5 Best Fertilizer For Gardenias In Pots 2022

Best Fertilizer For Gardenias In Pots. How Gardenia plants will grow, depends on what part of the country you live in. Whether you grow them as houseplants or outdoor gardens. They are beautiful evergreen shrubs that have dark green leaves.

They have fragrant flowers and aromatic, whose colors range from soft creamy white or pale yellow. Gardenia flowers are beautiful!

Gardenias are originated from Japan and China. They grow outside in warmer climates. The height could reach between two and eight feet tall and wide.

Most Gardenias are hardy in zones 8-11. A few of the varieties are hardy to zone 7 (such as Kleim’s Hardy Gardenia is one). Some are only hardy in zones 10 and 11 (including Double Tahitian gardenia).

One of Gardenia’s varieties is Gardenia Jasminoides ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ (Cape Jasmine). The spread can also reach two to eight feet depending on the variety. This plant needs full sunlight if they place the gardenia indoor as an indoor plant or houseplant.

The Gardenias can thrive outdoors in partial shade. They certainly need the best fertilizer for gardens. Gardenias can be used as a perfect choice in landscape ideas for landscape designers. It would be very nice to plant gardens in your garden and can be a garden solution.

In this article, we have selected the top-rated fertilizer for Gardenias. We discover the selection from the positive reviews about fertilizer for Gardenias from the verified customers. Read all the comparisons, pros, cons, specifications, ratings, our favorites, and reviews of this fertilizer for Gardenias and you can make a buying decision soon.

Our Quick Overview

  1. Best Overall: Scotts Company Miracle-GRO Water Soluble Acid-Loving Plant Food
  2. Best Acid-Loving Plant Food: Ferti-Lome Fertilizer
  3. Best for Organic Gardening: Espoma HT50 Organic 4-3-4 Holly Tone Fertilizer
  4. Best for All Seasons: Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes
  5. Best for Newly Planted Plants: Bloom & Root Acid Loving Natural Fertilizer

Our editors research, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. Bestgardenoutdoor earns a commission through the affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

Fertilizer for Gardenias Comparison

Product Weight NPK Rating
Scotts Company Miracle-GRO 1.5 pounds 9.5
Ferti-Lome Fertilizer 4 pounds 9-15-13 9.5
Espoma HT50 Organic 50 pounds 4-3-4 9.5
Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes 16 oz 9-8-7 9.5
Bloom & Root Acid Loving Natural Fertilizer 20 pounds 4-5-4 9.0

Growing Gardenias in pots

The most important thing about growing Gardenias in pots is that Gardenia soil must be acidic. The other factors are they have to be planted in well-drained, moist, and rich soil.

To improve the Gardenia soil, you can add compost or aged manure. The Gardenia pant also will appreciate coffee grounds, tea bags, wood ashes, or Epsom salts mixed into the soil. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium.

The hardy gardenia plants commonly will bloom beginning in the middle of spring and just right into the summer.

Gardenias prefer the relative humidity around 50 percent to 60 percent. If Gardenias does not have any air circulation and get a small drop of water, it will cause fungus on their leaves.

So you do not want to place pot Gardenias near or under any other plants that could drip water on their leaves to avoid fungus. An inch of rain should shower Gardenias at least every week.

To keep the plant in moisture, place a 2-inch layer of organic mulch. This will also reduce the need for weeding and keep the soil at a constant temperature.

You have to make sure that the plant gets proper watering by inserting your finger about 1-inch deep in the soil. When you see that it is dry, then your plant will need good soaking.

The container or pots should not be collecting water so you need to empty them. For keeping humidity, fill the pots or containers or tray with small stones or pebbles so the extra water can drain through.

By adding these, provides some moisture and humidity.

When to grow and plant Gardenias?

Between the month of April through November, that would be the right time for growing Gardenias in pots. During these months you have to fertilize the plant.

You have to choose a fertilizer that is an acidic fertilizer that will fulfill your Gardenias nutritional needs (essential nutrients). If you see the Gardenia flower stop blooming, it is also a good idea to prune some older stems.

By doing this, it will encourage new growth. It will also promote the plant to bloom more often.

If you are about to start planting Gardenias in your outdoor garden, you have to dig the hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. Add some compost and peat moss to apply well-conditioned acidic soil.

Make sure to place the top part of the root ball a little above the soil’s surface. Then, you fill the hole with soil halfway. Add water, and tamp it down to eliminate air pockets.

Wait until the water drains through, then fill the remainder with soil and again pat or tamp down to eliminate air pockets.

Last, you can water the plant thoroughly. Gardenia plants can be planted in the spring or fall. Between each plant, there must be space from 3 to 6 feet apart.

What is the best Gardenia fertilizer?

Since Gardenia plants are an acid-loving plant, the best fertilizer for Gardenias is the fertilizer that is water-soluble and formulated for the acidic loving plant.

The best fertilizer for Gardenias that provides nutrients to Gardenia soil is often called acid fertilizers. When soil pH levels go down into the acidic range or below 7.0, particular nutrients become available to acidic-loving plants.

Various acid fertilizers lower soil pH to free up nutrients. Many fertilizers provide the nutrients that turn into restricted at higher, non-acid soil pH.

Acid-loving plant fertilizer provides low and temporary drops in soil pH while delivering nutrients that are usually unavailable in high-pH soils. Fertilizer for Gardenia plant should be applied every two weeks to retain the effects.

Iron is provided in chelated forms, to retain them available to acidic-loving plants like Gardenias.

Make sure to wear protective gear including gloves, goggles, long sleeve clothing when working with any fertilizers or garden chemicals. Avoid contact at all times with unprotected skin.

Always wash completely with insecticidal soap and water after use. It is always good for taking care of your body too.

If you want to use organic fertilizer, spray Gardenia plants every couple of weeks with a mix of 1 cup compost tea, 1-ounce molasses, 1-ounce White Vinegar, and 1-ounce liquid seaweed combined with 1 gallon of water. It would give good results applying fertilizer that is made from organic matter.

Best Overall

Scotts Company Miracle-GRO Water Soluble Acid-Loving Plant Food

Gardenia fertilizer
Overall satisfaction: 9.7
Effectiveness: 9.4
Value for money: 9.5
  • It dissipates much more quickly
  • Very suitable for acidic soil
  • Produce better flowers
  • Easy to use
  • Double feeding action
  • Fast-acting fertilizer
  • None

Product analysis

  • BGO analyzed a total of 1,419 reviews for this product.
  • The analysis results: 65.7% of reviews were positive, and 34.3% of reviews had negative statements.
  • We rate this product with a total score of 9.5 out of 10, based on review sentiments and user opinions related to 3 performances:
  • Overall satisfaction: 9.7
  • Effectiveness: 9.4
  • Value for money: 9.5
  • We rate this fertilizer as the best overall. When you use this fertilizer for Gardenias, it heavily suitable for its demand for acidic soil. The leaves became a darker green and it went on to produce Gardenia flowers and Gardenia flower development.
  • Gardenia plants that live in large pots would need this because it is what the soil prefers, so this fertilizer will be great to keep your plants in pots healthy. It is also very easy to use.
  • The fertilizer works for any acidic soil-loving plants and the plant would love them especially when it blooms. On a gardenia shrub, the fertilizer will be able to provide the necessary nutrients.
  • This fertilizer is water-soluble for acid-loving plant food. When you apply, it will feed acid-loving plants like Gardenias, Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Rhododendrons immediately.
  • The fertilizer will perform a double feeding action feeds through both the leaves and roots. The action will provide strong root development, quick and beautiful blooms.

Best Acid-Loving Plant Food

Ferti-Lome Fertilizer for Azalea, Gardenias, Camellia, Rhododendron Food 9-15-13

Gardenia fertilizer
Overall satisfaction: 9.6
Effectiveness: 9.3
Value for money: 9.6
  • Suitable for plants in pots
  • Balance plant food
  • None

Product analysis

  • BGO analyzed a total of 29 reviews for this product.
  • The analysis results: 89.0% of reviews were positive, and 11% of reviews had negative statements.
  • We rate this product with a total score of 9.5 out of 10, based on review sentiments and user opinions related to 3 performances:
  • Overall satisfaction: 9.6
  • Effectiveness: 9.3
  • Value for money: 9.6
  • This Ferti-Lome Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron, Gardenia Food 9-15-13 is the most suitable fertilizer for Gardenias in pots. This fertilizer supports Gardenia soil for soil acidity in pots to reach the maximum potential.
  • It contains a balanced Gardenia plant food with additional vital trace elements to create an acid growing condition that supports Azaleas, Camellias, and Gardenia plants to grow and thrive. They will be more beautiful than ever. Use the fertilizer throughout the entire year.
  • Apply at the rate of 1/4 cup for each foot of height. Active Ingredient: Total Nitrogen – 9% Available Phosphate – 15% Soluble Potash – 13% Boron – 0.02%, Copper – 0.05%, Iron – 0.10%, Manganese – 0.05%, Zinc – 0.05%. We rate this fertilizer as the best for acid-loving plants.

Best for Organic Gardening

Espoma HT50 Organic 4-3-4 Holly Tone Fertilizer

Gardenia fertilizer
Overall satisfaction: 9.6
Effectiveness: 9.3
Value for money: 9.6
  • Suitable for organic gardening
  • Long-lasting plant food
  • Can produce vigorous and productive plants
  • None

Product analysis

  • BGO analyzed a total of 139 reviews for this product.
  • The analysis results: 82.1% of reviews were positive, and 17.9% of reviews had negative statements.
  • We rate this product with a total score of 9.5 out of 10, based on review sentiments and user opinions related to 3 performances:
  • Overall satisfaction: 9.6
  • Effectiveness: 9.3
  • Value for money: 9.6
  • Make sure you have Gardenias plant in pots life look beautiful with this fertilizer. This evergreen food for organic gardening will make your plants grow to create a wonderful landscape for your yard or lawn or garden. The fertilizer is ideal for anyone who favors organic gardening. We rate the fertilizer product as the best for organic gardening.
  • It is the long-lasting, slow-release, and original choice for gardeners with Amaryllis, Andromeda, Aster, Azalea, Bayberry, Bleeding, Heart, Blueberry, Camellia, Dogwood, Evergreens, Ferns, Fir, Gardenia, Heath, Heather, Hemlock, Holly, Huckleberry, Hydrangea, Inkberry, Juniper, Leucothoe, Lily-of-the-Valley, Lupine, Magnolia, Marigold, Mountain Ash, Mountain Laurel, Oak, Pachysandra, Phlox, Pieris, Pine, Raspberry, Rhododendron, Spruce, Strawberries, Wood-sorrel, and other acid-loving plants.
  • This fertilizer product is rich in natural organics and enhanced with Bio-tone microbes recommended for a safe, long-lasting, and provide the nutrients necessary for productive and vigorous plants. Bio-tone biologically enhances their natural plant food to make sure maximum plant growth.

Best for All Seasons

Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes

Gardenia Fertilizer
Overall satisfaction: 9.8
Effectiveness: 9.5
Value for money: 9.6
  • Easy to use
  • No odor
  • Supply nutrients during the root growth
  • None

Product analysis

  • BGO analyzed a total of 139 reviews for this product.
  • The analysis results: 82.1% of reviews were positive, and 17.9% of reviews had negative statements.
  • We rate this product with a total score of 9.5 out of 10, based on review sentiments and user opinions related to 3 performances:
  • Overall satisfaction: 9.8
  • Effectiveness: 9.5
  • Value for money: 9.6
  • These fertilizer spikes provide the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition at the roots of Gardenias. The fertilizer is suitable for all acid-loving plants like Gardenias or Hydrangeas. We rate the product as the best for all seasons.
  • It is easy to use fertilizer spikes that will not give wasteful runoff, and will not create mess, hazards, or smells. You do not have to mix or measure to use. It will supply continuously nutrients for the Gardenias plant below the surface, where the active roots are growing.
  • You can apply this fertilizer in late spring or early summer after Gardenias plants in pots shed their blooms. The usual recommendation is not to fertilize after July 1 because new growth will be encouraged.
  • Gardenias will be do well on one spike per year. It can be bloom year after year without any care at all because of the season long feeding.
  • To care is to just prune to remove dead limbs and maintain shape. You can keep Gardenias in pots watered in the dry part of the summer.

Best for Newly Planted Plants

Bloom & Root Acid Loving Natural Fertilizer

Overall satisfaction: 9.0
Effectiveness: 9.0
Value for money: 9.1
  • Natural ingredients
  • Slow-release formula
  • Strong root
  • None

Product analysis

  • BGO analyzed a total of 19 reviews for this product.
  • The analysis results: 64.0% of reviews were positive, and 36.0% of reviews had negative statements.
  • We rate this product with a total score of 9.0 out of 10, based on review sentiments and user opinions related to 3 performances:
  • Overall satisfaction: 9.0
  • Effectiveness: 9.0
  • Value for money: 9.1
  • This acid-loving natural fertilizer is designed for high-performing plants that require low pH soil. You can start providing your Gardenias in pots a balanced diet of macro and micronutrients immediately. We rate the fertilizer as the best for newly planted plants.
  • It is with the intention to keep the plants strong and beautiful from root to bloom. The fertilizer contains a variety of organic and natural ingredients to keep your soil and plants kept feeding and thriving.
  • Gardenias and other plants that thrive in acidic soil, such as evergreens, holly, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, hydrangeas, gardenias, and magnolias, will grow well. It is a fertilizer with a slow-release formula that feeds for 8 weeks.

Our Other Recommendation

Carl Pool Azalea & Camellia 5-20-3 5 Pounds Pail Gardenia Fertilizer

  • If you want to keep your Gardenias plant healthy and colorful, you could use this fertilizer. The fertilizer is made from Ammonium Sulfate, Triple Super Phosphate, Muriate of Potash, Zinc Oxy-Sulfate, Maganese Sulfate, Iron-Oxy Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Dolomite, Blood Meal, and Cottonseed Meal.
  • It releases its nutrients safely and slowly for the best results. You can schedule a monthly basis of fertilizing from May through September or feed 3 to 4 months as needed.
  • Ingredients: Total Nitrogen (N) 5%, phosphate (P2O5) 20%, Soluble Potash (K2O) 3%, Sulfer (S) 4.8%, Magnesium .5%, Copper .5%, Iron (Fe) 0.8%.

Fertilizer Azalea, Camellia, Gardenias, Rhododendron 14-4-5 & Acid Loving Plants

  • This fertilizer is a slow-release 14-4-5 type that can be used on shrubs, trees, and flowers. It is suitable for all acid-loving plants. If you want to use it outdoor, use 1 tablespoon for every square foot of ground. If you want to plant in pots or containers, use 1 tablespoon for every 12 inches diameter potted container.
  • You can feed the plant 6 times per year or every two months. Apply to dry soil and scrape into the top 1 inches to 2 inches of soil. After you finish, water the plant thoroughly.
  • Ingredients: Total Nitrogen (N) – 14% Available Phosphate (P2O5) – 4% Soluble Potash (K2O) – 5% Iron (Fe) – 3% Sulfur (S) – 11%.

Bonide Products INC 705 037321007050 Aluminum Sulfate, 4 Pound, Multi

Overall satisfaction: 8.9
  • This fertilizer contains 4 pounds of Aluminum Sulfate. The ingredient will lower soil pH for acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Hemlock holly, Cedar, and Blueberry. With this formula, it would turn hydrangeas plants to blue color.
  • You can start applying this fertilizer and read the easy-to-follow chart. Even though it is for acid-loving plants, it can work well in all soil types. But you must remember not to use it in a vegetable garden.
  • Because of the combination of low pH and aluminum, it is able to create a toxic environment for vegetable plants. But if you are applying it on trees or shrubs, there should be no trouble. The truth is, this product is highly recommended because it can perform and keep Hydrangeas blue for two years.

FoxFarm Happy Frog Acid-Loving Plants Fertilizer, 18 pounds

  • The soil to plant will not be able to give access to roots for enough nutrients if it does not have the right pH balance. This fertilizer is specifically formulated for those acid-loving plants, including Gardenias, Evergreens, Blueberries, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias, Hydrangeas, and Raspberries, Strawberries, and Potatoes.
  • The ingredient is a blend of natural fertilizers and micro-organisms. Those ingredients will provide the soil to deliver the maximum potential of plant nutrition. It also contains an added Nitrogen for shrubs. Some of the ingredients such as feather meal, bat guano, kelp meal, and alfalfa meal, for plant food.
  • It is in gray granular pellet form and water soluble. It is recommended to wear dust mask, goggles and gloves for safety application. NPK 6-4-4 formulation.

JR Peter’s Jacks Prof 21-7-7 Gardenia Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants, 25 pounds

Best Fertilizer For Gardenias
Overall satisfaction: 9.2
  • The formulation of this fertilizer will absolutely help to reduce soil pH. The reduction means it will allow your acid-loving plants to better utilize iron and other trace elements for maximum potential plant growth.
  • This water-soluble fertilizer is a good choice for greening up plants including Azaleas, Gardenias, Camellias, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, Blueberries, Magnolia, Yellow Pine, Pin Oaks, Spruce, Cedar, Birch, and Citrus.
  • This fertilizer has an enhanced nutrient package to promote lush vegetative growth and better blooms. It includes elevated levels of iron and sulfur. It is best for a continuous plant feed program.

When to fertilize Gardenias?

The right time to fertilize Gardenias for the best result must be done every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. That would be between March to October. Gardenias must be fertilized using a water-soluble fertilizer for acid-loving plants.

It is recommended to avoid fertilization between November to February. Gardenia plants are recommended to be fertilized three times a year.

One time during the spring months. One time during the summer months, and one time in early fall. Apply the amount recommended by the instruction label of the chosen fertilizer.

If Gardenias is protected from cold temperatures, Gardenias plants will continue to grow all year. Stop the fertilization in the winter months. Gardenias are cold hardy plants.

How to fertilize Gardenias?

Choose a fertilizer for acid-loving plants for your Gardenias. There are many varieties of fertilizer you can choose from. If you want to scatter mulch for your Gardenias, a wood chip or sawdust variety is the right choice. The mulch will add acid to your soil to aid Gardenia’s growth.

To prevent over-fertilizing, people stop fertilizing the Gardenia plants. This could cause affects the plant in many ways.

Gardenias tend to thrive in slightly acidic soil. Acidic soil is at a pH of 5.5 to 6 levels. To correct the soil pH, use 1 tablespoon vinegar once a month to the soil, mixed into 1 gallon of water. Rainwater can give perfect acidity.

How often to fertilize Gardenias?

Gardenias need to be fertilized at the very least twice per year. Between the month of March to August, Gardenias may be fertilized as often as one time per month. To supply food for the Gardenias plants just twice per year, fertilize one time in early spring during new growth.

Problems with Gardenias

The gardenia attracts several feeding pests, that can cause sooty mold infections. The cause of the infection can result in gardenia shrub’s downfall and death untreated or no care for your gardenia.

Sooty mold is a fungal disease stimulated by feeding insects, such as whiteflies and aphids, and fungi.

If the plant has yellow leaves, it might be caused by overwatering, underwatering, poor soil drainage, not receiving enough light, nutrient deficiencies, iron chlorosis, and root rot.

How to care for gardenias in pots

Gardenia plants (Gardenia augusta/Gardenia jasminoides) will get a great benefit from fertilizer application. Feed them after they bloom in spring.

Use acid-forming fertilizer such as azalea, camellia, and rhododendron food, or a slow-release shrub & tree food. It would better the one that contains Sulfur and/or Iron.

Do not fertilize after August.

1. Gardenia Soil

The best soil for Gardenia in pots is acid soil ranging between 4.5 to 6.0 on the pH scale. Gardenias are happy in moist but well-drained soil.

Use a mix of potting soil with perlite and peat moss for better drainage.

When the plant is matured or established, they are tolerant of dry periods. Constantly soggy soil or wet soil can cause root rot.

2. Watering Gardenia Plants

The best time to water the Gardenia plant is right after planting. Deep soak the soil in the rootball, to a depth the same as the root ball’s height.

For an extra enhancement, water the Gardenia plant with a solution of root stimulator. It will stimulate stronger root development and early root formation. It reduces plant shock and promotes greener plants.

Do not water the newly planted Gardenia plant 7 days a week. This practice causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and diseases.

If there is no rainfall presence, water only as needed. Just to retain the rootball damp to moist. Deep soaking and letting the soil dry out before watering. This is much better than watering the plants every day.

When the Gardenia plant at its mature stage, it is drought tolerant. But when you notice wilting of leaves or stems, it is the indicator that the Gardenia plant needs watering. Always check soil moisture before watering.

3. Pruning

The best time to prune the Gardenia plant is in early spring. It is when new growth starts to show up.

Light pruning can be performed to remove a broken branch or damage stem or just to shape the plant. 

Use sharp stainless steel hand pruners. Make sure the tool is clean and sterilize. Use alcohol to sterilize the hand pruner before use.

Cut at a point along the branch just above the main form of the plant. When cutting out the dead branches, you have to remove the entire branch.

When pruning a broken branch, cut just below the break. You can also use hedge trimmers to trim the plant.

4. Gardenia Propagation

If you prune your Gardenia plants, you should begin Gardenia propagation from the cuttings. You can use the cuttings in other spots in your garden.

Propagating Gardenia plants from cuttings begins with getting the cuttings. Gardenia plants’ cutting should be at least five inches (about 12.5 cm) long and trimmed from the branch’s tip.

Remove the lower leaves off the cutting except for the top two sets. Get a pot ready to root the cutting in.

Fill the pot with parts of potting soil and sand. Dampen the mixture.

Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone. Create a hole using your finger.

Put the cutting in the hole and then backfill it all. Relocate the pot in bright but indirect light. For best results, maintain the temperature at about 75 Fahrenheit (24 Celcius). Ensure the mixture stays damp.

Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom.

I had been doing gardening for the last 18 years. I enjoy writing reviews of many products and about gardening to give better experiences and accurate information.