someone hated me and gave me 2 gardenia veitchii cuttings

heathentart(z7b NYC)March 24, 2008

Yes, it's true. Someone obviously wished me ill and I'm the proud(?) owner of two small cuttings of Gardenia jasminoides veitchii. Actually, it was part of a garden therapy program at a rehab facility I was in after surgery last summer.

Since last July when we rooted the two cuttings in potting mix, it has been living an uneventful life. I was just watering, not feeding it all until about 6 weeks ago. Miracle Gro was the drug of choice, as I didn't know about acid/alkaline until I started websurfing the subject. I fed al my houseplants at half-strength every 2 weeks.

The Gardenia started growing apace, lots of new leaves, lots of new nodes bulging. One thing I noticed, all the new growth was a light green with dark green veins. Is this bad? I read some more and treated it once with epsom salts. Still light green.

Now I'm thinking to add Miracid, as it was originally planted in a pot with regular humus mix, a little perlite and some peat moss.

I'm loath to repot it as it's just two small stems growing in a 4" pot... doesn't seem to be unhappy there.

Question is, is the light green/dark green vein growth a sign of high pH or is it going to give up the ghost on me?

Here is a link that might be useful: gardenia photo 1

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Where's your plant sitting? Part of the problem may be simply that they're not getting enough direct sunlight to green up and grow more, especially indoors during winter.

Light green with dark veins usually means chlorosis (iron defficiency, kind of a plant version of being aenemic). If you can find an iron fertilizer like Ironite or straight ferrous sulfate, give it a light application.

I'd also switch to Miracid but use half the recommended strength, and don't fertilize every time you water; gardenia roots are delicate and young plants are especially sensastive to too much fertilizer. You might also try flushing the pot by watering until the water runs freely out of the bottom of the pot once every few weeks, to prevent fertilizer or salts in the water from building up.

Finally, light green leaves may also mean spider mites, look under the leaves for tiny webs where the leaves join the branches, hose 'em off frequently if they're present.

If all else fails, you may still have to call in the reverend/rabbi/imam, but we'll keep our fingers crossed!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Heath, don't know if this will help, but every three months I add Iron Chelate/Sulphate to gardenias, and a few other plants..
I can't tell by the pic, but your description sounds like chlorosis..lack of iron. If it's not an iron defincency, and you add iron, it won't harm your plant as long as you follow container directions..Some plants require extra iron: gardenias, azalea, citrus, ferns..and many more.
Epsom Salts will help too, but only if magnese/magnesium is lacking..Those who use ES's swear their plants look 100 times better, greener than before use. I recently tried it, for the first time, but it's too soon to tell.
Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:50PM
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ditto on the iron, that's your problem

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 2:03AM
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mudrnner(zone 4/5 NY)

Question on the Epsom salts. I have seen this before, but how much and how often?


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 4:34PM
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heathentart(z7b NYC)

I'm absolutely no expert, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, I used one teaspoon in 3 quarts of water. That highly diluted, I figure it couldn't be harmful. I drenched it once two weeks ago. It hasn't done much, but it hasn't killed the plant either.

I'm waiting on some iron to be shipped as local stores don't have it - even the Home Depot!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:19PM
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