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Top 6 Best Gardenia Fertilizers | Treat for Acid Loving Plant!

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Gardenia belongs to the genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae (coffee) family and is known for its stunning creamy-white, fragrant blooms and appealing dark-green leaves. Even though they are difficult to maintain and are considered picky plants with specific growing conditions, their attractive flowers and glossy leaves compensate for the extra care you give them. 

So, how good your Gardenia would grow would depend on the surrounding environment where you live and how you are taking care of the plant. Therefore, one of the most important aspects is to furnish your plant with the proper fertilizer at the right time.

However, if you are new to gardenias, it may not be easy to choose the right kind of fertilizer for your plant. But don’t worry, as we have got your back! We have listed the top 6 fertilizers that will perfectly suit your gardenia plant in this post. But first, let us check out when it is the right time to use these fertilizers, and whether you can add any homemade DIY fertilizers to the garden maintenance list.

When Your Gardenia Needs Fertilizers?

When Your Gardenia Needs Fertilizers

While over-fertilizing is never a good idea, you should also restrict yourself from under-fertilizing your plant. It may lead to the ultimate death of your adorable gardenias. 

Gardenias prefer acidic soils, which should have a 5 to 6. Therefore, it is preferable to keep the soil pH at 5.5 before applying fertilizer. So, before you start, get the pH of the soil analyzed. Suppose the pH is too high and alkaline; a soil acidifier can assist in bringing it down to the range your gardenias prefer.

Check the following symptoms to see if your gardenias need to be fertilized once you’ve set the soil pH level.

1. Yellow Leaves

The amount of nitrogen that gardenia plants acquire from the soil impacts their leaf development. If your plant’s green leaves start to turn yellow, feed it a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. A few yellow leaves may not be alarming, whereas too many could signify fertilizer deficiency. On the contrary, insufficient iron is indicated by curled yellow leaves with green veins. Such leaves should be pinched off immediately.

2. Stunted Growth

The stunted growth of fresh leaves often indicates nitrogen deficiency. And this lacking may be due to the under- fertilization of your plant.

3. No Blooms

If the soil is deficient in nutrients, your Gardenia will go into survival mode, focusing solely on fundamental survival needs rather than creating blossoms. In such circumstances, you may also notice bud drops. Thus, feeding your plant with the appropriate fertilizers will help it produce more leaves and flowers by restoring soil nutrients.

Can You Use Homemade Fertilizers For Gardenias?

Can you use homemade fertilizers for Gardenias
Image Credit: Home-made compost from Pinterest

There cannot be anything better than buying fertilizers available in stores. But if you do not want to spend much on these chemicals, here are some suggestions on homemade gardenia fertilizers. 

These fertilizers are just as effective as store-bought fertilizers. You also don’t need to be a skilled gardener to produce your gardenia fertilizer. Although gardenias can be a problem child in the garden and are heavy feeders, you can never go wrong with homemade gardenia feed. And guess what? An organic way to feed your darling gardenias is to make your fertilizer.

To feed these acid-loving plants, you can mix coffee grounds, tea compost, wood ashes, or Epsom salts into the soil. Besides, adding compost to the soil is a good idea. Using coffee grounds could be helpful because these plants require nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium to thrive.

Applying one tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 gallon of water is another technique to raise the soil’s acidity. Whatever fertilizer you use, remember to start feeding your gardenias in mid-March, when they are getting ready to blossom after prolonged winter dormancy. It might also be a good idea to reapply fertilizer every four weeks till the end of the summer.

Also Read: 2022 Best Fertilizers for Yards and Gardens

Top 6 Commercial Fertilizers For Gardenia Plant

This is the crux of this article. So, if you are stuck with unhappy Gardenias, don’t worry, as your plants may lack proper fertilization. And to help you out, here we have provided a list of 6 top commercial fertilizers that can do wonders to your gardenia plants.

You can choose any of these products, as per your need or preference. However, we can assure you that these fertilizers will enhance the acidic level of the soil and provide a protective shield to your adorable plants. 

#1. Earth 703P Organic Acid Fertilizer

Earth 703P Organic Acid Fertilizer
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Dr. Earth 703P Organic 4 Azalea/Camellia/Rhododendron Acid Fertilizer may be the answer if you want your Gardenia to blossom. Fishbone meal, cottonseed meal, potassium sulfate, feather meal, kelp meal, and seaweed extract are all included in this well-balanced composition. All of these contribute positively to raising the soil’s acidity. 

It also includes probiotics, seven champion types of beneficial soil microorganisms, and ecto and endo mycorrhizae. These help plants grow more resistant and adaptive, even in drought-like conditions. 

However, the odor of this fertilizer may be unpleasant, particularly when damp. However, the end outcome of using acid fertilizer may be well worth the odor and effort.

Pros:

  • 100% organic
  • No synthetic ingredients 
  • No GMO-infested chicken manure
  • Great to raise the soil acidity level
  • Ideal for buds and blooms
  • Quick releasing nutrients

Cons:

  • The stench may be awful. 

#2. Jobe’s Azalea Fertilizer Spikes

Jobe's Azalea Fertilizer Spikes
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Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes is another excellent fertilizer for your gardenias. This organic 6-1-1 fertilizer is ideal for any plants that require elevated levels of soil acidity, and we’re certain that your gardenias would enjoy it too. We say this because Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes would improve the soil’s nutrition while also lowering disease risks.

This fertilizer is simple to use because it dissolves fast in the water and maybe sprayed around the root of your plant. You will receive a manual with this product that you can use to understand how to apply this feed properly.

Pros:

  • Organic
  • No added synthetic element
  • Easy to apply- can be sprinkled 
  • No stench

Cons:

  • None so far

#3. Nelson Acid Loving Plant Food

Nelson Acid Loving Plant Food
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Nelson’s Plant Food is a good choice if you have gardenias or other similar plants in your garden. This is one food for all (acid-loving) plants. This product’s composition aids in decreasing the soil’s pH level. Additionally, it is also high in nitrogen and iron, which can aid in the growth of greener foliage while also gently stimulating the roots and promoting consistent growth.

Gardenias would become hardier and produce more blossoms if fed this fertilizer regularly. However, you should avoid overfeeding your plants, as it may cause them to burn or get severely damaged. 

It’s best to apply it in the early spring and then reapply once a month till the completion of the growing season.

Pros:

  • It can effectively reduce the soil pH level
  • It can be applied to both acid-poor and acid-rich soil
  • Contains Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Soluble Potash
  • Superior quality

Cons:

  • Overuse can burn plants.

You May Also Read: The 5 Best Organic Garden Fertilizers

#4. Scotts Miracle-Gro

Scotts Miracle-Gro
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Miracle-Gro creates Miracid, a nutrient that acid-loving flowers adore. But it’s the double-feeding feature that sets this product distinct. Miracle-Gro fertilizer feeds your plants not just via their roots but also through their leaves. As a result, your blooms will be brighter and healthier, your foliage will be greener, and your roots will be stronger.

It is highly recommended that you use his product once a week during the flowering season. Then, you can use a sprayer or a watering can to apply it. This solution is delicate, and you can rest confident that it will not burn the leaves or blooms of your gardenias or surrounding plants.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • High quality
  • Gentle
  • Double feeding feature
  • Fast action
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • None so far

#5. Bonide Products

Bonide Products
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Because Bonide’s solution is made of aluminum sulfate, it lowers the pH of the soil, making it suitable for gardenias to develop and thrive. Any acid-loving plant will benefit from this product.

In any case, you can use Bonide’s product to cultivate your acid-loving plants in any soil. The product also comes with a handy chart that shows how much fertilizer you’ll need, based on the type of soil you have. However, to achieve the best results, it is recommended that you analyze your soil first, then apply the proper amount of fertilizer as per the chart. It is also available at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • It comes with a chart to help understand the level to be used
  • Rich in aluminum sulfate 
  • It can be applied to any soil
  • Suitable for all kinds of acid-loving plants
  • Lowers the soil pH

Cons:

  • Only one size is available- 4lbs

#6. Ferti-Lome Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Food

Ferti-Lome Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Food
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Ferti-Lome Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron Food is another good fertilizer for gardenias. This product includes a balanced Gardenia plant food and materials that help produce an acidic growing environment for other acid-loving plants. This fertilizer will aid in the production of brighter and healthier flowers on your gardenias.

Nitrogen, water-soluble potash, copper, manganese, zinc, and other active components are found in Ferti-Lome fertilizer. Therefore, this product can be used all year long.

Pros:

  • It can be used for plants in pots
  • Great for any acid-loving plants
  • It contains a balanced food diet
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • None so far

How to Fertilize Gardenias?

It is good to ask because improper ways of feeding can do more harm than good. 

Gardenia fertilizers are often available as powders, pellets, and liquids. However, depending on the type, it’s best to use it diluted in water (for liquids) or incorporate it into the soil directly (for powder or granules). 

It’s also important to remember to apply these chemicals to the soil around the roots rather than on the leaves, as they can disfigure them. The nutrients are needed by the Gardenia’s roots, not the foliage, even if they are yellow or curled.

Also Check: Nitrogen Fertilizer – An Essential Nutrient for your Plants

What is the Best Gardenia Fertilizer?

After reading through our complete list, you may wonder which fertilizer is ideal for your gardenia plants. The products we described above are all good for gardenias, and some of them can also be used on other acid-loving plants. On the other hand, water-soluble fertilizers may be the best choice for your plants. 

Also, choose a fertilizer that can efficiently lower the soil’s pH level while lowering the temperature. That said, the best fertilization results would be determined by the fertilizer’s quality and how it’s been applied. Hence, depending on the intensity of the fertilizer and the directions, it’s usually recommended to feed your gardenias every two weeks.

Furthermore, organic acid fertilizers are preferable because they are free of synthetic ingredients and penetrate the soil better. To learn more about the DIY organic feed, go to the section on homemade fertilizers for gardenias.

But don’t fret if you don’t want to trouble to create your fertilizer; any of the fertilizers we above will suffice.

Summary

This article was written with educational intent. However, the list we’ve provided is endless, and you can always do your research to learn more about fertilizing your gardenias. You can also look at other items not included in our post.

Nonetheless, the items we’ve highlighted are among the best in the market. Any fertilizers suggested would be ideal for your delicate and picky gardenias. However, to achieve the best results, it’s best if you stick to a strict feeding schedule. Fertilization that is either too low or too much can damage your plant.

Keep in mind: gardenias need your care, but don’t overdo it – as you can easily kill them with over-kindness! 

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