Gardenia SOS – tips for looking after your gardenia


Dear Richard, 

I rescued a pathetic creature of a gardenia plant from a local garden centre. It was in a large pot and all that was left was one 4inch twig with 2 pokey leaves and a bud. that was 2 years ago, it is now an amazing two foot by two foot plenty of leaves and more on the way but as yet no flowers. I need a bit of help as I have never grown these before. HEEEEELP? 

Sandra Ward  

Hi Sandra,

As you may have heard me say on air, gardenias are among the trickiest houseplants I know, so you've done an amazing job rescuing it like this. 

For best results they need lime-free (ericaceous) compost, and to be watered with rain water or tap water that's been boiled and allowed to cool. You should also keep your gardenia humid (I place the plants on a saucer of gravel that is kept moist but not waterlogged). 

I guess you've done all this, so the only other secret is feeding. Use a high potash feed, such as Flower Power or liquid tomato food, from March to August and that should do the trick!

1 Comment

  1. margaret peek July 8, 2010 at 10:29 am -  Reply

    Over a year ago we purchased Tree Peonys from QVC.Ithink it was 9 in all.We put some in containers and some in the garden.Having lost some in the winter the ones in container have survived but are bitterly dissapointed because as yet there is no sign of any buds.when we bought them you said we should get flowers the fist year and from then on blooms as big as dinner plates.Two of the plants are quite bushy the rest are a dissaster,what has gone wrong?We have a very large garden{3rd of an acre so we are not new gardeners.

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