So you want to grow a gardenia, huh? (also known as the infamous suic

davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)January 1, 2013

Every once in a while a thread takes a life of it's own and becomes infamous. This is one of them, preserved for posterity.

Suicidal Gardenia Posted by Joan - CA-10 ) on Tue, Jul 6, 99 at 1:33 Hi y'all, Okay, second time here for this vetchii. Got it 1 1/2 years ago, in 1 gal. pot. It was around 1 1/2-2' tall. Not too long after I got it, transplanted to a 10" (or maybe 12) terra cotta pot. Last year it bloomed--however reluctantly. I had it in shade with very late afternoon sun. This spring it looked awful, and has continued to go downhill: yellow leaves (soil damp, so watered less), yellow leaves with green veins (so used Ironite, a few weeks later sprayed foliage with liquid chealated iron), leaves crispy brown on edges (so drenched to get rid of accumulated salts). The buds are one by one getting crispy on the edges, *just* as they looked like they were thinking about opening. (I've only got one bud left!) New growth looks pale and frail, so put in more sun. Over the past several months I've mulched, given it Miracid, given it Epson salts, watered it with bottled water only, misted it once a day (actually I'm on the coast, so air should have enough moisture). Also tried pruning it a little. Now I've moved it back to where it gets only some morning sun. Still, it sulks and continues to decline. There aren't a lot of leaves yet, and just that one unburned bud. I've tried everything I can think of, including begging on bended knee, scowling at it, doing a voo-doo dance and shaking a chicken over it. Can anyone think anything else I can do? Has anyone else had this crisping of the buds and leaves?

Follow-Up Postings: · Posted by: emily moorefield - 6 ) on Tue, Jul 6, 99 at 17:02 Joan -- I highly recommend the chicken-shaking thing. It works for me every time, even with copy machines. Seriously, I guess in your situation what I would do is remove every dead or damaged leaf and get it out of the full sun (unless your summer has been mostly rainy). What they seem to like is diffuse light, high humidity, and heat. In fact, I guess what I would _really_ do is send the gardenia to New York City! There's plenty of heat and humidity and hazy sun here to make a zillion gardenias happy. I'm not sure what "food' they like, but you might try Peters 20-20-20. All the watering could have washed out the nutrients in your potting soil. I also find that giving them very diluted coffee about once every 2 weeks seems to help. The new foliage _is_ pale and fragile looking, so that may not be a problem. You could also try bringing it indoors, if you have a place with diffuse light that can be kept warm and humid enough. Try to replicate the conditions of Home Depot,where they seem to grow like fiends. Also, if you're not misting the leaves, do that twice a day -- they like that better than frequent waterings. Good luck.

· Posted by: Joan - CA-10 ) on Sat, Jul 10, 99 at 18:31 Hi Emily, Hmph. Now why does chicken-shaking work for you and...

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