Gardenia Veitchii

HI everyone, i found an abandoned Gardenia V. not in very good shape but not so bad either. Because I have a "thing" for trouble plants I decided to rescued. I put the plant (it is in a clay pot 30") in my shower and clean the leaves and water deeply. It is planted in a very light mix, I think should be fine as drain quiet nicely. Next step I will put a layer of worm cast on top of the soil and put it in my balcony (lot of light, not too much sun, just a couple of hours late afternoon/evening) I read coffee is good, but i am not sure if it is "a coffee" or the used grains.... I would appreciate any idea, help, suggestions, info.....
Thanks
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Paulo (Toronto, Zone 5b)



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Paulo wrote:

Gardenias can be "heavy" feeders. They require lots of nutrients. In a container, however, you must be careful to avoid burning the roots with too much fertilizer all at once. Thus, feedings should be light but frequent. NEVER feed when the soil is dry.
Gardenias require soil that drains well. They should be constantly moist but never really wet. They also require an acidic soil. Both draining and acidity can be obtained with a mix that includes peat moss. Acidic fertilizers also help. Flower buds often fall off without opening if the plant has insufficient zinc, so a very small amount of zinc sulfate is good.
I have a Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii' in my garden. I feed it commercial citrus food or ammonium sulfate. With the latter, I add iron sulfate. I always add zinc sulfate. Since my soil tends to be very heavy clay, I frequently scatter gypsum (calcium sulfate), which reacts to break up the clay and make it porous. Occasionally, I scatter a little soil sulfur around the plant. In a container with a good potting mix, you don't need the gypsum or soil sulfur. You will still need a large pinch of zinc sulfate about once every month or two unless you can find a fertilizer that already contains zinc. (See my <URL:http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html for ahome-made potting mix.)
To flower, gardenias require summer heat. Afternoon sun might be sufficient; if not, move the plant to where it gets more sun. Only in the hot deserts should they have all-day shade. Gardenias are hardy to winter temperatures as low as 20F (-7C). Because of summer temperatures of 90F and above, mine kept blooming this winter even when we had frosts.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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