Rest In Peace Beloved Gardenias

luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)April 22, 2005

Well, we are fast approaching the month of May. Finally! The start of May over here includes a ritual where all supposedly dead plants are added to THE LIST and given 7-14 days... call it their last chance before they go into the compost pile.

A few days ago, I took a look around the garden. It was not a pretty sight. Looking very sad and very black are four 2Yr Old August Beauty's, two semi-new Veitchii's, one 1Yr Old Mystery and one new Everblooming Gardenia. Each variety is planted in a different location throughout the property.

Weird... when I was done checking and walking, gardenias were the only ones affected!

But there is some hope. The Everblooming Gardenia, less than a year old, discussed with me the details of exactly how I decide to add them to THE LIST. We agreed to play it by ear in the next few days and see. As I said, there may be hope.

But the others? Well, it does not look pretty. I am not sure what happened while I was on vacation during the month of January for one week.

I was told that the weather turned nasty and that it snowed less than 1 inch (the only snow for the winter). However, I did not expect this as they were very well mulched and I watered before leaving. A mystery... we may never know what happened.

I am planning to check for replacements and order soon. Because I am now more panicky about wheather issues, I plan to replace all (all but one?) with some Chuck Hayes Gardenias. These are supposed to be hardy to Zone 7 (I live in Zone 8).

Can anyone recommend a good & reliable mail order nursery for this variety?

TIA,

Luis

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katyajini(z6 NYC)

Hi Luis!
I got mine at nurcar.com (Chuck Hayes)

Katyajini

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 1:26PM
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hulagal(z11HAWAII)

Aloha Luis,
I had a similar problem with my Belmont gardenia. We had a flood, and the plant lost its leaves and it turned black, but I scraped down to the cambium layer and it was green. It has taken over a month and now I have green leaves emerging. Don't give up on them yet!! scrape a stem and see if its green underneath, if it is it should come back.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 3:34PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Aloha and thanks. What you said is what I am hoping will happen so I have continued feeding them liquid organic fertilizers and adding some iron now and then. As I mentioned, only one has some tiny leaves at the base of the plant but the others are not showing any external above-ground signs of life. As you suggested, I should cut parts of a stems all the way to the base to see how they are really doing but, I never remember when I am home.

Wish I had not left on vacation so I could understand what actually happened; it sure is bugging me now.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2005 at 4:01PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Luis and HulaGal
the "everblooming Gardenia" - is it so named b/c it does so? The reason I ask is mine bloom just about all year long, off and on - spring through fall - and i am just curious. Don't know the "trade name" - mine came from my Mama - she rooted them off of one of hers (I do the same). Thanks -

By the way Luis - good luck saving yours!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 11:20PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

roseyp8255, Everblooming (aka, Veitchii) is supposed to be a prolific bloomer and, as long as its needs are met in terms of climate, temp changes, humidity then it will be "Everblooming" and re-bloom its head off. Luckily, your state is one of those places where that is possible. August Beauty is another heavy bloomer for me but less so than Veitchii during the summer/fall time frame.

Here in Texas, I get a limited-to-no bloom production in the summer/fall because the temps are in too high of a range and bud production requires certain ranges that we just cannot normally attain. But Everblooming has had "more" re-blooms than some of the other varieties that I have. Perhaps bud production is triggered at higher temps for Veitchii.

By the way, good news from Texas! I added four more gardenias to my list of those that are coming back. Because the leaves are mostly coming out from the base of the plant, they all got a serious haircut (most are 3" high now).

Obviously, I do not expect any flowers this year. If the plants can just use the time leafing out and working on their roots, that will be fine with me.

You now... tt seems as if the talk that I had with them a week ago convinced them that it may be a good thing to finally leaf out.

That is one reason why I always like to wait until mid-May before taking any drastic action. The hot season in Texas starts sometime in May so, if a plant does not at least leaf out by mid-month, it may have a hard time the rest of the summer.

I did an unscientific study of last winter temps and determined that last winter was rather warm with hardly any freezing or sub-freezing temps at night. I theorize that the plants did not get hardened off / prepared for the sudden cold snowy day that we had in late December. And even though it was only one day of 30 degree temps & it snowed only 1/2 inch (the total for the whole winter), it just caught them quite unprepared.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 6:12PM
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