Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off? Reasons and Solutions

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
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Are your Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off? Looking to find a solution? Here are the reasons and how to solve them.

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off

If you are worried about Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off, then don’t worry. We have listed out the major problems with their solutions!

Why Gardenia Buds Turn Brown and Fall Off? 

Why Gardenia Buds Turn Brown and Fall Off

Gardenia buds tend to fall off the guardian plant for multiple reasons. The most common one is an insufficient and improper watering schedule of the plants.

It can also be because of too wet or too dry soil with an adverse impact on the delicate beauties. 

Problems and Solutions

1. Dry Soil

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off Problems and Solutions

Gardenias prefer a slightly moist growing medium all the time. You need to constantly keep an eye on the soil condition to make sure it is evenly moist. Once the soil shows any drying up, the buds tend to drop off the plants.

It is best to water the plant when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch.

2. Soil pH Issues

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown  soil ph level

For a thriving Gardenia and the best blooms, use slightly acidic soil in the range of 5-6. If there is an imbalance in the soil’s pH level, it can harm the blooming process and cause the buds to fall off.

Consider using a soil testing kit to check the soil’s pH level in your garden or the container. If the soil is too acidic, it can be amended by mixing garden lime in equal portions into the top 8-10 inches of the soil medium.

If it’s too alkaline, you can use elemental sulfur, iron sulfate, aluminum sulfate, sphagnum peat, organic mulches, and acidifying nitrogen to amend the soil. Do check the label for instructions on the packet.

3. Too Much Lime

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off  to much lime

Gardenias are known to be sensitive to some minerals, mainly lime. When gardeners use tap water, it can cause a deposit of too much lime in the soil. 

Switch to distilled water to help prevent Gardenia buds from turning brown and falling off. The filtered water can encourage new growth and promote optimal blooming.

Keep the tap water in a bucket for 24 hours to help the salts and other particles settle down at the bottom before you water the plants.

4. Insufficient Light

Gardenias can grow in partial shade but need sunlight for 5-6 hours to bloom best. Gardenias in the shade, flower inadequately, turn brown or yellow, and gradually drop off the buds prematurely.

5. Dry Air

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown  too much dry air

This tropical flowering plant loves humidity in its natural habitat. If the humidity level falls below 40 percent, the plant can turn buds into shades of yellow and brown, even drop off the plant prematurely.

To fix this, increase humidity levels around the plant. You can do this with the help of a pebble tray filled with water placed under the container or use a humidifier. Grouping plants together to create a micro-climate is also a good idea. 

6. Excess Sunlight

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off sunlight

If the plants sit in a place that receives too much direct afternoon sunlight, they may experience premature buds wilting, turning brown, and falling off. 

It is best to keep the plant away from the intense afternoon heat and light. 

7. Change in Location

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown  change in location
tims garden centre

Gardenias can be super sensitive towards shifting from one spot to another. They do not prefer to be touched, turned, and disturbed in any manner again and again. 

Select the right spot for your gardenias, and let them be!

8. Harsh Temperature Changes

Gardenias are tropical plants and do not respond well to temperature fluctuations. They thrive well in a range of 70-75°F or 21-23°C in the day and temperatures between 60-65°F or 15-18°C during the night.

Ensure this temperature range for your plant to avoid any blooming issues. 

9. Lack of Nutrients

Gardenia Buds Turning Brown and Falling Off  Lack of Nutrients

If your plant lacks any essential nutrients, the buds may begin to turn brown and yellow. It is best to boost the plant’s health by adding a balanced fertilizer every 30-35 days.

Feed your Gardenias in their growing season between March and October, and do not feed them from November to February as the plants are usually in a dormant stage. 

To fix nutrient requirements, use fertilizers high in copper or iron that encourage blooming and improve the health of plant leaves. Do refer to the label for dosage and instructions.

10. Insects & Diseases

Insects & Diseases

Pests and diseases can attack the flowers and buds and cause them to rot, turn yellow or brown, and fall off. Usually, spider mites can give a hard time to gardenias, as they often tend to cause damage to the buds’ tips, making them brown or yellow. 

Watch out for any fungal diseases as well to avoid blooming troubles.

Consider using fungicides and insecticidal soaps if you spot such issues.

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