House Plants/Gardenia


Gardenia plant
Gardenia plant  

I have an indoor gardenia plant.  How do I know when to repot it?  Also I've noticed some white stuff where the leaf is attached to the stem.  Some of the leaves are turning yellow then brown and are falling off.  How do I save this plant?

Hi Gerry,

Gardenias rarely need repotting. Repot only when the soil dries out within 3 days following a thorough watering.

It looks like your Gardenia does need to be pruned. Simply cut off approximately the last third of each stem. This pruning will also remove many of the white mealybugs that are on your plant.

To treat the remaining mealybugs, mix a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. Then, thoroughly spray all leaf and stem surfaces until they are dripping wet. This is a messy process but it is essential to get complete coverage of the entire plant to be effective.

Make sure your Gardenia is very close to a moderately sunny window. Water it as soon as the surface of the soil is almost dry. Try to keep temps as cool as possible.

It is common for older leaves to discolor and fall off. Remove then as they start to turn yellow.

I have written detailed articles on pruning, treating pests and on Gardenia care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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