Help! My gardenia is dying

Melissa George
by Melissa George

Over the summer my gardenia was outside and doing great..I brought it inside and it's not doing so well. I'm in NJ ..I thought I over watered first because leaves were turning yellow.,and this!. Is is root rot? I do have a humidifier running all day..

  12 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 07, 2020

    HELLO There,

    From what I can see you have a mould in the soil . If it were my plant, I would take it out of the pot and throw the soil away. Wash all the roots and the rest of the plant in a disinfectant bath. Cut the plant back and re-pot up in fresh soil to give it the best chance in a different pot with good drainage. Do not over water it! Keep an eye on it, knowing it will take some time to show signs of recovery.

    Best wishes.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 07, 2020

    Can't tell if your plant is inside or outside, the cold air my be a factor if it is outside or exposed to cold air near a door that opens and closes by it.

    Take a look at this link to see if there are things you can do to help the plant:

  • User User on Dec 07, 2020

    Gardenia is outdoor plant

  • It could be sooty mold caused by insects. Here's a link with more information:

  • Janice Janice on Dec 07, 2020

    Hi Melissa, Yellowing leaves usually is an indication of over watering. Here's a video that may help!

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Dec 07, 2020

    Check with a local nursery for help.

  • KEVIN KEVIN on Dec 07, 2020

    Probably not enough sun

  • Ouina Ouina on Dec 14, 2020

    Was/is there water standing in the bottom of the pot? If you had the plant sitting in a dish that held water - it was overwatered. The leaves will look like they wilted and most then think they need to water some more. One way to ensure you don't overwater is to 1) - no standing water in the "catcher" pot and 2) stick your finger into the soil to the second knuckle. If the soil is moist/wet, don't water; if dry, then water. Don't use a pot that does not have drainage holes. I suspect that you overwatered and the plant responded by "wilted" leaves. You can try letting the soil dry out a bit - moist but not wet and trim the plant back a third. Set the pot on top of a bed of gravel/rocks or something that will allow the bottom of the pot not to set in the catcher basin. That way your plant won't be over-watered. Hopefully the plant will recover. Give it a couple of weeks in a bright sunny window. Monitor the soil moisture with sticking your finger into the soil to check soil moisture. Water if dry and water thoroughly by placing the plant in a sink and water. Let the water drain thoroughly before moving the plant back to its spot. (I am a horticulturist with 40 years of experience but without actually looking at the plant and soil I can only give you my best guess - sorry!). Lots of luck!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Dec 14, 2020

    I hope this helps![]=My%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=gardenia%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=is%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=dying%7Ctyped

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jan 17, 2021

    Hello. Is this the first year you’ve brought your plant indoors? Does it appearance differ from last year’s?

    I find that most plants that I bring indoors during the winter will show a shocked appearance which can be unsettling. Particularly leaf drop and leaf color changes. They are re-adjusting to the change in climate and light. I finally return to good health and spring time when they are return outdoors. Do not over water your plant during this dormant storage time.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 07, 2021

    Hello, hope this helps you out,

    here are many things that can cause leaf droop and leaf drop. One is common - gardenias are very susceptible to spider mites, which cause tiny webs on the undersides of leaves and where the leaves join the stems. Another way to detect them is to take a sheet of white paper out to the bush, tap a few branches on to the paper, fold the paper in half and press/rub together.

    If you see little red, blue, or brown smears, those are spider mites. You can spray them off with a strong blast from the hose (do this daily until they're under control). A product called Neem can also be used to treat for spider mites. Follow product instructions for application.

    Gardenias need at least a half day of full sun to bloom, but at the same time, the hot afternoon sun can be tough on them. Morning sun is best, so an eastern location would be ideal.

    You might also try a southern or western exposure with some filtered shade. Buds that turn black or drop and bottom leaves that are yellowed are sure signs that gardenias aren't getting enough light.Leaf drop can also be caused by improper soil pH (gardenia require 5 to 5.5pH - on the acid side.)

    Yellowing and leaf drop are also signs of various soil nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, zinc, and iron. Finally, if the air is too dry, your plant will drop buds and leaves. Try sprinkling the plant every morning to increase humidity (and also discourage spider mites!).