I have a potted Gardenia plant which I’ve had for several years. I re-potted it and feed it, but it still hasn’t produced any flowers. It gets the afternoon sun. Can you help me solve this problem so I can get flowers this season? I live in a windy area and not too far from the beach could this have something to do it?
Gardenias are possibly the most problematic shrubs you can grow in your garden, but when they are successful, they reward you with masses of gorgeous, heavily scented flowers. Unfortunately, they often grow poorly, have yellow leaves and are reluctant to flower. There are some varieties that perform better than others in NZ growing conditions, such as Professor Pucci, and the lower-growing Gardenia Radicans.
The position you are growing your gardenia in is perfect for cultivating your plant, so this is not the problem.
Gardenias are what we call ‘gross feeders’ (they thrive on plenty of fertiliser), so fertilise your plant from early spring with Daltons Garden Time™ Complete Garden Fertiliser at 5-6-weekly intervals.
From early December through till Christmas, switch to Daltons Premium Rose Fertiliser, which is high in potash. Using rose fertiliser on evergreen shrubs that loathe to flower can work substantially well to initiate flowering. Remember, do not apply fertiliser over the hotter summer months and water regularly during this time without overwatering. Recommence fertilising again with general garden fertiliser from March onwards.
If this plan of action does not produce the required results, it may be better to plant an alternative shrub in your container.