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Help! My Gardenia’s Buds Keep Falling Off

Ask The Expert: Indoor gardenia care to prevent buds from falling off? – Rose

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Rose,

There a few things that cause bud drop in gardenias: an insect problem, low humidity, root damage and rapid temperature change.

Insect problems – Your gardenia may have a insect called, thrips. This insect can be found in the bud itself. Take a fallen bud and open it up, do you see tiny, little crawling things? If so, you have thrips and will need a systemic insectide to get rid of them. Your local garden center will have this product.

Low humidity – Gardenias prefer a climate with moist air. If you live in a dry climate, or the air in your house is dry, you will nee to moisten the air by misting it with luke warm water every day or every other day. This doesn’t take the place of watering, this will be in addition to watering.

Root damage – This problem can occur if your have nematodes, or if you have recently transplanted the gardenia.

Rapid Temperature Change – Gardenias do not like rapid temperature changes. Make sure the plant is not in the direct path of a doorway or an air vent. These cause an air path that allows for rapid temperature changes. Also if you are delivering the gardenia, make sure the delivery van is as close to your shop temperature as possible.

Hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


  1. Donna tapper says:

    TWhy fo the. Buds keep falling off my gardenia plant, it is healthy It is ona table in the window, i am stymied

  2. Donna,

    It may have thrips. Cut one of the buds open and see if there are any insects crawling around inside the bud. IF you have thrips you will need to treat it with an insecticide specifically for thrips.

  3. Was given a huge gardenia plant. Didn’t do well indoors, so moved it out, mostly because of it’s size. It came back to be a gorgeous plant. Started getting all kind of buds, but noticed yesterday that all the buds had separated from the plant and were just laying there. Also the leaves are very shiny, which I don’t remember being that way when we first got it. It ‘s in a good size pot, I don’t see any insects . I’m really baffled. Other than the buds, it looks beautiful. Thanks for any help, because I really don’t want to lose it.

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    Did you cut the buds open and check for thrips? These can cause the buds to fall off. Also, if the plant has not been kept sufficiently moist or the air is very dry, this can cause the buds to drop.

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