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The beautiful foliage and blooms of gardenias, plus their wonderful fragrance makes them almost irresistible to most plant lovers. They can, however, be a real source of frustration if all the buds fall off as soon as they are taken home.
There are two reasons this might happen. Buds will drop if moved to a location of low humidity (from the greenhouse into your home). Rapid changes in temperature can cause bud drop and temperatures too low or too high can prevent new bud formation. Humidity indoors can be increased by the use of a “pebble tray”. This consists of an oversized pot saucer filled nearly full of pebbles, and filled with water to about half the depth of the pebbles.
 The gardenia pot will rest on top of the pebbles with its roots above the waterline. The water evaporating around the gardenia will supply the extra humidity it needs. Careful attention should be paid to the water level in the tray. It should not dry out, nor should it be high enough to touch the roots as they will rot if kept constantly wet.
Mays Greenhouse ©2010