gardenia

i have never had a gardenia before, and i found a small miniature one o sale for four bucks, so i thought that i would give it a shot. the nex day one fourth of the leaves turned yellow and fell off, as well as yellowed bloom. so i put it outside in a shady location, and it seem to be doing better, but the bloom looks like it is not going to mak it. do any of you know the exact specifics of taking care of thes things, like temp. humidity, exposure, etc.. - agnatha314 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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I put mine outside in full sun in the warm months and keep well watered. Problems I've had have been spider mites which either rain or misting inside keep at bay and scale which I got rid of with a systemic. I've repotted several times but final pot is as big as I can handle. Every now and then I throw in a handfull of fertilizer. Gardenia is over 30 years old and gives lots of flowers. Frank
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agnatha3141 wrote:

Gardenias need well-draining acidic soil that is always moist but never wet. They can be heavy feeders (unlike camellias, with which they are often compared). If flower buds drop without opening, they might need some added zinc in the soil. Chlorosis means you need to add iron sulfate. Be careful; for a gardenia in a container, use only a pinch of zinc and a teaspon of iron at a time.
Sudden yellowing of the leaves often indicates too much water or soil that does not drain well; it might also mean you fed it too much all at once and burned the roots. You should feed it lightly but frequently. Gradual yellowing usually indicates either insufficient nutrients or an alkaline soil; it can also indicate a buildup of salts in the soil. The latter is common when growing gardenias in containers because of their need for frequent feeding; for a gardenia in a container, you should also try to leach the minerals out of the soil once a year (tricky to do without drowning it unless the soil drains exceedingly well).
While they can take some winter freezing, gardenias will not bloom unless they have hot summers. In my climate, they need part shade; otherwise they will burn in the sun. Closer to the coast, they can take full sun because moisture from the sea creates a moderating haze; however, the air is cooler there, which might inhibit blooming.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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