Gardenias are tempting, heat-loving perennial plants or trees. They’re renowned for their enticing aroma and glossy, snow-white petals. Their colors contrast beautifully with their lustrous, leathery, dark green leaves.
They need specific care and maintenance to function properly. If you notice your Gardenia wilting or dying, there are a few causes you might consider.
All you have to do is identify and address them accordingly. They may be challenging to keep alive, so you must work hard to savor them at their best.
Gardenia Wilting: Why Is My Gardenia Shriveling Up?
Your Gardenia plant is most probably wilting because of watering. It’s either you’re overwatering or underwatering it. Other culprits include damp and soggy soil, which causes root rot.
Poor light exposure, soil quality, and conditions are other factors for Gardenia wilting. In addition to humid weather, insect infestation such as spider mites.
General indications such as yellowing or wilting leaves suggest rotten roots.
The same indications could point to pest infestation or poor lighting conditions and incorrect water supply, overwatering, and other typical Gardenia problems.
Here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself upon examining your wilting Gardenia.
Did I Overwater My Gardenia?
Gardenias are heat-sensitive plants, and overwatering may be disastrous. If you observe sagging leaves or wilting in your Gardenia plant, it should be the first thing you check for.
A few indicators could help you decide whether your Gardenia’s overwatered or not. These indicators are:
- Browning of leaf tips
- Bud dropping
- Yellowing of the leaves
- Widespread leaf dropping
- Withering/wilting of the plant
Gardenias are plants that need a great deal of care and attention to overwatering. Underwatered Gardenias wilt in the same way that overwatered Gardenias do.
Did I Underwater My Gardenia?
Gardenias need direct sunlight to thrive. They’re shade-intolerant. As a result, if you don’t water your Gardenia plants sufficiently, they’ll dry out and wilt in the sun.
Underwatering hardens the soil. Thus, the roots don’t receive the necessary nutrients to develop the plant. As a result, less water is transported throughout the plant.
When the soil starts to dry up, the roots don’t obtain the necessary nourishment, causing the plant to wilt. The stomata of the leaves close, and water evaporation slows. It will eventually cause the plant to wither and die.
How Do I Know the Right Amount of Water It Needs?
Gardenia bushes can withstand moderate dryness, but shrubs need weekly irrigation. It would need irrigation more frequently in excessive heat.
A good idea would be to follow a rigorous watering schedule. Doing so will reduce the chances of underwatering and overwatering.
Gardenias require 1 inch of rain or equivalent irrigation once a week. The soil must be wet and well-drained.
You could check the top one inch of soil to see if it’s damp or dry as it must be continually damp but not wet.
Apply a 5-10cm layer of organic mulch to keep the soil wet and at a constant temperature. Aside from that, water with distilled water once a month to remove extra salt from fertilizer.
Did I Choose the Wrong Potting Soil?
Your Gardenia plant may be wilting due to inadequate potting soil selection. Choosing a sufficient, well-drained potting soil is essential.
It should supply a significant quantity of nutrients. Meanwhile, it will help excess water to drain sufficiently.
If your Gardenia’s wilting and you suspect that soggy soil is to blame. It’s good to check for root rot symptoms before continuing.
Once root rot has set in, it’s only a matter of time. You have to rescue your plant since the issue will only worsen. If left untreated, your Gardenia will die.
How to Check for Root Rot?
There are a few simple steps that you could follow to make sure if that’s the case or not.
First, slide your Gardenia out of its pot delicately and examine the roots for signs of rotting. Rotten roots are brown/black, brittle, mushy, and have an unpleasant smell.
After removing excess dirt from around the roots, you’ll be able to assess the severity of the problem.
Second, trim all afflicted roots with sterile pruning shears. There’s a possibility you can salvage your plant if fewer than half of the roots are harmed.
If more than half of the roots are compromised, it is generally best to remove the plant and start over.
Third, clip all the rotten roots, then gently remove the leftover dirt around the roots. To prevent harming the healthy roots, take your time and move cautiously.
Wash the excess soil away with water to expose the roots entirely. It’s critical to remove the old soil since it contains the exact bacteria causing the root rot.
Lastly, place your plant in a clean pot that has well-drained soil. Water it as aforementioned, then put it in indirect light exposure. It should start recovering in 6-8 weeks.
Did I Not Expose My Gardenia to Enough Sunlight?
Insufficient exposure to sunlight is one of the prevalent difficulties when growing Gardenias. It results in slow growth and a lack of flowers at first but often results in the death of your plant.
Gardenias require 8 hours of direct sunshine each day to thrive. Place your plant in a location that obtains full sun to partial shade.
The soil takes a long time to dry out in poor light conditions. This raises the possibility of overwatering your gardenia plants.
They thrive the most in hotter months. They’re cold-sensitive and usually perish during the winter season.
It’s recommended that they be kept in direct sunshine during the winter. Growth lights are a great alternative to maintain Gardenias in colder climates.
Did I Over-Fertilize My Gardenia?
Understandably, everyone wants their Gardenias to grow quicker and look gorgeous. Sarcastically, over-fertilization causes more damage than good.
Plants obtain most of their energy from the sun during photosynthesis. Therefore, they only need trace amounts of nutrients from the soil.
Fertilizers are only supposed to be added in moderate amounts. Their purpose is only to prevent malnutrition of the soil.
An over-fertilized Gardenia looks a lot like an overwatered or underwatered Gardenia. The only difference is you could see white traces of fertilizers in the soil.
Flush the soil with enough water to dissolve and drain excess minerals if you suspect that over-fertilizing is the cause of your Gardenia’s wilting. You might also consider repotting your plant in fresh soil.
As gorgeous as Gardenias could be, taking care of them could be quite a hassle. You need to make sure you can provide a few conditions to prevent Gardenia’s wilting.
You need to know the right balance for watering a Gardenia. Overwatering and underwatering could kill it.
A perfect soil needs to be acidic. The pot should have proper drainage. Additionally, placing it in a humid location with direct exposure to sunlight will do the trick.
You need to properly examine your plant if you notice that it’s wilting. Once you determine the cause, all you have to do is follow a few steps to maintain your plant.
Again, Gardenias can be tough to maintain, and several conditions can cause a Gardenia to wilt. Despite this, their exquisite, fragrant flowers and delectable leaves are well worth the work needed to keep them thriving.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.