, disease, insufficient light, and overfertilizing are also common causes of a Gardenia struggling.

How often should you water a gardenia plant indoors? ›

Gardenias need at least an inch of water a week, whether from rainfall or a hose. Apply mulch to a depth of two to four inches to help keep moisture in the soil and control water-hogging weeds. Don't let the plants become completely dry before you water, and water regularly.

Should I mist my indoor gardenia? ›

Gardenias Love Humidity

Like many tropical plants, gardenias love and need humidity. Mist your gardenia every day to add humidity to the plant's environment.

Should I prune my indoor gardenia? ›

Because pruning is not essential to the health of your gardenia, it does not have to be done every year. Pruning a gardenia every other year or so will be enough to keep its size manageable. You only need to prune enough to help your gardenia keep its appropriate size and shape.

Should I mist my gardenia? ›

Misting the gardenia plant is not recommended, as this may cause problems with fungal leaf spots. The soil, which should be loose and organic, should be kept moist, but take care not to overwater. Monitor the soil frequently for moisture and water thoroughly as the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil dries.

Are coffee grounds good for gardenias? ›

In addition to amending the soil with compost or aged manure, these acid-loving plants will appreciate coffee grounds, tea bags, wood ashes, or Epsom salts mixed into the soil as well. Since they are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium, coffee grounds are oftentimes a more favorable homemade gardenia fertilizer.

Why do gardenia leaves turn yellow? ›

Too much water causing a gardenia bush with yellow leaves

When you have a gardenia bush with yellow leaves, the first thing to do is check your soil for too much water. The gardenia needs moist soil, but not overly wet. Add some more compost to help it have a richer environment and be sure to set up proper drainage.

What is the best fertilizer for gardenias? ›

From one of the top names in gardening aids, the best overall pick for feeding gardenias is Scotts Miracle-Gro Miracid Acid-Loving Plant Food. This water-soluble fertilizer is designed to be mixed with water and poured over foliage or around the base of the plant.

Do gardenias need big pots? ›

Planting Gardenias in Pots

Choose a planter that can grow with your shrub. Gardenias can be transplanted but you will want to choose a container that is a good 4 to 6 inches larger than the nursery pot that it came in. This gives the roots room to stretch out and really get established for a healthy plant.

What is the best potting soil for gardenias? ›

A well-draining, peat-based potting mix will make your Gardenia happy. They enjoy nutrient rich soil, so adding organic matter (like peat moss) to your potting mix is very important. To make sure your soil will drain well, mix in orchid bark, charcoal, or perlite.

Where do gardenias grow best? ›

Gardenias perform best when they receive intense morning light and shade from the hot afternoon sun. Sun exposure is necessary for proper flower bud development – with too little sun plants will produce leggy growth and few flowers. On the other hand, too much sun can cause blooms to fade quickly.

What does an overwatered gardenia look like? ›

You can easily tell that your gardenias are overwatered when they have chlorosis and root rot. Other symptoms of overwatered gardenias include brown leaves and falling leaves, flowers and branches.

Why are the leaves on my gardenia turning brown and falling off? ›

Water Needs. Keep the soil in which your gardenia is growing moist at all times. If you allow it to dry out, the leaves of your gardenia can begin to turn brown at the tips, then turn completely brown, die and fall off. Water your gardenia regularly and monitor the soil moisture to prevent this condition.

Is vinegar good for gardenias? ›

You are correct. You can definitely use vinegar in the garden on certain plants like rhododendrons and gardenias, as well as to get rid of powdery mildew on trees and other plants. Easy to grow flowers like hydrangeas and azaleas also thrive in soil with a low pH so vinegar works well for them, too.

When should I repot my gardenia? ›

The best time to transplant gardenia plants is in the fall, after the plant has finished blooming. Gardenia plants transplant best when the weather is cool and the plant is slowing down. About a week before transplanting gardenia bushes, prune the branches back by one-quarter or one-third.

How long do gardenia plants live? ›

Although most mature gardenias remain about 4 to 6 feet tall, older specimens can easily reach past 10 feet. To create this large shrub, gardenias live up to 50 years old with proper care.

How do you fertilize gardenias with coffee grounds? ›

Supplement weekly applications of coffee grounds with monthly fertilizer "tea" treatments. Put 1 cup of rotted manure or aged compost into a cloth bag. Seal the bag and submerge it in 1 gallon of water. Let it sit for three days; then remove the nutrient bag and apply the tea directly to the soil.

How do you keep gardenias alive? ›

How to Keep Gardenias Alive After Cutting : Flower Power - YouTube

What do gardenias symbolize? ›

Gardenia Flower Symbolism

And every color has its meaning, the most common meaning which includes trust, hope, peace, renewal, and protection. Gardenia flowers symbolize everything related to pure attraction and the spiritual world.

Why are the leaves on my gardenia turning yellow and falling off? ›

Naturally, some older leaves on gardenias may become yellow and drop off, particularly at the beginning of spring when the new leaves are on their way. This is normal so no need to start worrying. But if many older leaves are yellowing, your gardenia may be dying from root rot due to overwatering or poor soil drainage.

Should I remove dead gardenia flowers? ›

Removing spent blooms on gardenia will prevent the plant from wasting energy producing these seed pods and put that energy into creating new blooms instead. Deadheading gardenias will also keep the plant looking nicer throughout the growing season.

Why do gardenia buds turn brown? ›

Pests – Mites are a common source of gardenia flower bud problems. Bud mites cause the tips of the buds to turn brown, and the buds fall off before they bloom. You can get rid of bud mites with an insecticide that contains carbaryl, such as Sevin.

What conditions do gardenias like? ›

Gardenias grow best in heat and humidity. So, when you bring them inside to grow you need to attempt to duplicate those conditions. Place them in bright light, but not direct sun. Either put them near a humidifier or place them in a tray of rocks with some water under the rocks so they get the natural humidity.

Do gardenias like banana peels? ›

Acid-loving plants like gardenias, rhododendrons, blueberries, and azaleas benefit from a quick foliar spray or application of banana vinegar. Begin by fermenting leftover banana peels and follow the instructions here.

Do gardenias like Epsom salt? ›

Gardenias, along with roses, palms and podocarpus, need lots of magnesium. When the nutrient is in short supply, the older leaves turn yellow. Give the plant a boost (and maybe return some green to yellow leaves) by applying magnesium sulfate or Epsom salts.

How much coffee grounds should I put in my gardenia? ›

To do this, grab 2 cups of your used coffee grounds to 5 gallons of water. Allow the bucket to steep overnight, then use the resulting weak coffee blend to water your plants.

Should you remove yellow leaves from gardenia? ›

Leaves that yellow in the spring may be a symptom of iron deficiency. Consider leaving them on the plant rather than cutting them, as cutting may also remove flower buds. Instead, fertilize your gardenia with an iron-rich fertilizer.

Can you grow gardenia from a cutting? ›

Gardenia plants can be propagated from fresh cuttings. These cuttings should be taken from a healthy plant that shows no signs of disease or weakness. If the plant has a disease, then your cutting will also carry the disease, making your gardenia plant weak from the start.

Why is my gardenia not flowering? ›

Bud drop: If your Gardenia's flower buds fall off just before they open, this may be caused by pest infestation (aphids, nematodes), excessive fertilization, over-watering, under-watering, poor soil drainage, insufficient light, unusually cool weather, rapid drops in temperature or very hot, dry weather.

Should you mist gardenias? ›

Misting the gardenia plant is not recommended, as this may cause problems with fungal leaf spots. The soil, which should be loose and organic, should be kept moist, but take care not to overwater. Monitor the soil frequently for moisture and water thoroughly as the top inch (2.5 cm.) of soil dries.

Why do gardenia leaves turn yellow? ›

Too much water causing a gardenia bush with yellow leaves

When you have a gardenia bush with yellow leaves, the first thing to do is check your soil for too much water. The gardenia needs moist soil, but not overly wet. Add some more compost to help it have a richer environment and be sure to set up proper drainage.

Should I prune my indoor gardenia? ›

Because pruning is not essential to the health of your gardenia, it does not have to be done every year. Pruning a gardenia every other year or so will be enough to keep its size manageable. You only need to prune enough to help your gardenia keep its appropriate size and shape.

Videos

1. My Secret to Bushy and Longer Money Plant (Pothos)
(Garden Up)
2. How To Use A Moisture Meter For Plants | Keeping my Plants Alive!
(Erika Lodes)
3. The Best Place to Plant a Gardenia Bush : Garden Savvy
(ehowgarden)
4. I have mastered the art of growing Rubber plant perfectly, I think.
(Garden Up)
5. How I grew my own food with smart hydroponics
(CNET)
6. 5 Best Smart Indoor Gardening You Can Buy In 2022
(BestProducts)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated: 09/03/2022

Views: 6232

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.