made a big booboo on my gardenia!
I think the piper blew his piper to soon!!!!!!
But the fat lady hasn't sung yet...
I learned a lesson though!!!
Remember how I said that my gardenias were doing great and no leaf yellowing. Well not soon after I said that, murphies law took affect.
Within the past week, one of my denias started to deteriate so fast, that I blinked my eyes and half the leaves fell off yellow, and even some buds and leaves, the bottom ones were wilty and soft, like dehydrated even after I watered it when the soil was DRY.
I can't be overwatering I said to myself, because I have it in Al's gritty mix that dries out rather quickly. In fact, I thought maybe it wasn't getting watered often enough, because I was letting the gritty soil dry out too much. And if I am watering, dehydration of any plant anyways always spells roots not taking up water because they are sic.
But, as I learned here, how will I know what's wrong unless I have a look at the roots. I decided, what the heck, if I might loose it anyways, I should have good look.
On examination , I found out that all but a few were rotting away!! There was just a couple of white ones poking out of the root ball in the new soil.
Then it occured to me that, in the begining days of my quest to put plants in better fast draining soil, I FORGOT to wash out the old soil from the root ball. So the new soil all round the plants root ball kept drying out, Al's mix, while the peatmoss soil on that the roots were compacted in, were never drying out!! Always staying damp.
When I stuck a wooden dowel in the root ball, it came out damp, I didn't water. When I stuck it into the gritty mix, it was dry, so I watered.
The white outside ones in the new soil were thirsting, while the ones in the compacted root ball soil, were always wet.
Only a few white roots seemed to bust of of that hard dead soil that were getting water, while the inner ones were suffocating. A classic form of death.
I can't beleive I forgot to bareroot it, before I changed it into this better soil in the begining. I wish I had known how to transplant before I learned from this webb. I am so mad!!
So I took it to the shower, and jet streamed all the rootball soil that seemed to fall away in clumps, along with all the roots that were dead and brown, till it was completely barerooted, and the only roots left behind were the white ones. I got soaked and dirty, and my water boiler broke and leaked all over my cellar at the same time.
That root mass shrunk so much, that I went from a 12 inch container to an 8 inch one with room to spare. It had hardly any roots left. I planted in the gritty mix, watered well, fed it superthrive, and will keep it out of sun for a couple of days to recoup. It seem hydrated though and firm after all that, for the first time in days. It was limp for days up till now.
I am so upset, for that was my favorite Gardenia. I hope I didn't loose it. I hope it was saved.:-(
All my other plants, after learning from the container forum, were barerooted first, thank God, then transplanted in the gritty mix, and they are so healthy. Never overwatered. But this one no. I ALMOST KILLED IT!
I guess two completely different soils in the same container is something not good that I wished I had known way in the beginning. I just didn't do this one right before I learned..:-(
Now it is in the plant hospital with the new soil. It did have a few white roots left thank god. All the top growth still looks healhty,and dark green, while all the bottom growth is gone. Long bare branches with leaves and buds towards the top.
All the branches are about 1 foot tall, with all the lowers leaves off or yellow except for for the top 4 inches of each branch, still with buds and green leaves.
Please wish it well.
Man it is amazing how FAST a plant can deteriate when once healthy!!
Sorry, I just needed a shoulder to cry on or a few. Wish I would of known all this info before I transplanted this one last year.
Thanks for listening.