Gardenia Leaves

roberta_nc(Zone 7 NC)October 4, 2005

Do your gardenias have a fair number of yellow leaves this time of year? Mine does, and I can't decide if it is normal fall "behavior" or if it needs something. I can't remember what it did last year!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Neither of my gardenias have yellowing leaves at this time, but it doesn't seem as though this is something unusual for this time of year, as many plants are starting to wind down. If it's as dry at your place as it is in many places, dryness probably has something to do with the yellowing leaves.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shari1332(z7NC)

I picked off a fair number of yellow leaves from mine recently. The plant looks otherwise healthy and I didn't want the yellow to attract white flies- I have them on my Confederate rose plants so I know they're around and they supposedly love gardenias. I wouldn't worry unless it was getting alot of them since it seems to be a common thing for them to get yellow leaves and gardenias can definitely be killed with kindness.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

killed with kindness?
ah ha! i'll have a few harsh words for my
new gardenia first thing in the morning!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
roberta_nc(Zone 7 NC)

Thanks, I think it is probably OK! Hope so, anyway!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 8:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carrie630(z7bNC)

I think I read somewhere that you can put epsom salts around the gardenias to help the yellowing - but you'd have to google that and check to see if I am right - Carrie

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
solaknc(7b8a NC)

We have very few yellow leaves, but we'll blame it on the lack of real water. This well water just doesn't do plants justice, yanno? Strange thing is, our gardenias are still blooming. Not profusely, but we have 3 blooms on one plant right now, with a few buds still to open.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuezday1(9)

Yes use epsom salts on any evergreen that is yellowing. The addition of epsom salts allows them to get some nutrient out of the soil when some type of inbalance occurs (don't recall what exactly but it works wonders). I usually dump about a half a box on the ground around my gardenia. Sometimes I will water it to immediately get it into the soil, but usually I just let mother nature "melt" it down with a good rain. The yellowing will stop quickly. Laura

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seedbandito(7 NC)

My gardenia looks absolutely great. I had posted here earlier this year and asked advise as it looked pitiful. It had dead leaves, yellow leaves, bare spots and black sooty mold. On the advise of the helpful folks on this forum, I dug it up and moved it to a sunnier location. Plus I fed the heck out of it.
I suspected when I dug it up that I should've pruned it knowing the plant couldn't sustain itself and put down roots. While I had to go PA and take care of my mom who had back surgery, my DH took care of all my babies. He told me on the phone how bad the gardenia looked, so I told him to hard prune it.
Thanks to him, he saved that gardenia and it had a bloom on it this past monday!!! I believe it's past blooming season for gardenias, so I'm figuring it was saying "thank you"!

Nancy

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 5:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Titus_7b(Charlotte)

My gardenias are doing great but every year lose a few leaves. I think it is normal for evergreens. This year, as well, they have yellowed off a few leaves. Nothing to worry about unless you are seeing substantial "hair loss". And, yes, the silly plants are still putting out a few blooms. Love gardenias!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jbcarr(7 VA)

Loss of leaves is part of the normal cycle. Having said that, I would make sure they don't have white flies. I find the easiest way is to gently swat at the foilage. If there are white flies around, you will see a cloud of them come off the plant. A more scientific way is to examine the leaf for the bug and signs of its damage. They are very persistent and damaging little suckers (literally). I now spray for them on a maintenance schedule, and this is the first year I don't have defoiliated plants.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 6:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Magnolias generally tend to have yellow leaves that drop off sometime after they bloom each year... Evergreen doesn't mean no leaf turnover; it just means there are always new leaves to replace the old... So long as the yellow leaves fall off and new green leaves replace them, you're OK.

On the other hand, if the regular leaves have a yellow tint to them, THAT'S a magnesium deficiency, which is what the epsom salts provide. Magnesium also helps them with their uptake of other nutrients, like nitrogen. I have a great number of leaves turn yellow and drop off every year, but never have ones that just get yellow and sickly looking... Of course I haven't fertilized in a couple of years, now, but I fertilized them heavily a few years back and they seem to still be responding to that, lol.

My big problem right now is I didn't get much of my pruning done in August and now I'm wondering if it's too late to prune without losing blooms next year.

Any thoughts, folks?
Jeff

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
puppyscruff(7/NC)

You know Rule of Thumb for blooming shrubs, Jeff...prune right after flowering. You'll be taking a chance if you cut, but maybe you could do a trial pruning and let us know.

Those seedpod thingys are delightful. I wonder if the Christmas-red seeds are edible...they smell good!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tricia_b12(z5 Iowa)

Can anyone help me, my gardenia's leaves turn black on the tips, and then a light yellow and fall off....Anyone, i got this for my birthday and its special, i dont want it to die off. Thank you Tricia

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

That sounds like root-tip damage, Tricia.

Is it potted, or in the ground?

If in the ground, how deeply is it planted?

How have you been watering and fertilizing?

Root tip damage can be caused by direct contact with nitrogen, or anything else that can burn the sensitive root tips, or by drought, as well, which we experienced in abundance prior to the monsoon we got with Tammy.

Gardenias like LOTS of water and can actually stand/sit in water for several days with little or no damage. Going without water for extended periods, however -- especially with a new plant -- could cause serious problems...

Also, if when you planted it you didn't get it planted deep enough, the root tips could be exposed to air, meaning they're not getting the constant contact with soil they need... this is also possible even if you got them buried well if you didn't make sure to pack the soil properly, as it's possible to get air pockets in there, which is a good reason to always make sure the soil is broken up well before you put the plant in the hole, and also to water the hole before planting, then put about half the soil around the plant and water some again, then finish filling in and water one more time, then gently pack the soil...

You don't want to pack it too tightly, either, as soil needs air in it for the roots, as well -- just not air POCKETS.

Good luck!
Jeff

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

Are the veins of the leaves green and the rest yellow? If so it sounds like chlorosis.
The epsum salts are magnesium sulphate which helps prevent chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves). Use 1 tablespoon per foot of height and you can sprinkle it around the roots or mix it with water and pour it on. I would also give it a little ironite to help it green up. In spring give it more epsum salts and hollytone all organic fertilizer.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Hollytone looks like great fertilizer, Dieter... My only problem with it is that it's something like 4-6-4 (or similar), meaning that something like 85% of what you're buying is FILLER.

I prefer to buy fertilizers that are more concentrated and just use less of them... feel like I'm getting more for my money that way, being the penny-pinching pauper I am :)

However, if you don't mind buying a low-yield fertilizer, I've seriously perused the labels on Hollytone several times and were I to buy a low-yield fertilizer for acid-loving plants, I think that would be first on my list.

Happy Gardenia bloomings!
Jeff

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tuezday1(9)

Okay,is epsom salts too cheap and easy? I mean the stuff just works. I planted my gardenia about 7 years ago. ALL, I do is dump a generous amount of epson salts on it in spring. It gets no extra water, fertilizer, nada. Well, one of my dogs lifts his leg on it once or twice a day but I'm not sure how that fits into the equation or how/what to measure.

I have a minor in econ, I'm the supreme being of 'cheap/frugal'. Espsom salts is acceptable and doesn't "offend" my instincts.

Just try it. At $1.50 for a half gallon, what is there to lose? Other than 75 cents.

Oh, yeah, according to a Florida Extension Service website I ran across recently (yes, I know we aren't in Florida), only prune when there is enought time for 2 to 3 inches of new growth to grow prior to winter dormancy.

Laura

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

The leaves on my gardenia ('August Beauty', is the name) will yellow at the bottom of the shrub - the older leaves. That's fairly normal - leaves have a life span, just like people. I've also noticed some yellowing of the leaves when the shrub is getting ready to flower...most of the energy is being directed at producing flowers, not leaves.
I've had incredibly good luck with my gardenia, so far. I had no idea, when I purchased my gardenia, that they were so notoriously difficult to grow. Had I known, prior, I'm sure the thing would have promptly dried up on me and died. LOL. However, since I didn't know what I was getting myself into, the shrub has grown by leaps and bounds, with no serious problems, with the exception of a white fly infestation or two - hit 'em with a few hard blasts of water from the garden hose - that normally does the trick w/o having to resort to the use of chemicals.

Renee

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Gardenias aren't hard to grow around here. All they ask for is good, acid soil (maybe that's the hard part, if the yard has been limed). I think they're just like azaleas that way.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

now that all you gardenia growers are assembled, i have a
question. i got a very healthy little gardenia at the fall swap - what should i do with it? it's mid-october - should i plant it outdoors, leave it in its ample pot outside, or bring it indoors to winter over?

tuezday, i'm for frugal & thanks for the reminder to give the epsom salts a try on the many things i've seen it recommended for, from roses to tomatoes.

marsha

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tricia_b12(z5 Iowa)

Thank you JeffAHayes, and Dieter, My Traveling Gardenia is only three inches tall, and it is in the house in a small pot. When i recieved it i got it through the mail. and ever sinse its growing new leaves, as more fall off, You know what i mean. And i would have to say the hole leave turns green with black tips, so sinse its such a small plant what could i do to fix it, Could it be bugs? I have'nt really had a problems with bugs on the rest of my plants. And i have alot of them.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tricia_b12(z5 Iowa)

I have a question not regarding a gardenia, my husband made me a nice big wooden flower box and i would like to plant plants in it, but i dont want it to mess up the box or rot it out, anyone have any suggestions? Thank you,
Tricia :)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Marsha, if your gardenia is really small, I'd plant it outside IN the pot, that will protect the roots more. Gardenias hate being inside.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tricia_b12(z5 Iowa)

I have a question about that, if i put it outside wont it die, i live in Iowa and its cold out?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

Sorry about that Tricia, you're right, gardenia are not hardy where you are. They are hardy here, and form monster bushes eventually. I don't have any experience with growing gardenia inside, in fact the only houseplant I haven't killed is a heart-leaf philadendron. The only thing I can suggest is to try to give your gardenia good air circulation and good humidity, which is difficult to do indoors. Also as Jeff said, perhaps there's too much fertilizer in the potting mix and the roots are getting burned.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tricia_b12(z5 Iowa)

Thank you Alicia, Maybe the problem is the soil i do use, i just use plain black soil, no fertilizer, and i have never fertilized any of my plants, and so far, (knock on wood) i have'nt killed any of my plants exept for a succulant, accidently watered it too much, The veins in the leaves turn yellow first.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Gardenias like lots of water. It IS possible to "drown" a gardenia, as I discovered by experimenting with one I started from a cutting and had in a 10-gallon pot with no hole in the bottom... It actually survived and thrived for a long time, even with water sitting over the top of the pot for extended periods, until it sat that way much of this past winter and fall, which killed parts of it back, but it still didn't die, and I've just been pouring off the excess water most of this season, and although the dead parts have remained dead, new growth emerged (I FINALLY, just yesterday, cut a hole in the bottom of the pot).

In THIS climate, you can leave a potted gardenia out all winter, without protection, and no problem... at least it's never yet been a problem for me.

As for the Epsom salts, Tuezday, YES, that's very frugal, and also rather "high-yield," in my opinion, and if that, and that, alone, works for you, I'd suggest you continue with it. For those of you who DO go with a more complete fertilizer, you'll want one for acid-loving plants, and you'll want to make sure it contains "micronutrients," including magnesium (which is what the Epsom salts provide) and iron, which helps acid-loving plants absorb nitrogen more easily.

Happy Gardenia Blooms (my absolute favorite flower scent... except, maybe, angel trumpets, which are far too short-lived).
Jeff

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
roberta_nc(Zone 7 NC)

Marsha, My gardenia is in a pot and I leave it outside over winter. It is on the deck and I put it up next to the house, but it does fine. Just needs some babying when the new growth starts again to green up the leaves, like the epsom salts and some fertilizer.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
monika_2006

I have a gardenia hedge in South Florida since 8 years, and so far this plant is thriving. However, yellow leaves with green spots and brown spots are falling right now late september. Also some black undefinable stuff around the base shows. I cleaned the bedding; removed all fallen leaves and old mulch to clear the soil from infested leaves and maybe to prevent further infestation if there is a major one.
Then, I sprayed organocide because I use it often in my garden, and most plants have recovered from aphids or some fungus infestation with this organic product. I need someone's opinion for Gardenia care. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tiffers636_aol_com

Hi Everyone. I have a question about my Gardenia. Lots of you seem to live south of me in warmer, more humid climates. I live in New York, so I have recently brought my potted Gardenia inside for the winter. The pot sits on a tray of moist pebbles to maintain humidity. She did well last winter in the house, although had some trouble with spider mites that were difficult to get rid of. She did great outside over the summer, and had lots of healthy blooms and lots of new growth. I have not repotted or pruned her though. I was told not to repot at the same time as bringing her indoors as it could be too much stress at once. So I'm planning on repotting in the Spring. Anyway, to make a short story long =), my gardenia suddenly has lots of leaves turning yellow. There's tons of new growth sprouting out, but it still seems like too much yellowing to me. I'm not sure if I over-watered. Now that she's indoors, should I be watering less? Should I give more fertilizer? I did give her some in early summer but have never tried the acid one. I will try the epsum salts, but are there any risks with this in case it's not a magnesium deficiency? Also, she's right next to a window that gets direct sunlight only in the morning. Could it be too drafty? Thanks so much for any help.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

One tip, Tiffany, which is pretty safe with ANY potted plant you keep outdoors during temperate weather and then bring indoors for the winter... NEVER, EVER, fertilize it or start watering it more or making other drastic changes to how you take care of it AFTER you bring it inside unless you ARE trying to kill it, lol.

My best guess, just from what you said, is that your gardenia is just fine. As I said above, maybe 3 years ago, ALL "evergreens" still have to shed leaves, they just don't do it all at once like deciduous plants do.

The first time I noticed MY gardenia was "FULL OF YELLOW LEAVES," at first I was a bit alarmed, too, but I figured there wasn't much I could do but watch and wait, so I did, and it just turned out to be leaf turnover. The fact that you're seeing new growth at the same time seems to indicate that's what this is. For future reference, I would DEFINITELY use "acidic" fertilizer for any gardenia, azalea, rhododendron camelia or similar plant that prefers an acidic soil environment (generally defined as a pH of 6.5 or lower). Scotts used to call their version of that "Miracid," but research showed folks were AFRAID of the "acid" word, so they changed it to Miracle-Gro Azalea-Camelia-Rhododendron Fertilizer (like ANYBODY say or remember THAT mouthful -- well ANYBODY but geeks like me, lol). I always buy store-brand versions if I can find them, since they usually have the same chemical makeup for about 2/3 the price.

If the NEW GROWTH shows signs of yellowing, then it probably DOES need magnesium, and you WILL want to add a little epsom salt, which is Magnesium Sulfate. I'd just buy some at the pharmacy and dissolve a tablespoon or so in the water when you water until things look better... As for the "acidic" fertilizers, what it comes down to is that plants that "like" those conditions can't properly absorb Nitrogen if their soil pH is too high, so if you use a fertilizer that comes with a built-in acidic complement, then it takes care of that issue... Most of the acidic fertilizers have some sulfer in them for that purpose... The better ones will also have other micronutrients, in addition to Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium, such as Magnesium, Chelated Iron, Boron, Chlorine, Selenium and so forth... It REALLY pays to read labels when shopping for fertilizers and do a little research on the subject.

As for light, that Gardenia, should get at least 4 hours of light a day -- preferably 6. The less light it gets, the less you'll want to water it, obviously. If it's getting 6 hours or more, and continues to grow during the indoor season, you MAY be safe to LIGHTLY fertilize it once or twice during the winter with one of the soluble fertilizers (such as the Miracid equivalent). If you decide to do that, feel free to email me for my thoughts on it. I'm far from an expert, but I'm a BIG gardenia fan, and I don't think I'd steer you wrong if you gave me all the info.

Good luck!
Jeff

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Errrr, I forgot to mention something... about the spider mites, Tiffany... If you have that problem again -- or any other bugs on the leaves -- you might want to try an insecticidal soap, which is a fatty ester that essentially plugs up the spiracles through which the insects breathe, and so they suffocate.

You can usually find a couple different brands at Home Depot or Lowe's: Bayer or Safer, although this time of year they may be harder to find, so if you can't find them in one of your big box stores, or one of the private nurseries, you may have to do an internet search... I recommended the Home Depot or Lowe's (Wal-Mart also has it in-season, but I SERIOUSLY DOUBT they have it now), because it's like $5 or less for a quart-sized spray bottle, which should last you a good while unless you have major problems.

Good luck!
Jeff

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:46AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Michelia figo
Is anyone in NC successfully growing Banana Shrub,...
transplanted2scin07
Agave victoria-reginae hardiness
Hi, Has anyone successfully grown these outside in...
seedmoney
Mushroom growing workshop?
Hi all, Is there any edible Mushroom growing workshop...
annanc14
WANTED: Raleigh Area seed swap?
Raleigh Area seed swap?
brenda_near_eno
Fruitmania GS 2015
If you will be in the Charleston SC area on January...
cactusrequiem
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™