My gardenia leaves looks healthy. I moved it indoors more than one month ago and I started noticing few yellow leaves. I spray it with NEEM oil and soap pesticide about once a week. I have noticed very small flies roaming around it and crawling in its soil. I cannot see the color of the flies. Do I need to repot ?

Please advise!

  • Hi there Nada! If your plant is potted with garden soil, yes, I would definitely repot in sterilized potting soil (no water holding gimmicks or fertilizer added). Add a tiny bit of balanced fertilizer such as Osmocote 14-14-14 once per year? STOP spraying with NEEM and soap. Once a week is way too much for one thing. Do you see flies still? You have to send a picture or two! Of the entire plant, a close up of the leaves and stem and one of the pot and soil. Fungus gnats are common and come in with garden soil that has no beneficial insects or controls in a pot of soil. – stormy Dec 1 '18 at 23:00
  • Were you able to acclimate your gardenia to the indoors by systematically allowing more and more time indoors? Or did you just take it indoors from the out of doors and leave it? Acclimatization from one environment (out of doors or indoors) takes time to ensure the epidermis of the leaves changes for the circumstances; low light low humidity or too much light and more humidity? Please send pictures! – stormy Dec 1 '18 at 23:04
  • Thank you for your reply! I just took the plant indoor at once! I will try to send pictures – Nada Dec 4 '18 at 4:00

It sounds like you may have an infestation of fungus gnats, especially as your plant was outdoors during summer. The larvae can damage the roots, but their presence in houseplants is usually a sign the plant is kept too damp; fungus gnats are particularly attracted to moist soil. Allow the top inch or so of the planting medium to dry out before watering, then water thoroughly, tipping away any excess in an outer pot or tray after 30 minutes so the plant is not left sitting in water. I'm assuming there is good drainage from the pot; there is no need to change the potting soil unless you've had the plant for longer than a year, when it might be a good idea. More information here http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/fungus-gnats-as-houseplant-and-indoor-pests-5-584/

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  • Thank you so much for your reply! This was very helpful and informative. Will follow the instructions! – Nada Dec 4 '18 at 3:56

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