I have noticed a white substance on the stems and buds of the plant, only on one side. There are also small ants on the plant. Is this natural? If not, what can I do?
White Substance on Buds and Stems
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The plant sounds like it may have a bit of powdery mildew and possibly aphids, which secrete a sticky substance called honeydew. This would be attracting the ants. Here is information both these things:
We recommend treating the plant with neem oil. It is safe for humans and pets and treats both problems your gardenia possibly has. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm