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Avatar for icy_flames
May 25, 2020 11:15 AM CST
COLORADO (Zone 5b)
Hi! Beginner gardner here in Colorado. I bought a Gardenia jubilation plant in late April from Home Depot. Arrived in excellent condition. Fast forward to today and its a mess. No beautiful white flowers , leaves falling off, the buds are brown not white. I water every few days and it has gotten a couple rounds of fish fertilizer. I've added pickle juice and some coffee grounds to the soil after reading that they like acidic soil. Not sure if this helped at all.

Now i realize this plant is not quiet fit for my zone (beginner mistake). Says for zones 7-9 but im in 5. Since its small i can certainly bring it into the house during winter but at this rate not sure it will make it. Help!
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May 25, 2020 11:45 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
They like a little morning sun. They don't like heat unless they get some shade and adequate water.
If you read that they like acid soil, why not give them a proper fertilizer. They are not big feeders, they don't need fertilizer that often.
But pickle juice, brine? That may have other ingredients that caused more harm then you imagine. My first thought is salt in the brine.
I am not sure about pickle juice but I would have researched how to acidify the soil first. Tea bags and coffee grounds come to mind.

I just looked it up and I forgot about the vinegar! It said that some people used pickle juice but it said NOT TO POUR IT ON THE PLANT DIRECTLY!!!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill May 25, 2020 11:48 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for icy_flames
May 25, 2020 12:33 PM CST
COLORADO (Zone 5b)
D'Oh!

Bad move with the pickle juice then. So do i just keep mixing in coffee grounds? Im not sure how else i can make the soil acidic. I just put it into basic potting soil transferring from the original container.
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May 25, 2020 1:00 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
You don't have to do it all of the time. You need the plant to recover. Just keep one thing it mind. Fertilizer is not a cure for anything.
If you feed a plant too much, you keep it so happy, it may not bloom like it should.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Avatar for luis_pr
May 25, 2020 1:09 PM CST
Name: Luis
Hurst, TX, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
Azaleas Salvias Roses Plumerias Region: New Hampshire Hydrangeas
Hibiscus Region: Georgia Region: Florida Dog Lover Region: Texas
You only need to tweak things when you observe that the leaves are turning light green or yellow but the leaf veins remain dark green. This happens when the plants lack minerals or the soil mix is too alkaline. I add some greensand or use iron-chelated liquid compounds every few months. The more you water, the more minerals are lost down the drainage holes.
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