Rosemary, need help rooting gardenias . . .

raestrMarch 13, 2006

I bought a variegated gardenia late last summer at Green Thumb. It has survived the winter very well, but I'm afraid that if I leave it in the pot (3 gallon) it will die. I need to get it in the ground, but I'm afraid I am going to kill it. The one that I bought from you has yellow leaves right now and I'm afraid it may die.

Anyway, I want to root the variegated one so that if I do kill my 'mother' plant, I will still have some. Can I take cuttings now? How big does the cutting need to be? Assuming that I actually get the cutting to root in water, when should I put it in a pot with potting soil?

My plant from you has some new leaves, but they are a chartruse yellow. I've added liquid soil acidifier and liquid iron and sulfur pellets. My pH is very high, so I think that is the problem. My soil also doesn't drain very well, so that probably doesn't help either. Hence my concern for my other plant.

Hope everything goes your way tomorrow!

Rae

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tsmith2579(7B)

Well, I'm not Rosemary but I just potted up 16 rooted cuttings last Saturday so I do have some experience. I always wait until after the gardenias bloom. That seems to be the right time to prune, also the right time to take cuttings. I take 8 inch tip cuttings, remove the mature leaves, stick the stems in some Rootone, stick them down in a pot of sandy-loam, keep them damp and place them in light shade. I took 18 cuttings last July 4th weekend and 16 survived. I left them outdoors all winter in sheltered spot. Last summer, they sat under shade of the banana trees. Just keep them watered. - Terry

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 1:30PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Hey Rae, and thanks Terry. I take cuttings sporadically - dip some in rotting hormone and some not - put them in shot glasses in the windowsill and change the water on a weekly basis. I usually pull all but the top 2 leaves off - and somehow, i have miraculous luck! :)

My gardenias are yellow leaved right now too - gotta fertilize this weekend.

Now, that being said - i have been known to amend the soil tremendously when i plant - the extent of a couple of feet out from the rootball....

Deposition rescheduled by Butthead's attorney until next Friday - naturally.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 9:25PM
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anaturelover(z7AL)

Rae, you are in zone 8 so you don't need to worry. I was given a rooted gardenia which of course outgrew it's pot in one year. I planted it outside close to the south side of the house and it is now about 7 ft tall. I live in zone 7(Huntsville) so it should live at your place easily. The easiest way of rooting them is to bend over a branch in late spring and cover with earth or sand. I have rooted 2-3 to give away. Let them stay at least a year and they will grow into a nice little plant which you then sever from the mother plant with a shovel and a good scoop of earth and move them. Yellow leaves is sometime a signal of not enough acid in soil. They like an Azalea type of fertilizer. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 9:55PM
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raestr

Thanks everyone, I 'll give it a try!

Rosemary, I'm sorry you were postponed. I know you will be very relieved once everything is finally over. Hang in there.

Rae

    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 8:51AM
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