Saving Gardenias

RockiBurnsFebruary 6, 2013

I am trying to save 2 gardenias my grandmother seriously neglected. They likely came from a bigbox store and appear to be 2 gardenias planted together, so I guess that makes it 4 :-). It looks like after she bought them they were moved from a very small pot to a very large plastic pot. The leaves were completely yellow and the drainage holes in the pots were plugged with feeder roots. There does not seem to be signs of root rot. I pruned the canopy to 1/2, and there have been some signs of improvement, leave getting a bit more green, new growth. I think the amount of feeder roots the plants needed to produce to get to water in the big pots have cut down on root airation. Today I am cutting back the root balls and separating out the 2 entwined plants and moving them to pots of a better size. I'm also worried the soil did not have the proper pH, I have not tested. Do you guys think I'm gonna kill these plants, or am I moving in the right direction? Any advice would be great. Also I live in zone 7b with a very high humidity and I have them placed so the get part sun throughout the day.

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb!

What you described sounds like what I would do in this situation. As long as the plants are getting the amount of light and moisture that they like, what you've described should spur these plants into some serious new growth. On brand-new growth, sunburn probably isn't possible and if they were my plants, I'd be willing to let the old growth burn if necessary to have the plants in as much sun as possible, all day.

Separation of the two plants probably isn't necessary from the plants' viewpoints, but no reason not to if you just want to. Sounds like a good way to have 2 or 4 Gardenias instead of 1 to me. In the long term, do you want to care for multiple pots? If yes, go for it!

Do you want to try making new plants? Where are those pieces you trimmed off?

As long as your soil isn't muddy/soggy/without any air pockets within, as big of a pot as you would like to use is fine. It sounds like Gramma knew that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:21PM
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What Purple said!:_-)

Hello Purple:-)) Getting ready for over 2 feet of snow, actually, I'll never be ready! Thank goodness it's already Feb. and I don't have to wait the whole winter for it to dissappear.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:31PM
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