Gardenia fertilizing in SEPTEMBER?!?!?

xmikelx(6)September 27, 2010

HI, new to this great site. I want to know if i was right in putting a stop on fertilizing my gardenia( inddoor plant).i use miracid. i also dont know what type of gardenia i have ( veitchii, mystery??? who knows) ---when i first got it i didnt expect too much luck with it but its been alive for two months guess am doing something right----

hope someone helps mee :) THANKSSSS

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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Many people recommend to stop fertilizing in the Winter months. I guess the reason could be plants have weaker growth in the Winter time (from the lack of sunlight.)

However, if it's my plant, I would still fertilize it, though at ~ 1/2 - 1/4 of the normal strength.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 8:29PM
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thanks, kemistry. i guess it couldnt do harm if i keep fertilizing a little bit more. it did put out a few buds recently.
yea i use a very weak solution of miracid and water on it.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:51PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Go easy on the fertilizer when days are short and dim and not as warm. That doesn't mean don't fertilize at all, but easy does it. Fertilizer in dim periods produces weak and rangy growth.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 12:06AM
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mehitabel thank u for further information. hopefully my gardenia survives this winter season.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 11:15PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

xmike, root rot is what causes the mysterious decline/deaths of gardenias over winter. This is usually caused by overwatering or by excessive drying followed by overwatering.

Keeping your gardenia in a clay pot helps. Also be sure the top inch or so of the medium is dry before watering in winter. Alternatively, use a moisture meter. Give as much light as you can, and easy on the fertilizer (especially miracid, which is high in nitrogen).

If your gardenia starts to lose its rich dark green color give it a dose of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Chelated iron is also good.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 12:11PM
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hi mehitabel, thanks so much. the weather here is so ugly i am def. going to watch how i water her. i was thinking about clay pots! my bf has some extra, ill ask for one but i wont repot till spring i guess?
i am goin to lookup info about adding epsom salt. i have some but in the ingredients it says it contains "sea salt (dead sea minerals)" is that bad.
btw on my gardenia it looks like one of the buds wants to open. strange it looks like the green petals are crossing over eachother as if to open.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 5:45PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Hi, xmike. I would repot into the clay pot right away, not wait. The reason is that the winter is the hard thing for gardenias to get thru, so it needs it now. There should not be any harm, as long as you use a right-size pot, that just fits the rootball, or maybe an inch or so bigger. Be careful not to use a too-big pot. That is sure death to a gardenia or many other plants, especially in winter.

I never heard of epsom salts containing sea salt. I would definitely NOT use that on any plant.

The epsom salts I am talking about, you get at Walgreens or other drugstore. It is *magnesium sulfate*. People use it as a laxative and for soaking in.

It is a cheap source of magnesium. The mag is needed for making chlorophyll, and it causes a really nice green-up on pale leaves. I use it on my fragrants and on my orchids. Just one dose, and you notice more beauty in the leaves right away. Sometimes the old leaves don't change, but the new ones are more beautiful.

The water is very hard here, and after a winter, leaves on everything are coming in puny and pale. The epsom salts greens them up and toughens them up beautifully.

Good luck with your gardenia.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:37PM
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ok i will do that as soon as possible.

i will get the regular epsom salt;that come in those little cartons.

thanks again for your help
btw, do you have any thoughts about why one of the buds on my gardenia looks like the petals are going over eachother..kinda looks like its gunna open but its not moving outward.
again, thanks. and goodluck with with all of your plants this scary winter :)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:00AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Good luck to you, too. :) And if something does happen to it, be sure to get another. They aren't hard once you get the hang of it.

About the buds -- don't know. An occasional bud might be defomed. Anything funny about buds on gardenias, tho, be sure to check closely for aphids. They love flower buds and new growth, and they exude a sticky stuff that might glue the buds shut. Plus they suck the life out of the flowers so they die or open deformed.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 4:01PM
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thank youuu :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:35PM
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Hi, I am also new to the site & growing a Gardenia. I picked up a Gardenia Augusta recently. At first it was outside and I had to deal with aphids, I think (small purplish grey bugs. I live in S.W. MI so now I have brought the plant inside, after treating with a spray & keeping it in the garage to see if the bugs were under control. I think it has gone through the normal enviro. shock change because a lot of the leaves in the center of the plant turned yellow and fell off. I have tried to read as much as possible to figure out on how to care for this plant. I recently checked the pH and found it was over 7.0 around 7.3-7.5. I understand that it needs to be between 5.0-6.0 to be happy. I purchased some MG Azalea plant food (acid fert.) after reading diff. articles. I gave it the right dosage last week and it still has a pH over 7.0, maybe higher in some areas. I need to say that the plant has new growth in several different locations and it seems to have stopped the yellowing and losing of leaves. I am trying to watch the watering and it is next to a south facing window. Back to the high pH since then I have tried a little bit of left over coffee, some grounds and vinegar and to gal of water this week to try an lower the pH. I have hard well water so I figured the vinegar might work, but it is still around 7.3-7.5. Should I still keep trying to lower the pH even though it is October 20th because my understanding (from articles)was that it won't survive with such a high pH. The MG says every 2wks to apply do I reapply? Even though I know it is not the growing season or just let it go or lower the pH? Is the pH important this time of the year? And how and with what frequency can I apply something to get it to a healthy pH? It is also still in the same plastic pot form the store, It sounded as though I should wait to transplant I was thinking in the spring or should I now? I noticed some more aphids(maybe) also this week on one leaf that I wiped off and now I am contemplating taking the plant outside in the sun to spray again to avoid infestation of all my indoor plants and the rest of that plant, which looks healthy. Thank you for any advice in advance.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:36AM
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I posed this as a new question on the fragrant plants forum sorry I posted it here first by mistake. Please respond there. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 2:08PM
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