Asked July 31, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT

I was given an Everblooming Gardenia "Veitchii" when Mother passed away. I have two questions regading this. This plant is in a pot about 8" across and the plant is about 12-18 across and maybe 12" tall. I water this pot almost every evening. 1) It appears there are many buds, but they keep falling off before opening. Can you tell me what may be the issue. 2) The label says this is a perennial shrub but is annual in colder regions. How do I know if this is a plant I can plant into the ground or if I should keep it in a pot and bring inside in the winter.

Saginaw County Michigan

1 Response

Gardenias are hardy in zone 7 which is zero degrees to ten degrees above zero. We are living in zone 5, which means that the temperatures could get as cold as ten below zero to twenty degrees below zero. The last two winters were even colder. That means the Gardenia cannot live outside over the winter.

This Gardenia... 'Veitchii,' Grows 2-4 ft. tall with a spread of 2-3 ft. By the size you say the plant is, it is very overcrowded in its container. Water the soil well and gently slide the plant out of the pot. If most of what you see is roots, you need a wider, deeper pot.

Another indication that the plant needs to be repotted is that you are having to water it every day. There is not enough soil to hold water. You have mostly roots. The plant will do better with rain water than tap water or well water because of way too many minerals.

The flower buds are falling off because of lack of humidity. Gardenias require bright light, mild temperatures and high humidity to bloom. This is almost impossible to work out indoors and is best when they are growing in the correct outdoor climate... in places like Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina.

The plant needs to be indoors in the winter here and is very difficult to get to bloom indoors because of what it requires for flower buds to live and open.