Ask a Question forum: Gardenia, how do you green it up?

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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 7, 2018 10:17 PM CST
Hi there!!!

I will provide a picture soon. I have always been madly in love with my aunts Gardenia. They have had it for three years and it's in a huge pot. They just bought a new house in Oregon so I was lucky enough to inherit it. ❤️❤️❤️

They had let it dry out some so it wasn't so heavy and then it took an outside truck ride to my place about an hour+ away. It is covered in buds but some are turning brown and none have opened yet.

When I look at the Gardenias here they have dark green leaves. This Bush has light green leaves which haven't started dropping luckily.

They had been covering the soil with dried oak leaves for acid. I went ahead and bought a fertilizer which was made for azaleas 🌺 if I remember correctly. I had researched food that went for Gardenias as well. I have had it now for a few weeks.

Some questions, though I know it is probably still in shock from the move but how do you recommend that I can green up the foliage? And how often to water it?

I know my climate is different, more dry and windy, and likely in different sun parameters than it used to be in.

I am absolutely in love with this Bush. It has a thick trunk and my aunt used to bring me flowers from it and they would perfume the entire house!!

Any advice is welcome. 😀🌺🐝

Mindi
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Apr 8, 2018 5:20 AM CST
Posting a picture should help, but the first thing that comes to my mind is that the leaves were dessicated by the truck ride and may not fully recover - that's assuming it was not wrapped to protect it from what was equivalent to an hour at a wind speed of whatever speed you were driving. Was it always in the pot, or was it just potted for the move?
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 8, 2018 11:17 AM CST
I didn't even think of the trauma from the drive. The Gardenia was always potted. They didn't protect it from the elements on the drive. I just inspected the leaves very closely and noticed that some have some browning on the tips and sides of some leaves and it is dropping buds.

I hope it makes it. I never thought of a potential death of the entire plant. There is some yellowing too.

I hope the Gardenia makes it. Also there is no drainage hole in this big concrete type pot. That always worries me. The thought of roots possibly sitting in water.

We had a random heavy rain the day before yesterday. I won't be watering the Gardenia for awhile.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Apr 8, 2018 11:23 AM CST
if you think there may be water sitting at the bottom of the pot, tip the pot on its side and leave it that way for an hour. Any excess water should drain out.
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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 8, 2018 11:34 AM CST
Cwhitt thank you. This thing, the pot is crazy big and like concrete of some kind. I can't stand the idea of it bathing its roots in soup. I'll ask my husband to help me tip it over!!

Great tip!

Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 8, 2018 11:36 AM CST
I know with ponds concrete can leach minerals both in and out of the water. Perhaps the concrete is leaching the soil of important minerals? but yes, I would address the drainage first and foremost.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Apr 8, 2018 11:55 AM CST
Daunting task to repot into a new pot with drainage holes. I wonder, when the pot is tipped over, if you or someone else could drill drainage holes into the bottom?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 8, 2018 11:57 AM CST
If the leaves were dessicated by the "wind" from the drive, the brown areas will not go back to green but it won't likely kill the plant. It may look a bit ugly until it grows new leaves.

I too would be concerned with concrete, as Cheryl said. Concrete is alkaline and gardenias like acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline for them they will tend to get pale leaves but the veins stay green (you would see this first on the youngest leaves rather than the older ones).
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Apr 8, 2018 12:10 PM CST
A natural way to increase acidity would be to shred/chop up some orange peels and use them as a top dressing. But I do think the windy travel, new location and excess water would be enough to throw it into shock. I would absolutely drain any excess water, and then give it some time to adjust to its new home. Ummmm, maybe sing a lullaby to it also. Whistling Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 8, 2018 12:24 PM CST
Yes I should sing 🎶 it a lullaby lol. My dear grandmother used to swear by touching plants and holding her hands around her plants. She said that they appreciated it and it gave the plants energy and made them grow. I think she was the plant whisperer lol. She could grow anything and make it look beautiful. I have nothing on her lol. Maybe there's something to it. I can't grow indoor plants to save my life. Everything she brought home thrived!!😀 inside and out!!
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 8, 2018 3:32 PM CST
Good news! When we went to set the Gardenia on its side I found three drainage holes that I wasn't aware of.

Thank you for the natural orange peel idea for the acidity. I did put some acidic food around the pot a few weeks ago because I want it to have all of it necessities.

How often would you water it? Once a week or more? I guess I could put my fingers in there and see when it's dry. The leaves are the same shade of green as when I got it. I just saw on here dark green foliage on the Gardenias. I don't know if any of the flowers are going to open or just drop off. So far one has hit the floor.

When I am outside again I Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! will take some photos.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 8, 2018 9:02 PM CST
Some of my Gardenia pictures as promised:

Still practicing uploading and not doubling up the photos *Blush*




Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/e1f8ed


Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/b59cd6


Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/77bbd8


Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/93e554


Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/0627ef


Thumb of 2018-04-09/MindiHammerstone/6a99b8

So that is my beloved Gardenia as well as it's pot. Now I notice from the photos that it's beginning to yellow a bit as well.
[Last edited by MindiHammerstone - Apr 8, 2018 9:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 9, 2018 8:59 AM CST
Hi there!!😀

I put orange peelings all around on top of the oak leaf compost for acid. Hopefully that helps.

I think I read somewhere that acid loving plants need enough acid to properly absorb magnesium which they also need.

Correct me if Iam wrong😀

Mindi
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Apr 9, 2018 9:21 AM CST
Acid-loving plants need for it to be acidic enough for them to get enough iron and manganese (not the same as magnesium). If that was its problem it would be the top leaves that would be affected and they'd be light between the veins with the veins still green. I'm not seeing that in your pictures. When was it last fertilized with a general fertilizer?
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 9, 2018 9:58 AM CST
Hi there!!

I gave it fertilizer a few weeks ago. It was something for acid loving plants. I have a general organic fertilizer. Do you think I should put that on?
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Apr 9, 2018 11:32 AM CST
MindiHammerstone said:Good news! When we went to set the Gardenia on its side I found three drainage holes that I wasn't aware of.
Thank you for the natural orange peel idea for the acidity. I did put some acidic food around the pot a few weeks ago because I want it to have all of it necessities.
How often would you water it? Once a week or more? I guess I could put my fingers in there and see when it's dry. The leaves are the same shade of green as when I got it. I just saw on here dark green foliage on the Gardenias. I don't know if any of the flowers are going to open or just drop off. So far one has hit the floor.
When I am outside again I Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! will take some photos.

I would stick my finger in it - when the top 1 inch is dry, then I would water it. You will probably need to water more often in hot months, and less often in cooler months.

Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Apr 9, 2018 11:33 AM CST
MindiHammerstone said:Hi there!!

I gave it fertilizer a few weeks ago. It was something for acid loving plants. I have a general organic fertilizer. Do you think I should put that on?

Well, I would probably stick to the acid fertilizer, may just use the other once in a while.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Apr 9, 2018 11:40 AM CST
I see yellow spots on the leaves -- yellow spots on gardenia leaves are usually caused by one of three things, cold temperatures, poor water drainage or low soil acidity levels. The soil pH level for the gardenia should be between 5.0 and 6.0. You might go buy a ph kit and test the soil. They are not very expensive.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 21, 2018 11:20 AM CST
My Gardenia isn't perfect by any means. But it is bringing forth green new growth and new white flower buds. I've fertilized it awhile ago with acidic loving plant food. It has oak leaf mulch from before I got it. I also put a dash of normal flowe food to make sure that it has that manganese. I water it once a day. Sometimes twice if it's really windy. Sometimes I skip a day just to make sure that Iam not over watering it. I put orange peels on top of the mulch. I think it likes the water because it never leaks out of the drainage holes. But I am aware that perhaps the holes could be plugged so that is why Iam super careful with the watering.

All of the Gardenias I've had in the past I've killed. But if my memory serves me, I think I kept them indoors.

This plant is several years old and has a thick trunk on it. And it was well loved before I inherited it. I hope that it is happy here. With the new growth I think that it is!!

😀

Mindi
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
Apr 28, 2018 11:30 AM CST
Now you can see the results of all of the shock this poor dear Gardenia has been through. It is showing now. After all it moved an hour from home into new conditions and was blasted for over an hour in the back of a truck.

On a new happy note, it does have new growth. New baby buds.

Iam not a container gardener. I never know how much water to give. But then I remembered the finger test. It's pretty damp. Going to be more careful. It is a family heirloom baby!!

Here goes. Oh and I have fed it lots of orange peels to make sure it's acidic enough. Already fed it awhile back as I knew it wasn't green enough. Still working on this one.


Thumb of 2018-04-28/MindiHammerstone/b3131b

A work in progress!!

Cheers!!

😀

Mindi

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