Skip to Content

Why Is My Gardenia Not Growing? (Common Causes and Fixes)

Why Is My Gardenia Not Growing? (Common Causes and Fixes)

Disclaimer: Some links found on this page might be affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
--

Gardenias are shrubs that do very well in warm environments. They’re so pretty and they smell absolutely great, too.

It makes sense that gardenias would be so popular these days. They really do add aesthetic appeal to any property where they’re planted.

The problem is that some people haven’t had good luck growing gardenias. If you plant gardenias and it just seems as if they’re staying the same size forever, then something is certainly wrong.

Why is the gardenia plant not growing? Is it something that you’re doing wrong or a problem with the environment?

Keep reading to get more information about gardenias and why they might stop growing. Hopefully, this will help you to turn things around.

Not Getting Enough Sun

One of the most common problems that people have with gardenias involves them not getting enough sun. These plants need to get enough sunlight or they won’t be able to grow properly.

You’ll find that gardenias do very well in full sun in many places. If you live in an area where things are particularly hot, then it might be best to place the gardenias in partial shade so that the leaves don’t get scorched.

Either way, you’re going to need to plant them somewhere that will give them access to light. If you’ve planted gardenias in a location where the sun isn’t shining much, then you can’t expect to get good results.

An ideal spot would be somewhere that the plants can enjoy morning sun and afternoon shade. If possible, try planting gardenias in a location such as this so that they can thrive.

Soil Issues

Soil issues can complicate things even further. If you’re using soil that isn’t right for the gardenias, then they might not grow or survive.

Gardenias are supposed to be planted in well-draining soil. The soil also needs to be acidic with a pH balance between 5.0 and 6.0.

It’d be beneficial to check the pH balance of the soil to see what you’re working with. This will allow you to amend the soil so that you can get it in the right range for the gardenias.

You should also know that it’s good for the soil to have plenty of organic matter. Peat moss and manure can help the plant to grow because they’ll give it the nutrients that it needs.

Watering the Gardenia Improperly

Watering the gardenia plant improperly might be the cause of the growth issues, too. For gardenias to grow strong, it’s going to be necessary to keep the soil moist without allowing it to become soggy.

Generally, gardenias require one inch of water each week. You’re going to need to check the soil before watering each time to ensure that the plant actually needs to be watered, though.

If you’ve been watering on a schedule without checking the soil, then you could be harming the plant. Gardenias that are watered too much might have their flower buds drop off.

You can kill the plant if you don’t water it properly. Try to be careful to water the gardenia plant the right way moving forward.

Temperature and Humidity Problems

Temperature and humidity problems can also factor in. You see, gardenias are supposed to be grown in certain temperature ranges.

If you want the gardenias to do the best that they can, then they should be able to enjoy daytime temperatures between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime temperatures should range between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

The flower buds won’t form if you don’t try to keep gardenias somewhere that gives them the ideal temperature. You might need to try to adjust things if you’re keeping them in a greenhouse environment or you might need to ensure that you’re trying to grow them in the right USDA zone.

These plants also need high humidity levels to do well. It might be necessary to mist the plants to give them extra humidity.

Extra humidity also helps to protect the gardenias from pests such as spider mites. Try doing your best to give the gardenias a humid environment so that they can stay healthy and grow strong.

Try Fertilizing the Plant

Trying to fertilize the plant could help you to get it to grow better. If you haven’t been using fertilizer at all, then it might be a good time to think of doing so.

Gardenias like to be fertilized every two to four weeks during the growing season. This season lasts from March until October for gardenias.

It’s best to use a fertilizer that’s made specifically for plants that like acid. You should dilute the fertilizer so that you can use it safely as well.

Avoid using any fertilizer between the months of November and February. If you’re able to stay on a fertilizing schedule such as this, it’ll help you to get better results.

Watch Out for Pests

Pests can sometimes hinder the growth of gardenias. They can also impact the overall health of the plant.

If you wish to keep your gardenia shrubs looking as beautiful as possible, then you’ll need to regularly check for pests such as whiteflies. Mealybugs can also create problems.

Luckily, it’s simple to protect gardenias if you use insecticidal soap. Some people also choose to treat gardenia leaves with neem oil to try to keep pests at bay.

Prune the Gardenias

Pruning is something that can encourage branch growth. You should take the time to prune your gardenias when they’re dormant.

When you want the gardenia plant to branch out, this is going to be important. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to prune gardenias during dormancy, and it’s going to make the plant look fuller and overall better.

Final Thoughts

You learned a lot about the different factors that can keep gardenias from growing properly. This should help you to take care of the plant better so that it will be able to thrive.

It’ll take a bit of effort on your part, but it’ll be worth it when you’re able to enjoy the gardenias to the fullest. For the most part, just ensuring that you care for gardenias properly will be enough to ensure that they’ll keep growing.

You might need to consider temperature factors and keep a better eye on the humidity level. Or you might need to start using more acidic soil for the plant.

Either way, you’ll be able to turn things around if you pay attention to the needs of the plant. Having the right knowledge will make a difference.