I was away for a couple of months, leaving the waterng of my gardenia to house sitters. I have returned to find a small green looking bug living on the stems of the gardenia and the leaf color dramatically dulled and lifeless. I have been reading various gardenia care articles, but I have not found one that identifies the problems I am having. There are no leaves at all now on the plant (apart from the lifeless looking few) and not a flower to speak of. I am not sure what the bug is and so do not know how to treat it. Please, can you help me identify the problem and suggest a solution to treating it? It is possible it has been overwatered, although I can't be sure.
My Gardenia Is Pretty Sick
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It may be thrips. They are partial to gardenias. And it is likely overwatered as well. Pests of all kinds are attracted to stressed plants, and overwatering would attract them. Regardless of the kind of pest it is, a general pesticide like Neem Oil should clear it up as well as restarting proper watering.