Something happened to my 50 year old gardenia bush last fall or winter.
I am not sure what variety I have. I can provide pictures if helpful.
During that time, the plant dropped most of the large green leaves. Now,
the remaining long branches only have very small leaves and stunted
blossoms. The usual spring growth of large new leaves and new blossoms
just won't start.
What can I do to revive my gardenia? Feeding it with Gardenia, Azalea
Camellia food twice has not caused increased large leave growth or new
blossoms. Should I prune back the long branches?
Thank you for any suggestions. Dave_s
Check to make sure your gardenia food contains zinc. Gardenias need as
much zinc as do citrus trees. I found that some (not all) Ace Hardware
stores can order zinc sulfate in 5 lbb bags for under $10. A 5 lbb bag
should last you the rest of your life since a gardenia take about 1 Tbs
per month in the growing season.
On the other hand, most plants -- even trees -- have a finite lifespan.
Perhaps your gardenia is just too old. A severe pruning might
rejuvenate it, but such a pruning might also kill it.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I lost one gardenia that I had as a house plant but take out in the
summer to scale. It and a second gardenia were also infested with
spider mites which are easily controlled with soapy spray and I thought
that was the cause. When I finally figured out problem was scale,
treatment with a systemic saved the one plant. Regular insecticides and
mitacides would not work.
I don't know of it being such an exception, most plants can be easily IDed
by their leaves only. Most mature trees and woody shrubs can easily be IDed
by their bark only. And flowers alone are not alwasy so indicative of IDing
the plant, many of the experts, even those self proclaimed "professionals"
here have problems IDing by flower only and typically guess, wrongly, and/or
ask for a more detailed picture of the entire plant. Most often IDs are
made by leaves... very few can ID say an oak tree by just their flower but
most anyone, even those with black thumbs, recognize an oak leaf
immediately. The leaf structure is the easiest way to recognize poison ivy.
I'm no botanist, not by any stretch of the imagination, yet I can
immediately ID on sight most any tree/shrub that grows in my zone by their
leaf and/or bark, even by their growth habit configuration, even with
dropped leaves, but not usually by their flower alone unless I have a
reference book to peruse for comparison. Anyone who tells me they can ID an
apple tree from a peach tree from their blossoms alone easier than from
their fruit I call a liar... it's not so simple to ID from flowers, even
highly trained botanists need a reference for comparison for an accurate ID,
but no one can't tell a pear from an apple blind folded just by tasting, I
can tell just by feel... one can recognize a Sick Gardenia by its shriveled
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