How to Fix a Gardenia Plant that’s Starting to Get Yellow Leaves

Dark green shiny leaves are one of the biggest selling points and also one of the most noticeable qualities of a gardenia plant. That’s why it’s always a huge concern when you notice that the gardenia leaves are starting to turn yellow. There are several things that can contribute to the leaves turning yellow, and also some steps you can take to try to fix this issue before it ruins the natural beauty of the gardenia plant.

Why the Gardenia Leaves are Turning Yellow

Gardenia leaves turning yellow is a huge concern for people and often times they don’t know exactly what’s causing the issue. There are a few different possibilities when it comes to why these dark green leaves are suddenly turning yellow and it’s vital you figure out the issue quickly. The quicker you figure out the issue and correct it, the better chances that you can save your plant.

1. Over-Watering or Under-Watering

The leaves on your gardenia plant might be turning yellow due to over-watering or under-watering. Watering issues are one of the most common reasons for the leaves to turn yellow, since these plants require a specific amount of water. You really should give your plant one-inch of rain or the equivalent in watering each week.

The plant should not be too soggy but also cannot be too try, so it’s important to find the balance of it being moist but not overly-saturated. If the plant becomes too wet, then you could end up with fungi and other diseases that could damage the entire gardenia plant.

2. Poor Soil Drainage and Root Rotting

Poor soil drainage and rotting of the root can cause yellowing leaves. The plant might not be getting enough chlorophyll, which is common when there is a drainage problem or problem with the roots, such as rotting. If there is not proper drainage, then the soil will become too wet, which goes back to it being overly-saturated with water. Fungi can develop and end up turning into root rot if there is too much water and not enough drainage happening as well.

3. Gardenia is Not Getting Enough Sunlight

The gardenia plant is very temperamental and it requires just the right amount of sunlight to thrive. Both too little sunlight and too much sunlight can damage your gardenia plant. It’s best if the plant has the morning sunlight but the afternoon shade if you are growing this plant in hotter climates or if it’s summer.

If you live in cooler areas, then the plant can survive on full sunlight. The gardenia plant can get too much direct sunlight if you are in a warmer climate. Too much sunlight can cause the buds to begin falling off, the leaves to turn yellow, and the plant to become scorched. It’s important that you provide the gardenia plant with just the right amount of sunlight per day in order to keep it healthy and prevent situations where the soil will get too dry due to the over-abundance of sunlight.

4. Lack of Nutrients in Soil

Gardenia plants require a pH somewhere between 5 and 6.5 and if this pH is off-balance, then the plant will not be able to take in the vital nutrients it needs in order to grow. Iron, nitrogen, zinc, and magnesium are all required nutrients for the gardenia plant. The two most common nutrient deficiencies in these plants are iron and magnesium.

Yellow leaves with green tips often will be a sign of a magnesium deficiency, while yellow tips with green branch bases often signal an iron deficiency. You don’t want to plant near any foundations or concrete since this area could have a much higher pH than what the gardenia plant needs. If the pH is way too high, then your gardenia plant will not grow and likely will turn yellow within a matter of weeks.

How to Prevent Yellow Gardenia Leaves

There are several tips that you should follow if you want to prevent the yellow leaves on your gardenia plant. If this is your first time with a gardenia plant, you shouldn’t get discouraged if you notice the yellowing happening, but you should take immediate steps to correct the issues. The more you take proper care of your gardenia plant, the less likely you will be to see the leaves beginning to turn yellow.

1. Maintain Proper Soil Conditions

As we briefly mentioned, proper soil is important for the gardenia plant and it’s very easy for this plant to end up with nutrient deficiencies due to the pH of the soil being wrong. You should have your soil tested to ensure it falls within the 5 to 6.5 levels which are optimal for the plant to take in all of the vital nutrients. Adding peat moss, manure, or other organic matter regularly will ensure that the soil conditions remain healthy and safe for this plant.

2. Maintain Proper Humidity & Temperature

It’s important that the gardenia plant have the proper temperature and humidity levels to grow successfully. If the temperature is too low or too hot, then it could cause the leaves to begin to turn yellow, and eventually they will just fall off. Outdoors the gardenia plant will be the healthiest if it’s in a daytime temperature of around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The night temperature should be between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Daily misting is also important because the gardenia plant will thrive in the higher humidity situations. You could also use a humidifier in certain situations to give the plant more humidity if needed or use moist pebbles underneath the plant.

3. Maintain Good Fertilize Balance

A good fertilizer balance is important for the gardenia plant to thrive. During growing season, which is March through October, you should fertilize every two to four weeks. You will need to use a fertilizer that acid-loving plants will enjoy and it should be diluted. November through February you should not be fertilizing the gardenia plant since this isn’t the growing season.