Gardenia Bonsai Care Guide


Your bonsai gift arrives planted in a ceramic container with humidity tray and rocks. Place the rocks on the tray and the plant in its container on top of the rocks. Please read and follow the instructions below carefully to keep your plant healthy.


Gardenia bonsai bloom in late spring through summer.


Display your bonsai where it will receive bright indirect light or up to 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. From spring to fall, its active growing period, temperatures should remain between 70° to 85°F in the day and between 55° to 65°F at night. During winter months, temperatures may safely drop to 45°F. When the interior air is dry, mist your plant frequently, place it near other leafy plants or next to an open container of water, and keep the humidity tray filled with water so that the water never touches the bottom of the planter.

It is beneficial to move your bonsai outdoors occasionally, but not during severely hot or cold weather. If you move your bonsai outdoors, it is best to do so in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. Place the plant in light shade where it is protected from the wind and return it indoors in the fall before the first frost.

Gardenia Bonsai


Your bonsai plant requires frequent watering. The soil should be kept evenly moist but never soggy, and it should never be allowed to dry out completely. To water, place the plant in a pan with 2 inches of water and soak for 20 minutes or until the soil looks and feels moist. Never use water that has been treated by a water softener. After watering, the soil color will be a deep chocolate brown. The soil color will lighten as it dries, and the surface will feel dry to the touch when it needs watering.

If the tree gets too dry or excessive salts build up on the soil surface, submerge the entire pot in water to thoroughly water and wash out salts. If you are unable to water it for several days, you can seal the pot in a plastic bag immediately after watering. The bag acts as a greenhouse and will keep the soil moist for at least a week.


Apply complete liquid fertilizer at half strength every 4 weeks throughout the growing and flowering period, typically early spring to fall. If the leaves become chlorotic (yellow with green veins), apply iron chelate and make sure your gardenia is receiving adequate light and water.

Jackson & Perkins offers a selection of fertilizer & plant care products. We suggest using AlgoPlus Fertilizer for the general health and maintenance of your plant.


Bonsai trees must be pruned to maintain a balanced ratio between canopy and root. Without pruning the branches, the tree would grow too large to be supported by the confined root structure. Pruning also induces branching, producing a denser, bushier plant.

Gardenias bloom on old wood, so any pruning (light or heavy) should be done immediately after the plant has finished blooming. Don’t prune after July or the new buds that would develop into blossoms next season will be removed. Pinching out the ends may be done throughout the growing season to promote a fuller plant; however, gardenias set flower buds at the ends of the branches, so some branches should be allowed to grow out unpinched.


Every spring (March-May) your bonsai will need its roots pruned. Gently remove the plant from the pot, carefully remove some of the soil around the sides and bottom of the root ball. Cut off 1/3 of the roots all the way around and up from the bottom. Place fresh, porous soil in the pot (a houseplant soil mix is suitable) and replant the bonsai. After potting, mist the plant and water thoroughly per watering instructions (above) so that the entire root ball is moist.


Bonsai are especially susceptible to aphids and spider mites. So, it’s important to closely inspect your plant once a month, especially the underside of leaves, and if any pests are present, remove them by hand or gently wash the leaves with highly diluted soapy water and follow with a freshwater rinse.

IMPORTANT: Ornamental plant material should not be eaten. Keep away from pets and children.