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New Haven (Zone 6b)
Pete89
May 22, 2017 1:32 PM CST
Hello,

We purchased a gardenia about 6 weeks ago. We knew they were hard to grow. Just yesterday we decided to give up on it. Many leaves had fallen off and it was obviously dying.

When I got it out side I noticed these round balls in the roots. Can anyone identify them? Could these be the cause of our problem? They were definitely organic and looked like fungus.

Thanks!
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
May 22, 2017 1:46 PM CST
Where are you gardening?
Except for the tropical ones, I've never heard there was anything difficult about gardenias...
Matter of fact, I can break off a limb, and shove it in the clay, and I have another gardenia...

Those funny round things look like time release chemical fertilizer that the nursery added to the soil. Not the problem.

Although...
If they are a fungus... They might be birds nest mushrooms... Should open in a couple days... Still not the problem.

I'm surprised to hear the leaves are all falling off.
Did you plant in the sun, or shade?
Did you water enough?
Did you water too much?
Are you in clay? Sand?
How long did you have the bush planted?
Edit:
Ok just went back and re-read your post...
6 weeks.
How cold did it get?
[Last edited by stone - May 22, 2017 2:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
May 22, 2017 2:07 PM CST
Hi Pete, and Welcome! to NGA. Glad you found your way here.
Are the round balls hard? Or soft and squishy? And can you get us a clearer/sharper photo?
New Haven (Zone 6b)
Pete89
May 22, 2017 5:32 PM CST
Here are some answers:

The plant was kept indoor next to a southern exposed window but it did not get a lot of direct light. We watered it according to the directions of the person who sold it to us.

We put it in a big pot, again following the directions of the person who sold it to us.

The round balls were very soft and squishy.

What we were surprised to see was that after six weeks in this big pot was that the roots were very dry and had not expanded at all into the big pot. Also it seemed all the moisture had been sapped up by these little balls.

No more pictures. Plant is on its way to the dump.

So sad. We really wanted it.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
May 22, 2017 5:53 PM CST
What potting soil did you use? Were the balls part of the mix that the Gardenia came with?
Could the balls be made of clay?
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 22, 2017 6:03 PM CST
The balls may be fertilizer prills.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
May 22, 2017 6:06 PM CST
Great info greene. Here is a link about prills. https://www.google.com/search?...

That sure looks like a lot of fertilizer for one plant?
New Haven (Zone 6b)
Pete89
May 22, 2017 6:51 PM CST
Yes, these must have been fertilizer prills.

Also, your comment about the amount is true. There were many hundreds of these.

We used just normal potting soil, The plant came with the soil that contained all the balls.

Do you think we didn't water it enough?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
May 22, 2017 7:03 PM CST
It may have been a combination of the prills and not enough water. Some potting mixes can be very difficult to water once they dry out.
I am so sorry for the loss of your gardenia. They really are pretty easy to grow. I used to keep mine indoors for the winter and place it in a some what protected spot in the summer. I had it for years.

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