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May 7, 2018 7:47 AM CST
Albany, OR
Hi All,

I bought online an Augusta Beauty Gardenia in memory of my mother. She had the greenest of thumbs. Her Gardenia bloomed constantly for years. Not sure what type it was, but I guess she had the perfect spot for it, even though in MI.

I am in OR (mid willamette valley). I bought the above plant which became sick quickly, yellow leaves. I researched a lot. But found out they had not shipped it correctly, the container was missing a lot of dirt, just air. So I bought a pot, perlite, and mulch and mixed it with my potting soil and replanted it. I also made a bed of pebbles(sea jewels) and put distilled water in it. I have been taking it out for sun every day, but know that I need a sun lamp for the winter here. Can anyone recommend one or more? I get confused when I research them online. It will need to have sun and warmth. I don't have a Southerly window for it.

Also do I use distilled water only for it?
And what do I feed it and how often?

So far it is losing less leaves and I almost have a bud ready to open, so I am doing something right at least.

I did get the company to send another one since they packed this one so poorly. So I will have 2 to maintain.

So I need help with a sun lamp, watering with distilled only?, and food.

Happy to be here. I want to make my mom proud.
Last edited by spiritdog May 7, 2018 7:53 AM Icon for preview
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May 9, 2018 5:59 AM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
I overwinter all my plants indoors with inexpensive 4' LED shoplights with excellent results. Just search online for them. They're easy to find. If you plan to keep your gardenia under lights year round I'm not sure how effective they would be for producing lots of blooms but they'll be fine for normal growth. Or you could opt for more expensive high pressure sodium or more advanced LEDs which may produce more blooms.
Why are you using distilled? Is your tapwater toxic to plants in some way? You certainly don't need distilled for a pebble humidity tray.
The very best fertilizer I've found is DynaGro FoliagePro 9-3-6.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 9, 2018 8:12 AM CST
Albany, OR
Thanks so much for a reply. I was hoping for a light that can be on a stand, like a desk lamp, not a lot of room here. Just a bulb per se . I saw lights for sale online but they had colors, blue or pink and was not sure which produced warm and sunlight. It will be ok for the summer here as long as I take it outside during the day. Still bringing it in at night as it goes to the low 40's here or high 30's and it has already been traumatized enough.

No my water is not toxic, though there is a lot of iron in it. I just read somewhere online that people use distilled water for their plants. Lots of websites to peruse you see. Do I keep the pebble tray full on wet all the time?

I will look for that fertilizer thanks! How often do I use it? And will it tell me how much to use for a single in pot plant?

Got my first bloom! Smells heavenly. And the yellowing has stopped now that we have sun in OR! It needed that, lol.
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May 9, 2018 9:29 AM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
If you need a light for just one plant you could rig up a fixture using those double bulb sockets and put compact fluorescent or the new LED bulbs in them. You could make it 4-8 bulbs which would be plenty. You could use a tall lampstand or hang it from the ceiling.
I use my local tapwater inside and well water outside. No problems.
Just follow directions on the fertilizer container. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 strength whenever I water and plain water every so often to flush any possible salt buildup.
A humidity tray is fine but probably unneccesary.
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May 9, 2018 5:21 PM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Amaryllis Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Lilies Irises
Hibiscus Garden Art Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Composter
Hi spiritdog ! Welcome!


For a Gardenia you would treat it like an azalea. The potting mix needs to be acidic adding pine fines or peat moss helps. The fertilizer used would be the type for azaleas.

Many blessings for your success!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 9, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Albany, OR
quercusnut said:If you need a light for just one plant you could rig up a fixture using those double bulb sockets and put compact fluorescent or the new LED bulbs in them. You could make it 4-8 bulbs which would be plenty. You could use a tall lampstand or hang it from the ceiling.
I use my local tapwater inside and well water outside. No problems.
Just follow directions on the fertilizer container. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 strength whenever I water and plain water every so often to flush any possible salt buildup.
A humidity tray is fine but probably unneccesary.


Ok that is sounding complicated. I was thinking one correct type of bulb in a desk lamp.

It sounds like you fertilize all the time, almost every watering? I "read" to fertilize 2x a year. ok more confusion for me, grin.

I just figured out my mother had an everblooming gardenia. I bought the wrong kind, as the flower looks different than what I remember. Yes hers was a gift through some internet flower place. Her flowers were fuller than what I am seeing with mine. Oh well, the smell is still there.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 9, 2018 6:59 PM CST
Albany, OR
Altheabyanothername said:Hi spiritdog ! Welcome!


For a Gardenia you would treat it like an azalea. The potting mix needs to be acidic adding pine fines or peat moss helps. The fertilizer used would be the type for azaleas.

Many blessings for your success!


Thanks for the tip. I miss spoke earlier I did use peat moss in the potting of this one. You are talking to a basic beginner here.
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May 9, 2018 8:01 PM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Amaryllis Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Lilies Irises
Hibiscus Garden Art Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Composter
spiritdog-- That is good you added the peat moss. The fertilizer I used on my azaleas was just the Miracle Grow for acid loving plants. It has a blue label. Usually fertilize just a couple of times a year and never when blooming. See how you do with these, I think they are larger outdoor plants.

May joy and happiness be yours!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.
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May 10, 2018 8:50 AM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
For a screw in bulb. GE makes an :
LED "daylight" bulb that has a
K-rating, that's kelvins, of 5000.
LEDs burn cool to the touch, you'll want to put it 1" to 1&1/2" above plant.
If you can find one with higher K rating, 6500 is preferable.

Ttfn 👍👍
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 10, 2018 8:57 AM CST
Albany, OR
Philipwonel said:For a screw in bulb. GE makes an :
LED "daylight" bulb that has a
K-rating, that's kelvins, of 5000.
LEDs burn cool to the touch, you'll want to put it 1" to 1&1/2" above plant.
If you can find one with higher K rating, 6500 is preferable.

Ttfn 👍👍
😎😎😎

Ahh, thank you so much! That gives me a better direction to look for. The light has to be directly above the plant? Not from the side? Hmmmm....I'll have to think about how to do that.
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May 10, 2018 9:13 AM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Something with a reflector. Like one of those clamp on fixtures they sell in hardware, or automotive Dept.
Think, out of the box !🤔😮😀
Hay ! "If you can think it ?" You could build it !

Look around, hear an there.👍👍👍
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 11, 2018 8:47 AM CST
Albany, OR
Altheabyanothername said:spiritdog-- That is good you added the peat moss. The fertilizer I used on my azaleas was just the Miracle Grow for acid loving plants. It has a blue label. Usually fertilize just a couple of times a year and never when blooming. See how you do with these, I think they are larger outdoor plants.

May joy and happiness be yours!


Yes, looking at tiny pictures on the Internet fooled me. Well these will have to learn to live inside as there is no planting area for me. Thanks for the tips on fertilizer.

My mothers just seemed so effortless. She never moved it from the spot in the window, and it bloomed 3-4 times a year, multiple blooms, for years! She never said anything about working to get it to bloom. One just assumed she had the greenest of thumbs. But she must have had knowledge about them to have it thrive in cold Michigan!
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May 11, 2018 9:00 AM CST
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
Hostas Foliage Fan Bromeliad Heucheras Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
spiritdog said:
It sounds like you fertilize all the time, almost every watering? I "read" to fertilize 2x a year. ok more confusion for me, grin.


I do fertilize with every watering. Depending on the plant I use 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2 strength. Some plants like heavy feeding, some not. Every so often I flush with plain water to wash out any possible salt buildup.
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May 11, 2018 10:10 AM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Amaryllis Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Lilies Irises
Hibiscus Garden Art Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Composter
spiritdog-- Your mom was a special lady to be able to grow gardenias. They are not an easy plant, but actually finicky. They are fertilized in spring and summer. I could be wrong when I said not when blooming. Azaleas are not feed when blooming, not sure about gardenias.

May peace and joy always follow you!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 11, 2018 3:50 PM CST
Albany, OR
What do I do??? The 2nd one arrived today, BUT the buds are brown, (most of them), it has some yellow leaves already, and once again it has a large air pocket in the container.

Should I just return it? It is worse shape than the first one.

And buy from an online flower shop? A lot more expensive than what I have.
But at least it should be potted correctly and not arrive sickly.

Help and big sigh.......
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May 11, 2018 4:23 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Rather than buy online, look out for gardenia plants at garden centres and even supermarkets - they're pretty easy to come by that way around here anyway. You can see what you're getting then. As Sharon Rose said, they are not the easiest plant to grow.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 11, 2018 5:08 PM CST
Albany, OR
sooby said:Rather than buy online, look out for gardenia plants at garden centres and even supermarkets - they're pretty easy to come by that way around here anyway. You can see what you're getting then. As Sharon Rose said, they are not the easiest plant to grow.


Thank you for your very wise words! This "Gardenia" world is very confusing, so many varieties, so many places to get them.

I'll return this one, get my $ back, and go to the local Lowes and buy one. I already called and they do have them, but a type I haven't ran into (yet) a Veitchii one.

So many types, omg!

And my mother made it look so easy! She never spoke of special care for hers. But she proudly showed me the blooms every year/time.
Last edited by spiritdog May 11, 2018 5:12 PM Icon for preview
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May 12, 2018 3:12 PM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
That really bites Spirit 🐕. WOOF !

Look at some different seed catalogs to find the variety your mom had.
Seems like someone hear would have an older variety.
Nursery should have one that is suited for your climate.
Google them, you'll find all kinds of varities.
Ta. Ta. 👍👍
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Avatar for spiritdog
May 12, 2018 3:37 PM CST
Albany, OR
Unfortunately the one's at Lowes really looked like bushes and most had some brown leaves. I stopped at a few other places and nada.

Mom's looked like a houseplant not a bush. Is there such a thing ie houseplant vs bush Gardenia?
Last edited by spiritdog May 12, 2018 3:56 PM Icon for preview
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May 12, 2018 8:17 PM CST
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Amaryllis Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Lilies Irises
Hibiscus Garden Art Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Composter
spiritdog-- the season for gardenias in stores is starting to wind down. One suggestion I have for you is to contact the manager of a nice floral department at a grocery store. They could tell you what they could order, or when they actually order gardenias. Explain your situation. Or if there are any actual florist shops that keep a selection of live plants. They might be able to help you.
I have seen grocery store floral depts carry smaller gardenias.

May you be blessed with success!
One to take to heart....1 John 4 ..............................................Where there is smoke...there is fire...in most cases the smoke will kill you long before the fire consumes you. Beware of smoke screens! Freedom is not free and when those who have not paid the price or made the sacrifice...think that only they are right and entitled to speak...they bring us tryanny.

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