Indoor Gardena

Asked May 21, 2016, 12:24 PM EDT

Hello, I was gifted a potted (topiary?) gardenia on Mother's Day this year. It had the tiniest bit of yellowing on the leaves nearly from the start. It came with a large bud that bloomed beautifully (is just now losing whiteness and wilting...natural I presume?) The yellowing leaves are my concern, as more of them have yellowed in the last week or so. I am keeping it in a well-lit room (windows face east and south), but no direct sunlight. I believe the current humidity is good...I moved from the desert southwest just a year ago, so my opinion on humidity is relative. After reading up a bit on gardenia care, I have tried to not over-water, maybe tree times in the last two weeks. Soil is damp even on the surface (again, I am accustomed to water evaporating within a few hours...not several days.) Also, I have noticed one or two of those tiny fly/gnat things flying around. I kept the peat/mulch that came with the plant as seen in the photos attached. I know almost nothing about gardenias...tried to keep one several years ago, but it did not thrive in my previous climate of roughly 15% humidity. I hope that is sufficient information, and I am very grateful that you provide this service! Thank you for any advice,

Montgomery County Maryland gardenia yellowing leaves houseplant

2 Responses

In general, your gardenia looks good. It is not uncommon for older leaves to yellow and drop. Most gardenias are grown in greenhouses and have access to the proper lighting and humidity. Your plant may need more light. Once outdoor temperatures increase you may be able to move to a shady outdoor location for the summer.
The gnats that you mention sound like fungus gnats. They are associated with overwatering and breed in moist potting soils. Let the top inch of soil dry before watering again. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/fungus-gnats-houseplants
It is best to focus on proper care for your gardenia. See the attached link https://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/newscolumns/archives/YGnews/2004/December/041216YG.htm

Thank you very much for your help! I will read those links for care and upkeep.