How do I get my Gardenia to Bloom...Part 2

puglvr1(9b central FL)September 18, 2008

Toni, Richie and everyone...

The other posts was getting so long, taking a while to load...I thought I would start a new thread.

Toni, I'm so sorry to hear about the flooding in your area. I hope that things will start getting better and get back to normal soon. We have had some weird and very dangerous weather lately. I hope the worst is behind us. Unfortunately I know you guys are in for the snow weather, and I hope that it won't be a bad winter for you guys...

I hope your plants make it, good luck and take care!

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Pug, thanks for starting thread
My left shift key is stuck, thanks to a little cockatiel who decided to knock down a can of pop or glass of KoolAid, (can't remember which) now, shift has to be be hit on the right side or use lowercase letters.

Most streets are cleared now, thank goodness. The Desplanes River and creek are very very flooded. In fact, Sam, our dog, can't go on his nightly walk through the forests because of this flooding.

Pug, it's been a long time since we've had a lot of snow. Every year they say the same thing..'this winter is going to be a bad one, lots of snow, blah blah'..and every winter, it's the same, very little snow, just plain cold.
But who knows? It's an enigma.

Richie, I read your post before stopping here.
Most plant books that discuss Gardenias, rarely mention roses. At least none I'm familiar with. Maybe someone else knows of a good book that contains both plants..
The reason is, Gardenias are considered tropical or sub-tropical, and roses strickly garden plants. At least I think that's what roses are. I have 2 roses, one very old, over 40 yrs, in back..To be honest, I don't do anything to it..the one in front looks like it's been run over by a has black spot. Someone mentioned adding Peroxide, but don't know if it works..I was going to use Epsom Salts but never got around to it.
To be honest Richie, though roses are beautiful, I don't know how to care for them. You should use a rose fertilizer, follow dossage directions. IMO Epsom Salts helps, too. The only reason I'm sure is, years ago I had a mini rose in the house. It did okay, and better w/Epsom Salts, but indoor-grown roses are mite magnets, so they're no longer welcome in my house...but they're gorgeous.

One thing about GArdenias, they love rain water.. so much more than water from the faucet. Since we've had all that rain, my denias sent out a lot of growth and numerous flower buds. Though once they comes inside, I don't know how they'll do..of course, with a lot of rain, it's important water is able to flow out of drainage holes, otherwise roots can rot.
Azalea or Gardenia fertilizer works best. Any type of acidic type fertlizer is fine. Years ago I'd alternate Azalea then a high nitrogen fertlizer..But starting next spring, I'm going to start that program again..leaves grow like crazy.
In winter, my Gardenias stay in the coolest room, south window, and some artificial light at night. They're sprayed once every 2-3 wks with my home-made insect spray, and Superthrived once a month. Daily misting with plain water. (sitting out over 24 hours) And once a wk shower.
Some people don't believe in misting, which is fine. IMO, it helps with humidity, somewhat, and keeps leaves clean, dust-free..dust clogs pores, so I feel dusty pores prevents leaves from breathing, and dust attracts bugs. Richie, this info is just my opinion, not fact. :)
Since you're in a warm climate, instead of using a mister, you can use hose. A morning mist would be perfect.

The Dracaena with mites, (thank God it's only one plant) is about to come's been sprayed with soap, citrus rind and garlic, so, as soon as I'm certain it's insect-free, in it comes with it's friends..:)

It suddenly looks like rain..Oh no!!!

Take care everyone, gotta get a few more plants inside..Toni

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Hi Toni and Pug
I found this posting by google.
Thank you for the info.
Well all I use on my gardenias is the acid plant food
until today that I mix one table spoon of Epsom salt with
acid plant food to make sure it has everything it needs
what is the name of that Azalea high nitrogen fertlizer?
I want to see if I can get this plant to recover.
I lost some branches and I would like to get it to grow
more then I will go back to the acid plant food.
I'm sorry to hear about the floods.
I hope the floods go away soon so that things goes back
normal and you could walk your dog sam
I know it snows a lot up north
I lived in NYC for many years and one year we had
32 inches of snow man what a work out it was
just to get that car out of the parking spot.
I would like to make my own insect spray but I'm not
good at doing that as I once spay a little on my sunflower
and the plant almost dyed on me.
I think once the weather cools down here then the
gardenia will grow back more branches.
it looks like it had a little bad hair cut in one side.
My grandfather is in the hospital.
Please say a little prayer for him.
Pug: thank you for starting this group and I'm sorry
that i made the other posting group to long with so
many questions but thanks to you and toni and the
rest of the people I'm in better shape then before
at least I now know how to take care of gardenias.
I will try to collect rain water to water the gardenias
in the mean time i got to buy de-still water or boil the
Take Care

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 1:13AM
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update my grandfather is still in the hospital please say a prayer for him.
Take Care

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:36PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Richie, sorry to hear about your grandfather...hope he makes a speedy recover...thoughts and prayers sending your way!

Take care

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Richie, I too pray your grandfather will be fine. Hope it's nothing serious. Does he like plants? Perhaps a potted plant will brighten his days spent in the hospital.

You can find Azalea/Rhodendron fertilizer in a hardware store or nursery. The brand I use is Hoffman. But there are several other Rhodo/azalea ferts.

Richie, don't overdo it with the fertizer. Too much will cause root and/or leaf burn, especially chemical types. I don't know of any organic ferts for Gardenias, but plain old Fish Emulsion is high in Nitrogen..Nitrogen keeps leaves green and helps with growth, but doesn't do much for flowering. Alternating, once a month or so, might make a difference. Even Epsom Salts shouldn't be used often. Iron can be added 2-3 times a year.

Actually, New York gets a lot more snow than we do. We get very little lately..and believe me, I prefer snow to -0 days anytime. It brightens up gloomy days. Snow reflects sunshine, so homes are lit up..Great for plants. I've tried collecting snow water before, but after filling up buckets of snow, after it melted, there were a few inches of water. lol..Plus it had to be warmed before use.

Richie, how did your gardenia lose branches? Are they dead? If you're unsure, scrape off some outer bark..if the inside is green, the branch is alive, if it's brown/gray, it's dead. If it's alive, there's a good chance new leaves will fill in. Are you more worried about growth or flowering? Toni

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 5:38PM
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Hi Toni and Pug
my grandfather is doing a little better
he might being coming home in a few days the dr told me
today that he is doing a little better with each day
that passes by so that is good news
I brough him a sunflower plant that just bloomed today
I raise it from a sunflower seed.
I planted it 2 months ago.
I'm glad I had one to give him cause he loves sunflowers.
thanks for the prayers everyone they have help a lot.
I only feed the gardenias once every 3 weeks.
what worrys me is that these branches lost all the leaves so I ended cutting them off.
The plant still looks full but I want to make sure the rest of the plant does not end up losing all the leaves like those two branches and the reason for epsom salt was
to see if that would help and so far it looks like
its going to recover no yellow leave yet.
I am more worry about the lost of leaves.
I know that soon the weather here will cool down
enough for them to start to flowering again like it
last fall through winter.
I started to water it again every 3 days
sometimes I even let it go to every 5 days
depends on the weather.
my friend order a gardening book for her mom and said
that she will share information on any plant if someone needs help with their plant.
I will keep you post on how my grandfather is doing.
lol I try collecting snow water by filling the bucket full of snow and in the morning I had to mop the floor about two
times to get all that water off of it.
I must have collected to much snow lol
Take Care

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:59PM
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update if all goes well with the testing my grandfather will be coming home tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
I'm happy with this news.
well my girlfriend did something crazy she when out and got gardenias number 8 and 9.
These are gafted gardenias and I heard they can become 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide is this true? Yikes lol.
I notice 8 tiny flower buds on the gardenia that is losing
leaves so soon I will have gardenia flowers for my
sweet heart. question how do you know when its time to
repot a gardenia into a new bigger planter?.
I think this one is going to out grow the 12 Gallon pot
very soon at the rate it is growing at.
well take care everyone
I will be updating the picture site very soon now
that my grandfather seems to be doing better.
Take Care

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:27PM
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Hello Toni
I just posted 10 more pictures of my garden
and one more of angel and Candy
Let me know what you think

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:30PM
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sorry I for got the link

Here is a link that might be useful: my online photos

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 8:00PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Nice pics Richie...Gardenias are looking really good!!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 5:09PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)

Richie, I like your gardenias; but I don't like dogs - dirty dogs. I will not allow them indoors.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 1:18AM
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hi puglvr1
Hi snasxs
Thank you for the complement
Thanks to everyone's advice
finally the sick gardenia is back
in good shape and growing back
the lost leaves at a slow rate.
My girlfriend got these dogs spoil.
now I can't get them to stay outside
as soon as they done going to the bath room they bark to come back in lol.
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 8:08PM
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Richie, how is your grandpa? I hope he's well. The sunflower plant probably brightened his day, cheered him, especially since you took time growing from seeds.
I checked out your pictures..your plants are doing great..
Do you know the type of gardenia with double flowers? I love it!!!
All your plants are nice.
So your girlfriend went out and bought several gardenias? lol..Did she buy different types? Guess she enjoys them, too, huh?
Can't blame her, they're beautiful, and flowers are heaven scented.
In the one picture of the that spearment or pepperment growing closest to the front?
Your hibiscus have so many flowers..Especially the red bush. It's too bad they only last 1-2 days.
Your Christmas picture is lovely, but have to laugh..whenever I see Christmas decorations and palms in the background, it's ironic..I don't mean it in a bad way,'s just that I'm used too Christmas, snow and pine trees, not
Your dogs and cat look content..I'm like your girlfriend..I couldn't leave pets outside all the time. They'd cry and scratch at the door..Our pets are spoiled. I couldn't imagine them stranded outside when it's 99 degrees w/100% humidity or 2F. Our big dog would heat up, fast..he's old now, so it'd be worse.
Do you know your dogs' breed? I love your cats pretty.
You've added quite a few pictures since my last visit..keep them coming.

Pug, don't know if you're around, but I can't find your hoya pics..where are they? lol..Which thread?

I fear bringing gardenias indoors..especially after a few 49F nights..they really like the cold..leaves are greener now than in summer..oh well, gotta do it..sigh..Toni

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 4:08PM
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I'm a new member and I've read your messages with interest. I'm trying to bring in Gardenia and Oleander for the first time.

I've successfully brought indoors Hibiscus and I find that severely cutting back in the fall produces the best blooms in the following spring/summer. You don't get the winter blooms indoors if you cut back, but better plants the following spring. SO it depends on your desire for bringing them in. For growth next summer or winter blooms.

One interesting note is your conversation regarding bug management. I've tried every commercial product and of course the standard home remedies. I've always had issues with mites on the hibiscus. One day there was a bottle of Windex on the table. I was so frustrated with the continued infestation, that I picked up the Windex and began wildly spraying. It worked like magic. The next day the bugs were gone and they stayed under control for several weeks. Another quick spray where there was signs of their return and gone again. It works better than any $20 commercial product on the market. I'm guessing it's the content of ammonia - not as strong as pure ammonia and smells alot better too.

Hope this information is of help and thanks for the advice on the Gardenia's. I'll check back and let you know how it goes for me in SW Ont.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:18PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Welcome gaildrag!! Glad to have you here...

Thanks so much for your input and what an interesting experiment on the Windex...I have heard of a member on the C&S forum that uses it on Jades/Succulents, but I was always afraid to try it...But I'm willing to give it a try next time...I'm assuming when you sprayed, it was outside in the shade till it dried?

Thanks again, and yes please come back and let us know how it goes...we all learn from each other here. That's one of the reasons I love this forum...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 2:57PM
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Hi Toni
my Grandfather is doing good thanks.
thanks to god he is better.
My Gardenia mystery blooms double flowers.
when it blooms again I will wait until its fully open
and post a picture of it.
lol my girl friend loves gardenia more then me and I though
I was the number one fan of gardenias LOL.
I wish that hibiscus flowers could last like gardenia any
were from 3 to 8 days. that red one blooms like crazy.
My Grandfather loves that sunflower plant a lot.
lol I am use to Christmas in New York cause
I think Christmas decorations with palm trees is like
filling the car's gas tank with water lol
I love my dogs and I don't mind them indoors but one thing is for sure I give them a bath two times a week.
gail: as far as getting rid of the bugs I find it better
to just blast them with a strong jet of water from
the garden horse or use light horticultural oil
it seems to keep the bugs at bay.
today I found some green leaves that fell off my gardenia
when I check I seen a fly not white fly just a normal fly and a grass hopper so I know its not a bug problem.
now it has rain heavy the last two days here but when I check the soil for moisture it was kinda on the dry side
with the wood dovel and moisture meter werid.
question can this plant need a new Pot already lol.
gail thanks to everyone here my sick gardenia is once
again a happy gardenia but it was not easy to get it back
in good shape. everyone here is very help-ful
Trust me they did a miracle with my gardenia problems.
Take Care
P.S. Toni: I know how you feel about taking in the
gardenia indoors.
I once did that when the cane strom came here and
it did lose many leaves in those few days indoors but
may be if you can get it use to less light then it will
get use to being indoor for the winter

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 7:51PM
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angel is a shepperd box mix and Candy is a shepperd collie mix and my cat is a Tabby Cat.
sorry I forgot to add that to the last post
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Hi Pug and Toni
what can I use to keep ants away from my container plants?
I seen some of theses ants on a few plants and want them off the plants I think they may be carrying apids to some plants.
Take care

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 5:53PM
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Hello folks
My name is Maria
I'm new to the site.
how often do these plant need ferilzer and at what???
strength should it be apply at???
I ask a question in another garden web site about this
but no one was nice enough to answer to my question.
Richie: I live in Tampa Flordia.
how far are you from yankees spring training camp?
I know I will learn a lot here looking forward to meeting ya all.
Bye for now

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 1:07AM
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wow thats a very person question
you asked me.
tampa_girl: just feed the
gardenia every two weeks
at the rate of one teaspoon and
half. puglvr1 and the rest can
help you more with this.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 11:10AM
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welcome to the group.
I'm sorry I was rude to you.
no one ever asked me a personal
question like that one online
and it scare me off a bit.
well I live about 10 minutes from the yankees spring train.
Pug and Toni can help you better
with gardenias. I learn everything
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:54PM
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I mean I learn everything from them.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:56PM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I've cut the oleander and brought in all the cuttings. The gardenia I have is pruned to tree form so I'm going to bring it in.

Toni & Richie - you have to remember I'm spraying with the Windex indoors - outside yes I would use the garden hose typically and keep the plant in a shaded area. I typically use the Windex for indoor use during the dryer winter months. Our plants have to come in - usually now although this was our Thanksgiving weekend and it was 78 degrees farenheit all weekend. Almost unheard of. I'm in SW Ontario so we don't see as much snow as much of the rest of the more northern parts of Canada. Much of SW Ontario is actually more southern than a good deal of the USA. Our weather is close to what those of you in IL would see and we don't get the lake effect snow that places like Buffalo and Chicago see.

Thanks so much for the advice - I find this forum just great! Thanks again and happy gardening everyone!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:33AM
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hi ya Richie
Thats ok Richie and thank you
for the welcome Richie
I am pretty new in tampa.
I've lived here only about two months
and I want to meet new people and make new friends here in tampa.
Richie; I just feed the gardenia
today like you advice me to do.
puglvr1: Richie told me that you know
and Toni know more about the gardenia
plant then him.
can you advise me if I should also
add iron to gardenias or is iron bad
for the gardenia plant?.
Bye for now

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Hi Toni
How are you?
I have not heard from you in a while.
Please post and let us know whats new with your plants.
Maria: Try feeding your gardenia every 7 days with
a teaspoon of gardenia plant food and see how it goes
for you. I called lowes and they told me to feed them
that way. I'm sure when the others read your post
they can give you more advice on gardenia care.
one thing I do know for sure is dont over water them.
check every three days for mosture with a wood dovel
and water when the soil is mostly dry.
gail: how often do you feed your gardenias?
The reason I ask is because I'm trying to get a good
answer for Maria so she does not over do the feedings.
I dont trust in the answer lowes gave me lol.
Take Care
P.S. Tampa_Girl how do you like living in Tampa FL?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 12:17AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Tampagirl,

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, went to visit family in Las Vegas, just got back and my computer died on me, my DH just got it up and running...Yay!! I hate it when my computer is not working...

Welcome to the forum and tampa!! I am not an expert, but I'm willing to share what limited knowledge and my personal experiences with gardenias.

I would feed it every 3-4 weeks at half strength like Richie said...I would add chelated iron every 4-6 weeks, if you start to see some yellowing I would add the iron with the fertilizer, you can also add some epsom salts at 1 table per gallon of water when you add the fertilizer once a month if you want. For me Gardenias are one of those plants that like a little heavier feeding to maintain the dark green leaves. Some yellowing is normal, as long as most of the leaves are healthy...let your soil dry out mostly then water really well. Make sure you flush out the soil at least once a month to flush out the excess salt.

If you have any more questions, please feel free, I may not have the answer but maybe Toni will, lol...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:22AM
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hi ya puglvr1
Thanks for welcoming me to the group
and to tampa Fla.
omg those plants need a lot TLC.
I've been feeding them every two
weeks at a teaspoon per gallon of
water. I've over done it.
Thanks for the heads up on the
gardenia information.
Richie: I like living hear so far
its nice. it is better then miami.
Richie: your gardenia looks great
from the pictures at your home page
Toni your turn what can you
advise on me gardenia care lol.
Bye for now

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 11:26AM
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hi Maria
I look in my friends garden book
and it says that potted plants need feeding every two weeks and then the
one's planted in the ground.
The reason why is potted plants need
to be water more often then in ground plants and this leaches out the nutrients from the soil.
if your gardenias are in the ground feed them like puglvr1 posted
every 3 to 4 weeks but if they are in
containers then feed them every 2 weeks but use 1 teaspoon per gallon of
water and they should grow well.
Add iron every 4 to 6 weeks and every so often add epsom salt with the plant
food in order to keep them strong.
Maria: I also welcome you to tampa
and I'm sure you will make new friends
pretty soon :-)
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Wow, you guys have been busy
Welcome Gail and Maria.
Maybe it's not a good idea talking to Pug and I..You may end up with 2000 j/k of course.

I'd be terrified spraying Windex on plants, but I'm assuming you got so frustrated you were willing to use anything. One thing, your hibiscus smelled nice. lol
Aside from being afraid, I can't use chemicals in the house because we have birds. Birds can't breath fumes, so I stick to home-made remedies.

Chemicals or not, one thing I discovered so plants are free of insects is keeping an area and plant/s clean. Removing yellow/brown leaves, picking and discarding foliage. And inspection. It's a start anyway.
Insects, such as mites hate water, so spraying works somewhat.

As for fertilizing, read instructions on your fertilizer. Each requires different amounts and times to use.
For instance, if you use slow-release, the dossage is once every three months, or if you divide and cut back by three, you'd apply monthly.
Many powder fertilizers are applied by how often you fertilize..For instance, they suggest 1/4 teas if you feed ever two weeks, and 1/2 teas if you feed once a month.
I sometimes use Azalea fert for's a powder. They recommend feeding 'x' amount per foot, so I had to 'guess' an much fun.
I add iron once every 3 months to prevent chlorosis. Also started adding Epsom Salt..

Pug adds more iron, but maybe it has something to do with location. Same with fertilizing in winter. I'd think, if one lived in Fl or Ca, reducing to withholding fertilizers a couple or few months might be required, but that's a guess.

Cool, how's grandpa? Is he okay? Is his sunflower holding up? I dont know how long sunflowers thrive in a container.
Hope everyone's gardenias are well. Flowering.

Pug, do you fertlize in winter? Toni

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 8:05PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Toni,

I don't fertilize in Nov, Dec and Jan. But I do fertilize around the end of Feb/early March, that's when our freeze warnings are pretty much over with. It gives them a boost just before our spring arrives. We have an early spring here, by March our temps starts warming up pretty nicely in the 70's, sometimes low 80's.

Toni, by the way my DH ROCKS, he was able to save my pictures...he found it on my old computer drive. I was so excited...I thought I lost them forever. He is somewhat of a computer Guru, lol...

My gardenias have a couple of blooms, but are starting to get a little bit more buds now. I'm hoping by Thanksgiving I will have a little more blooms, when weather cools off a bit.

Tampa girl, in case you didn't see it before, here is a picture of my Gardenia taken in Spring of this year. Its has grown quite a bit since then, but only has a couple of flowers right now...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Hi Toni
My Grandfather is doing good thank you.
the sunflower only last a month but the good news
is that I give him another plant this week that started to
bloom. as far as gardenias I use to feed them every 3 weeks but when back to every two weeks.
I only use a teaspoon of the Azalea fert for Gardenias to a gallon of water.
The dark green leaves are now becoming a lighter shade of green this has me worry a bit
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 8:08PM
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Hi Ya puglvr1.
Thank you Toni for welcoming me to the group
puglvr1: I like your gardenia its pretty
I see ya got a gardenia tree
I hear that theses are easy to take care of
is their any truth to this rumor?
Richie: post a picture of your gardenia on here
may be someone can help ya out to find whats the cause
of the leaves turning a lighter green color.
Have ya spray for bugs?
here I spray my gardenias every seven days.
sometimes I see some white flys and is why I spray
every seven days to keep them in check.
may be it will help it out if ya give it iron a
few times per month that
now I have a question of my own?
if ya only feed the gardenia once a month wont it be
hungry lol
Bye for now

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 8:20PM
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LOLOL...Guys, it's 2:06 am, and I have to get to bed,, but I had, just had to comment before my head hits the pillow.

Tampa Girl says, 'is it true Gardenias are easy to care for?'

Pug, if possible, you must send her the Suicide Gardenia'm laughing so hard, tears are soaking my cheeks.

I'll be back tomorrow, well, later today..I hope Pug sees/reads Maria's and my post..hahaha..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:10AM
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Maria do you mean are gardenia trees easy to take care of?
in my point of view it's the same as any other gardenia
just in a tree shape.
Care-ing for a gardenia is like caring for a baby my cousin says lol they always give you a headace if they
not happy or get everything they want.
Tampa_Girl says if ya only feed the gardenia once a month wont it be hungry lol
Maria thats why I feed them every 14 days but at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water so that way it won't get hungry lol. I just had to reply before going to bed.
I have a bad cold and I'm not able to sleep well tonight.
Take Care
Hugs for everyone

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 3:50AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Toni, VERY FUNNY...I can just see you, ROFL... I posted the link below to the Suicidal Gardenia post.

Tampagirl, Thanks for the compliment on my tree... Richie is right about the care of the tree versus the bush. They are pretty similar for its care and requirements. Its all a matter of preference and style. With that being said, from what I've read the tree style (grafted) gardenia is supposed to be better for the FLorida soil, becuase they use a root stock that is resistant to nematodes. This is one of the things that attacks the gardenia roots here in FL. I had a few bushes die on me about 6-7 years ago becuase of nematodes in our soil. Now the only one I will grow in the ground is the grafted tree, plus I happen to like the tree shape, IMHO...

TampaG. when you have some time, this is great funny reading...

Here is a link that might be useful: Suicidal Gardenia Thread...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 7:11PM
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Tampa Girl, if you're reading this, I wasn't making fun out of you, so please don't think that was my intention.
I was laughing because Gardenias are difficult plants.
One woman on this site gets so angry she feels like pulling the hair out of her head..
I prfer trees to bushes too, there's just something nice about a trees looks.
Don't know if one is more difficult than the other when grown in the ground. Pug and Richie are the people to ask.

Richie, how's your cold? Is it a cold or flu? There's at least 5 types of flu's floating around Il. So many people are sick..
Thankfully, it hasn't hit me yet, but my family all had it.

Are those of you who live in warm climates still fertilizing? Lucky people
The only thing I'm going to add as soon as mine come in are Superthrive and Epsom Salts..maybe a little Iron.
Plus all will get sprayed to keep buys away.

This summer, there were little white bugs flying everywhere..I thought they might be whitefly, but so far nothing..Thank God, don't want to go through that again.

Have a good wkend, everyone..Toni

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 2:27AM
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my cold is better thanks
I when to the doctor and got some
meds for my cold and also
a flu shot.
Tampa_Girl Gardenia trees
are better for planting in the ground here in Tampa and any where their is sandy soils.
lol@ that site this woman wanting to pull her hair with that plant.
I think they are hard to take care of but once you understand
what care they need then it
will not be as hard to
take care of.
I found out the hard way that you
can lose a gardenia if you over water them lucky everyone here help me save this plant.
I still fertilize the plants all year long expect if they temps
goes down to 30 degrees.
if this happens then I
hold the fertilizer back for a while.
Toni as you can see my gardenia got to big way to fast lol.
I will be posting a new picture just yet become more bushy if this keeps getting bigger then I have get a bigger
container for it and here I though 12 and half gallons was
enough space for two years lol.
Maria: where are you?
come out and talk lol.
Hugs to everyone
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 1:11PM
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hi ya Toni
I am not mad or upset with ya
my house is being worked on
and thats the reason for not
being online until today.
Toni: thank god that those
white bugs where not white flies. I spray once a week to control them.
I read the Suicidal Gardenia postings.
it has me laughing way to hard.
LOL Richie you think its funny that
a woman would pull her hair out over a plant??? well that is what we do
when we are stressed out or we
bite over nails LMAO.
my gardenia has flowered for me yayyyyyyyy.
lets see if I can keep my hair on my head not pull it out when this crazy.
plant starts with me LOL.
well how is your gardenia Richie?
is it any better today?
Bye for now

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 7:45PM
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Well, Gardenias were brought in last night.
What a scare!
On the way to the store, we had the radio going, and on came the weather..SNOW!!! First they said Monday, now they're predicting it tonight..Snow in Oct!! What the heck?
As soon as we got home, I carried remaining plants inside..Winds were 35-40mph..thought it'd knock me
So far, there's only 2 plants, big plants, that need to be brought inside. But, I have to make room in one area to fit them.
In the meantime, Gardenias are safe is the test..Will they survive winter? Will buds drop? We'll see.

Richie, what did you do to make your Gardenia grow so fast? Was it fertilizers?
You have your gardenia in a 12 1/2 gallon container? How do you move it? You need a truck just to

If your doc gave you meds you probably have a flu..did you have a fever? I'm glad you're feeling better..
My son and his g/f are both sick, my husband and I are hoping we don't catch it..They've been sick on and off the last 2 months..Flu is everywhere. Different types.

Maria, I'm glad you got to read the Suicide Gardenia thread..It's so funny. Sometimes I read it for people are very serious when it comes to caring for a plant, and when they give us a hard time, we do want to pull our hair out..that among other problems!!
Richie, yes, it's a female thing. If it was a man giving us problems, we'd pull their hair out, and bite off their, ahem, Toni

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:31PM
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hi Toni
yes it was the gardenia fertilizer I am using it a teaspoon per gallon of water every 14 days to make sure
it grows in good shape.
each time I have to pick up that 12 and half gallon
container it feels like I am lifting 120 pound weights
great work out lol.
now may be someone can share some information with me?
when plants are in containers do they need feeding every 2 weeks? or is the feeding rules the same as with in ground
plants? The more I read my friends garden book the more
I get confuse. see it says feed gardenias every 3 weeks but
then it says container plants need feeding every 14 days
due to plant food washing way with all the
extar water they need.
The person who wrote the book must have been drunk while he or she was writing it LOL
Toni: I know how it feels when plants start to have problems because I had problems with this gardenia but
I never felt like yanking my hair out LOL.
hi Maria
after the feeding it has green up
I cant beleave the soil got to dry with all the rain that
has fallen it should have been on the moist side not dry.
well at least the Damage was not as bad as I though it
only a few leaves here and their.
by the way what sprays do you use to keep bugs off the
plants?. I want to get some for my plants.
I now have 137 plants uh oh LOL@ my girlfriend adding
so many of them that It takes me a hour to feed them and water them every two days.
Take Care

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:51PM
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Hey Richie.
137 plants, you're catching other plants do you have?

I think any container plant, fertilized every two wks, all their lives, would die or grow spindly.
Especially if chemical fertilizers are used. I think most of us here, who grow Gardenias, use chemical types.
For one, there would be way too much salt build up. The plant/s would need constant leaching to drain excess salts.
In winter, for some of us anyway, if we fertilized during winter, with month after month of cloudy days, a plant would grow tall and thin, and probably weak.
Plants go dormant in winter, they go to sleep..we don't eat when we're asleep, so it's the same w/plants. I should add, they go dormant, but depending where one lives makes a difference in time. For instance, here in Il, I stop fertilizing in Sept/Oct, except for African Violets, Hibiscus, (if they're blooming) and Geraniums.

Well, happy growing to all..Toni

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:11AM
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Hi Toni
I am having a little trouble with bugs again on many of my plants.
Toni: how do you get rid of bugs that are on your plants?
as far as feeding I am confuse but I think Pug is right
in the sence of feeding them heavy once a month with
gardenia food and epsom salt.
Iron also is needed to keep the soil ph in check.
Pug: let me know if you agree with me on this one?
does anyone know how to keep white flys away?
I have a plant they are on it is a sweet basil
that they are on and need to get rid of them.
Take Care

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 8:15PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hey Richie,

Just to clarify, on what I said was Gardenia is one of those plants that for some reason can take/likes to be fertilized more often than any plants I've ever had(IMHO). They seem to need it more, but we do live in FL Richie, where our winters are milder than most states...having said that, I don't fertilize my gardenias this time of year every two weeks, I have cut mine to once a month and come Dec, Jan. I will wait and see if it needs it? I will only fertilize them "If" they
are showing signs of the end of Feb, I will give them a light dosage and by March, I will be giving them the recommended strenght or 1/2 strenght...

Richie I wish I could help with the whiteflies. I haven't had to deal with those so far...doesn't the other stuff that you use for the mealies/aphids work on the white flies? Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:27PM
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Hi Pug
I think about the only thing that controls these white flys are yellow fly trap paper.
I set some out today and it had 10 white flys
hmmmm may be this is better then are these sprayings.
Thanks Pug: I agree with you on the fact that gardenias need lots of food. what I been doing until now is
feeding it full strenght with epsom salt mix in about every 3 weeks. due to the face that I hear so many mix ideas on how gardenias don't do well with so much salt in the soil. it was doing good but now this week it has 3 yellow leaves no big deal but I want to keep 90% of the plant in good shape with deep dark green leaves.
I think I might be having a gardenia bloom soon.
My Girlfriend is going to love it lol.
speaking of plants she did it again last count of plants 200. waaa I cant keep up with so many plants LMAO
now she has azleas. does anyone know anything about azleas?
Toni: I got sweet basil. spicy basil. gardenia amiee gardenia mystery both gafted and non gafted.
honey suckle. fire cracker plant. rose plants Hibiscus plants 1 pink flower type and two red flower ones.
4 rubber tree plants. snake plants Five of them just to name a few lol
Take Care

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 11:40PM
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hi ya Richie
Hey I did some fishing for information on gardenia care and I think your on the right track.
Remember to alway check for moisture every few days and water as needed.
azleas need almost the same care as gardenias as far as light water and plant food.
remember ya need to water the plants like you would a gardenia and feed them once every three weeks.
hey Toni and pug where are ya?
This place is to quite lol
buy for now

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 7:21PM
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hi Maria
Thank you for your advice.
one of my gardenias bloom a flower but the rest of the gardenias have many tiny flower buds that have been this way for almost a month and have not got any bigger yet.
I think the temps in flordia have been to high for the gardenias and this is why the flowers buds have not get any bigger then the tiny form they are in.
may be Pug can confirm this for us on why they start to get flower buds but the flower buds fail to get any bigger any ways thank you Maria for your advice.
what site did you go to in order to get this information on gardenias?
Take Care
Hugs to all

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:18PM
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Richie, the best thing to rid whitefly with is Yellow Sticky Traps. Thankfully, my plants only had whitefly once..after using Sticky Traps, they died..there were hundreds of these dreadful bugs attached to the traps..I thought all my plants were going to die..
There are sprays to rid WF's, but traps are chemicals for one. For some reason, but are attracted to Yellow. They fly on the glue, and goodbye bugs. After traps are filled, toss them.
There are quite a few sellers on Ebay that sell the traps, if you can't find them locally. Good prices, too.
If you're lucky enough to live near a nursery that has them, might at well buy them instead of paying for shipping.

Richie, when I mentioned fertilizer, I was referring to midwest/cold climates, but even in sunny Fl and Ca, isn't there a period, say from Nov-Jan, where days are cooler, less sunny? If so, that's when I would think reducing or stopping fertilizers might be appropriate. No?

Perhaps it depends on which part of Fl one lives. I talk to two women who own citrus nurserys in Fl, and they withhold fertlizing a couple/few months in winter, so I assumed the same applied to Gardenias.

Withholding/reducing fertilizer in winter is stated in most plant books. The author doesn't focus on one part of the country, but I'm certain they mean anywhere day light shortens, and temps decrease.
You and Pug would know when to feed, and amounts to use during winter months, since you're residents of Fl. :)

Richie, when a plant has insects or ill, it shouldn't be fertilized. I think you said your Basil has insects? If it does, don't add fertilizer until they're gone. Focus on ridding the bugs, then after they're in bug heaven, continue feeding as you normally do.

What type of Azaleas are you growing? They'll burn if sun is too harsh..especially in summer..even here in Il south or west sun will scorch Azalea leaves. My Azalea stays out till first frost; the cold forces flower buds. It gets fertilized with Azalea/Rhododendron fert, or the same fert you use on Gardenias. I let soil dry a little, but if it dries too much, leaves will drop. You probably need to water more than I do..Like Gardenias, flowers last longer if kept cool.

Hey Maria..Sometimes I stop at other forums, but we've been doing a little, fixin' up the house..nothing major. Plus, I rearranged the front and back plant rooms, which ended up being a 3+ day we wonder why we begin such projects..

Anyway, I hope everyone is fine. Are you guys preparing for winter? I HATE it!!! It's been so cloudy..some rain, and now they're talking snow..One advantage of snow is it brightens up the house. Since I don't use curtains/blinds, and all walls are painted semi-gloss white, sun reflects off snow, onto walls and plants..Well, there is a curtain in the

You guys take care..Richie, hope your grandpa is fine. hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 3:35AM
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Toni, maybe you should get rid of the curtain in the bathroom, who knows, your plants might do even better than they already are..lololol
You left yourself open for that one. Hugs

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:06AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hey Mike!! Very Funny!!

I agree with Toni on withholding fertilzer in the winter, for us that usually starts end of Nov early Dec. If your weather has been warm in Nov? Its been a very mild Nov for us here in Central FL so far and your gardenia is actively growing, if you want, you can probably add about a 1/4 strenght just to give it a little bit. Then I would NOT give it any fertilizer for DEC-Jan-Feb. By March our temps should start warming back up...we can resume applying our regular fertilizer schedule. That's what I would do, IMHO...just my 2 cents.

Take care everyone!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 7:14PM
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Mike, ever see the movie, Psycho? I have, and don't want to re-enact that shower scene..lolol.

Pug, do gardenias bloom during winter in Fl? Ours bloom, but flowers are smaller. Hibs are putting out normal size blossoms though..
Some plants, even here in 'Cold Country' get fertilized all winter..African Violets, Hibiscus, Geraniums, and tender perrenials brought in from outside. 1/4-1/2 strength ferts.
I'm debating whether or not to fert a Stephanotis. It's old but never once bloomed. sigh. Toni

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:20AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

This is my very first winter with my Gardenias...I bought them January '07. They had no blooms when I bought them. Right now they do have a few here and there, nothing like it was in early spring. I'll let you know if they bloom for me this winter...technically that's Dec. 20/21 right?

Toni, LOVE that movie...seen it more times than I care to admit, saw the "new" version also...not as good as the original, Alfred Hitchcock was the best!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 4:59PM
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You guys are just to funny. Do you see the effect gardenias can have on us? Are we funny or what. I would hate to see what we do if they started croacking on us this winter! God forbid if I find even one pest on
Take care all of you, and by the way, another one of my favorites was " The Birds".

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 6:49PM
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I love Gardenias. Nothing smells like them. I'm in Zone 8/9 Louisiana, and they grow like weeds and trees around here.

I think the problem comes when people try to grow them entirely indoors. Which can be done if you give them high light, acidic potting soil and don't let them dry out completely. But they're probably not going to bloom. In all the times I've tried and tried, I've only gotten one plant to make one flower.

It's a temperature thing. Gardenias set buds when the nights are cool and the days are warm, which is why they bloom in the spring and fall. The temperature at night needs to be below 65 degrees.

So there's the problem. That's a temp. a bit too cool for most people to sleep in.

I've finally given in and grow mine outdoors entirely, and when they bloom, I cut lots of them to put in vases to enjoy the scent indoors.

On the other hand, even out of bloom they are beautiful plants, so if you can keep them healthy indoors, by all means grow them there, just don't expect them to burst into flower.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 12:43PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)


Ha, you have not read my famous post:

The First Gardenia of 2008

In Virginia, I set them out for only 2 weeks. They are then loaded with tiny buds. I move them back in dry and hot room. They bloom like crazy in a month or two.

I realize that temperature-rise matures the buds. The plants are exclusively cultivated indoors. The key is dry between watering. Yes, you MUST allow them to dry out.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Pug and Mike..Hitchcock movies were great, and like yes the old Psycho was better made than the new.
Isn't it like that with most remakes? Some other examples are: The Haunting, 13 Ghosts, and The Omen.
Gotta love spooky, eerie films.
I dote on feathered friends, but not zillions plucking at my hair and
Guess I still have Halloween on the brain, while Thanksgiving is creeping up on us.

Mike continue spraying, hike up humidity, and run a fan a few hours per day..or if temps are 55F+, crack open a window. Air circulation is mandatory..dry, stuffy air is unhealthy for plants, pets and people.
You have to be one step ahead of insects, to keep them off and out.
My Gardenia is in a south window behind other plants, so it's a real pain lifting, then hauling to the sink, let alone the shower which is upstairs. I don't know it's actual weight, but it's heavy and bulky. Still, it's worth the work, being showered/sprayed, otherwise mites or God-forbid, mealy attack.

Belle, I definately agree, growing plants indoors, (some more than others,) are a real challenge, but with artificial lights, humidifers, fans, misting and showering, growing greens inside can be accomplished.
Not just thriving, but getting them to flower and fruit, and grow compact, luscious foliage.

It's funny when people who live, especially raised in warm climates say/think it's impossible for those of us who live in cold areas to grow anything other than plastic flowers year round. lol
It's work, a big job, but most plants can be grown indoors, for years, including the Mighty Gardenia.
Thinking positive helps, perhaps plants sense our moods.

Snasxs, your Gardenia is doing great..leaves are so green. Are you still fertilizing?
I've contemplated Epsom Salting some plants, not all..most that have a tendency getting Chlorosis. We'll see..

Take care everyone..Let's hope winter is brief, no 7 months of, Toni

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:23PM
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hi Toni
My gardenias good news is the bugs are off. I been hitting them with sprays and misting them.
I found today that they are loaded with buds. some may open very soon.
Pug:for me my gardenias bloom from dec through spring and a little here and there in the summer.
snasxs: I like your gardenias
I would like to know how often do you feed them and how much you use?
for ex; a teapsoon per gallon of water?
Toni: I am growing a azalea southen.
how much sun light do they need?
and how often should they be fed?
to the new people that join welcome to the group.
Take Care

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Hi Richie.
I'm glad the bugs are dying/dead on your plants..they are such pains..
Keep misting..IF they're outside, hose..a hose put out much more water, forces many bugs off plants, and after, creates a wall of humidity.

Azaleas cannot take strong summer south or wes sun w/o scorching leaves. Mine are in south and east windows, but from now until March, sun is scares..but even in summer, too much direct sun can burn fragile azaleas.
Fertilizing depends on the type..soom authors advise fertilizing 3 times a year, others say once a
It can be confusing. I follow directons written on Azalea fertilizer bag.
Then they're kept outside until first Dec buds should form. They open, last about 5 months. Too bad they dont have fragrace..

Well, good luck, Richie..Toni

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 2:44AM
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Thank you Toni for your advice
I'm sorry I'm late in replying back I've been in New York
until now and I came back to see all my plants doing ok expect a rubber tree plant that lost 7 leaves.
Toni: This is my first rubber tree plant and I would like your advice on their care.
I seen on your home pages picture of your rubber tree plant and they look great.
Is their a way to get it to recover these leaves?
It's looking bare on the botton.
good news it seems like my gardenias do better when I don't
over baby them. now the gardenias are doing great but my rubber tree plant is giving problems LOL
Looking forward to hearing from you all
Take Care
P.S. Maria is everything ok? I see you have not been on here in a long time

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 7:19PM
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Hi ya Richie
How was it in New York?
I have not been online much these days.
getting ready for the hoildays
I am very happy that your gardenias are doing great.
Is your rubber tree plant in full sun or part sun?
If its in full sun move it to another location where it gets morning sun after noon shade this will help it a lot and in time it will recover its lost leaves as well as grow bigger.
let me warn you that if you plant it in the ground that rubber tree can grow up to 40 or 50 feet Yikes LOL.
Well I hope I have clear up the care for rubber tree plants.
I am pretty sure Toni can tell you more about them.
Bye for now

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:01PM
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hi Maria
The trip to New York was great.
I got to see many of my old friends and visit my family to.
Toni: whats new with you?
Can you help me with how to care for a rubber tree plant please?
what did everyone do for christmas?
did santa got everyone there gifts??? lol
Maria: LOL no way a rubber tree plant can become 40 feet tall or can it????
I got to go I'm on my way out be back later tonight
Take Care

    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 7:50PM
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just drop by to say hello
Take Care

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:47PM
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Howdy everyone!

Richie, sounds like you had a wonderful time in NY..meeting ex g/f's..What does your current g/f have to say? lol..
Did you get to see any NY plants, bring any home? or were you too busy partying? :)

Congrats on your insects? Are they goners? I think it was you who suspected mites or some sort of pest..

Ficus are fussy..some (benjaminas) more than others..The easiest way to kill a Ficus, Rubber Tree is overwatering.
Is yours green, purple or variegated?
I almost lost my variegated RT this year..Last winter I repotted into a larger container w/o drainage holes..While outside, it rained and rained day after day within a 2 wk period.
Then when it was brought indoors, it stayed in the tub 2 days, getting more water everytime someone showered..Because the lower plant is compact, I didn't notice the soil was soaked.
It went in the bedroom..a few days later a couple bottom leaves yellowed..I checked the soil, finding 2-3 inches of stagnant water floating on top. Using a baster, I syphoned as much water as possible, but the soil was drenched. I didnt have another pot large enough to repot..Its pot needs drilling before this happens a second time, maybe next time I won't be so lucky.

So, allowing soil to dry, especially during winter, is very essential..
Rubber trees love light..more light means larger leaves and pronounced other words, if your tree is variegated, pink, white and green are more prominent if it's in bright light.
Also, branches and stems thicken..if grown in low light, branches can get so spindly the tree needs staking to stand.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Richie, but the leaves that dropped will not grow back. However, upper foliage will continue to fill in.
The only way to renew a compact look is by air-layering or cutting back. If your rubber tree is mature, cutting back would be a difficult decision. I couldnt do

Do not fertilize much if at all during winter, especially if days are cloudy. One author says to fertilize Rubber trees, (because they're slow-growing) and/or any Ficus once or twice a year. If container-grown.
Once a month, with diluted fertilzer, from April-Aug should be sufficient, in IL..
Rubber trees are pots..I don't know their speed when grown in the ground.

Misting, showering, and/or washing then wiping rids dust. Dust clog pores. Avoid leaf shines.
Rain water is the best, but it's not always water perks plants up too.

So, set in bright light, water only when soil is dry, withhold fertilizer during winter/cloudy days, and if possible use a window for fresh air. Wipe leaves.

How was everyone's holiday? Anyone get new plants or plant supplies?
I got a hanging plant shop light..Dh said, you can order a few plants, which is fine by me. lol..I want a variegated palm so bad, but they're too expensive..$45 and up..
That's too much money for a plant that might die.
One seller on Ebay had Best offer for one var palm..he was asking 45.00..I offered 25.00..then he wrote back with another offer of 35.00..oh well, had to pass it up. I believe this palm is planted in a 3" pot..Some ppl are really into profit. lol. Maybe one day, but not at that price.

I won a Licula palm and variegated Pandanus/Screw Pine..
Yesterday we went to Home Depot and bought a little Frosty's so cute, and only 5.99..One online nursery had a tiny version of this fern for 12.99 plus s&h..

Well, that's it..Again, I hope everyone had Safe and Comfy-Cozy holidays..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:53PM
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Hi Toni
my rubber tree has green leaves.
I dont think i can prune a rubber tree plant. to me pruning a plant is like cutting off a arm or leg
I try not prune any plant.
lol I did not visit any ex girl friends in New York.
I did bring a few plants from New York. spider plant and a snake plant. I will name the type of snake plant soon. this one i have not seen in Tampa FL.

I'M glad you did not lose your plant due to the pot with out drainage holes.
trust me I almost lost a snake plant one time due to it had no drainage holes and to get it
to recover was really hard to do.
I water rubber tree plant twice a week the most. by I try to not water more then once a week.
its starting to get bigger and the leave lost started to slow down once I start to mist the leaves thanks for the advice on
the rubber tree plant.
wow $45 for a plam tree is a lot of
money but if its nice and strong then I guess the price is ok.
I got to see what they go for in
Tampa FL.
My holidays when good.
I guess I was a good boy this year cause santa got me many things lol.
How was your holidays?
I just turn 32 years old on Jan 3
but I feel like I was 23 years old again lol.
Take Care

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:52PM
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Hi Richie,
It's nice you got to travel..that's one thing we can't do because of one to bird and dog
What bothers me is there are so many plant shows in other states..It'd be great visiting some of these shows..

I'm happy Santa was nice to you..what all did he bring? Anything plant related?
Santa brought me a new plant about excited! Yep, opening gifts is great..I feel like

I found soil for Rubber Trees, despite leaf color, needs to dry between waterings..I water RT's a little more than succulents, especially in winter. And yes, pots need drainage holes. It's bad enough, variegated RT's are impossible finding here, and even if I found one, they takes years to grow..Variegated types are slow-growing compared to green or red leaf types. Wonder why???

I know what you mean about pruning or air-layering. It's difficult cutting a tree, one you had since only inches tall, then whack.
My variegated Yucca is over 8' tall. It's in front of a glass door in back..the ceiling is tall, probably 20'..But, after it reaches a little more than 15', the top portion won't get any sun..Yuccas are sun-loving plants. I dread the day it will have to be cut

As long as your Rubber tree isn't losing more leaves, it should be okay. Keep spraying foliage, and remove dust. Dust only clogs pores. Don't bother with leaf shines..Soap and water cleans may not have the sparkle leaf shines do, but IMO, they cause more problems than not.

Good luck, Richie..and when you have time take pics of your new NY plants..Toni

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 2:54AM
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Awwww I know what you mean about traveling
I got two dogs and two cats my girlfriends sister
baby sat them for us while we when to New York.
what size pot did use for the 8' variegated Yucca?
may be this will be the size this gardenia of mine needs
lol this plant has become way to fat.
as far as your variegated Yucca plant is their any way
to enlarge the window area it is at now?
that way it still can get the sun light it
needs and you won't have to prune it at all.
My Rubber tree plant has stop the leave lost and
is starting to grow more leaves as it gets taller.
well Santa got me a new 12.1 MP digital camera.
santa broke the bank on this one my girlfriend told me lol.
a new pot for my gardenia but I think it is to small for this gardenia and my gardenias are flowering and I think its to early for this flowering to happen but we are happy.
speaking of gardenias when do you know its time to
transpant a gardenia?
Today I move it from one spot in the garden to another spot and I notice that roots broke off the drainage holes these roots that broke off each of them are 4 inches long.
I hope I did not hurt this plant much cause it has become
so full and as my girlfriend would say also very pretty lol. some leaves have brown up half way and I cut the bad parts off. Toni: has your gardenia ever got any leaves that get brown tips or worst half of the leave turns brown
and if so how did you correct the problem with the plant?
Take Care

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 1:27PM
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hi Pug, Toni, Maria
This is a short update on my grandfather.
my grandfather die yesterday
I'm really heart broken cause
he was like a father to me.
I have to go.
my eyes are still tearing up on me
Take Care

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 1:06PM
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I have been watching this post off and on, and was hoping in my mind and heart, that your grandfather would be ok.
When I would see sunflowers, I would think of this thread and him. Wondering how you and him are.

I am so sorry for your loss Richie. I am sure everyones thoughts along with mine will are with you.....

Much love from all your friends here,

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Thank you everyone.
I feel so heart broken.
does this hurt ever go away?
I got to see him on the weekend
and the doctors told me he was doing
better but sadly on feb 10 2009
they call to inform me that he pass away in his sleep.
I have not been able to sleep well.
all I think of is what if I was by his side? would I have been able to save him? on the day he dye I was going pay the doctors to have him transfer to another hospital closer to my house
so that I could be with him everyday
and take care of him.
he lived in cape coral fl and
I live in Tampa FL.
the trip was two and half hours
each way from my house.
oh god this so hard for me
he was like a father to me and
I miss him very much.
I got to go.
I'm starting to cry my eyes out again
Take care everyone

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 4:02PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)

I am so sorry for you. The pain will go away in about a year. Be strong okay?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:36AM
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Makes one appreciate ones life alot more doesn't it. I may loose my mom, and just the thought of it is so hard to take.

But I'll bet your grandad would love for you to smile again and live life to your full, doing what you do most that brings you pleasure, and bringing it to others as you have, taking care of the very plants he knew you loved so much and helping others to do so.

The hurt will go away, but never the fond memories of him. Beleiving that he would love to see you smile when you think of him and see sunflowers,not be heartbroken, would please him in everyway.

We are here for you,anytime you need friends...

As toni would say if she saw what happened, hugs to you from me and all.

Again I am sorry.....

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Hi snasxs
Thank you.
I will try to be strong
and hope that each day that goes by
The pain goes away a little more.
mike: I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I know how you feel
about the though of losing someone you love. it does make people
appreciate life more.
I do have lots of home movies of him
as well as pictures also.
Today I place a order to enlarge
five Pictures of him that I took of him while he was visiting us in Tampa
last year.
I did e-mail Toni to let her know
about my grandfather and she did e-mail me back and advise me to spend some time with friends and family.
about the only that makes me feel a little better is knowing that all my friends are here for me and
the fond memories I have of my grandfather.
Take Care
Hugs to everyone

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:58PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)


Our thoughts and prayers are with you!! Please know how very sorry we are for your loss...Please take care, we all hope you find some peace soon. Unfortunately only time heals all...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 2:44PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)

Cool, I think you should plant a rare magnolia to remember your grandfather. The exclusively fragrant Magnolia wilsonii comes to my mind. Every year, when the snow flowers hanging out, you see your grandfather smiling at you.

Image link at

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 8:06PM
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Hi my friends
How are you all doing?
snasxs: Thank you for the link I'm plan on planting some Magnolia's to go along with the gardenias and as soon as
the weather warms up I will plant many sunflowers
of all sizes in the garden..
I do have plans on turning my garden into a huge garden
I will start working on it in about 4 weeks.
I'm still upset with the lost of my grand father.
I feel a little bit better when I'm busy doing something cause it helps me to take my mind off of things.
I have not been able to sleep well since this happen.
Take care

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 3:29AM
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Welcome back Richie,
Welcome back!:-)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 2:00PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Richie, like Mike said...Welcome back and great to see you!! Try and hang in there...I know its very tough :o(

Take care of yourself...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Hi Mike and Puglvr
Thank for the welcome back.
I'm trying to hang in there.
so far I'm starting to feel a little bit better.
today a 5 gardenia flowers open up.
my grandfather loves gardenias.
Take Care
I will be back soon

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 4:57PM
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A sign of good things to come Richie..:-)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:18PM
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Hello All..
Richie, as we discussed, the memory of your grandfather will remain, but day by day, the hurt will lessen.
One day, years from now, you and your mom and grandpa will be together in spirit. We'll all be together, happy, without pain.
Your grandfather doesn't want you to be sad. You said he was like a father, right? Fathers wouldn't want their sons and daughters to spend life unhappy.
Plant Sunflowers and a Magnolia, dedicate them to grandpa. And smile when they're blooming. You said your grandpa loves Sunflowers..sunflowers are happy plants. Yellow flowers mean brightness, happiness and joy.
Plant a garden in his memory, but Richie, your grandpa wouldn't want you to be unhappy.

We've all lost family. Someone we loved, It hurts, bad. But after a time, the sadness fades. We realize our loved ones wouldn't want us to feel blue.
Thankfully you have your mom and girlfriend. We all care about you, too, so think of us as part of your family.

When you're feeling better, let us know how your plants are doing. hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 1:47AM
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Just thinking of ya Richie...

Hope your doing better, and that you have a special plan for a special garden come spring..:-)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:04PM
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Hi my friends
sorry I was late but my pc had to be sent in for repairs.
:-(. but I'm back
Toni: I started the garden work.
so far I been in 30 hours of work in the back garden along first making the garden boxes then filling them with dirt and making sure all the plants fit in them.
I made 4 extar large boxes.
and put in over 150 qts of dirt.
then take the plants out of the container's and plant them in the garden boxes.
this only in my back yard.
not counting the front yard lol.
update almost all my gardenias have had a full bloom this is un real cause I never get this many flowers arount this time of year. must be a good sign.
I'm still upset with my grandfaher passing away but this work I'm doing is helping me to cope with the pain cause I'm doing this for him and knowing that this will make him happy in turn makes me happy.
Hi Mike
I'm starting to feel better.
I got started on the garden in my back yard so far I'm most done. now I need to work on my front yard.
Yikes another 30 hours lol but in the end this will be worth it knowing my grandfather is happy with his gardens I made for him.
Take Care
Thank you everyone for being their for me through these hard times that I'm going through
Hugs to everyone

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:45PM
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Nice Richie, nice..:-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:41PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I'm sure your Granfather would have loved the garden!! That is such a wonderful way to remember him...Happy Growing!!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:33PM
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Richie, how in the world did you haul all that soil?
It would have taken me two seasons to

Have you decided what type of plants you're going to grow?
Living in Fl, you have sooo many options, sweet-smelling, flowering, etc.
What type of soil did you use? Acidic? Standard? I've heard Fl's soil is sandy, but I don't know if that's true for all it?
When you guys and gals in Fl grow plants like Gardenias, does soil need amending? If so, what type of soil/mediums do you use?

Because winter is sooo depressing, I went to Almost Eden and bought a bunch of new sweet-smelling plants.
Here's what I'll be getting..if anyone knows what they are or their care, plese chime in..I'll need instructions.

Magnificant Brunfelsia Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow.
Daisy Gardenia
India Carnation
August Beauty Gardenia
Mystery GArdenia
Variegated Gardenia
Vietchii Gardenia

I have absolutely No idea where they're going to go
I can switch plants around, but then the switched plants will need a place.
In the back plant room are two, huge Ming and Fox Tail Ferns..both need repotting..they are my fav ferns in the sphrengi, sp, family...They were babies when I got them, now huge..they'd look great in a garden, but not hardy here. What to do?

Richie, I agree with Pug..your grandpa would have loved the garden. Perhaps you can plant a section of his favorte plants?
I hope you're feeling better, Richie. How's your mom doing? toni

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 5:08PM
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Hello my friends.
Toni: I use Acidic for the gardenias.
Standard for the rest of the other plants.
so far I plant gardenias sunflowers jasmin snap dragons
Magnolia's some rue plants my friends got for me.
roses rubber tree plants and all types of basil just to name a few on the long list of plants lol.
I'm done with all garden work as well as home improvements.
phew what a work out. thank god I had my friends and my family who team up with me to do all this work.
they help me with the carrying of the soil and planting of the plants. I painted all of the house inside and outside of the house..update one of my gardenias lost two small branches but on the up side this plant has been in bloom since jan 3 2009. I never seen a gardenia bloom for such a long time but I'm happy :-).
Toni: wow you got a lot of new plants
how are your new plants doing?
do you like the gardenia Mystery?
has it bloom yet?
how are your Ming and Fox Tail Ferns?
yes in fl the soil needs to be amended to make sure your
plants stay in good shape.
in FL you must plant gafted Gardenias to make sure
that they stay strong in the fl soil due to root eating insects would kill them. I will try to get infomtion on the plants that you have. so I can help you with your plants.
Thanks Pug: I agree with you my grandfather would love this garden we build for him.
Take Care

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:35PM
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Richie, I started a post called, 'Richie, where are you?'
Can we continue on the new thread..this one is a tad long, and takes forever to download.

I'll never remember the questions you asked, so I might as well answer

First, how are YOU doing? I hope your're well.
And your mom? G/f?

About my new Gardenias, I'm very upset. I guess the weather did more harm than I thought..I doubt any gardenias will make it..the temps were just too cold.
I dont know if I should notify the owner or not, since he waited a long time before shipping.
All the leaves are frosted, every last one. I dont know what to do. They turned black and crisp. I didn't mention it because I was in denial, hoping I was wrong, but they've pretty much had it.
BTW, the nursery ships wonderful plants, it's not his fault. It's my fault for not asking him to hold them longer.

Sounds like you got a bunch of new plants must be the season, or maybe we can blame it on a full
For us in Il it's the season..tonight rain AND snow! I dont want to see snow until next

Foxtail, Ming, Spreng and Plumosia Ferns are well, but need new, big pots..they are huge. In fact, you know those huge square pots to plant outdoor plants? The pots I'm talking about are orange, square. I might end up potting ferns inside each planter..the problem is I need 4 and they've gone up in cost. If they're 7.00, I can afford it, but if they're over 10.00 I'll have to devise another plan. Dividing!
Variegated Ginger needs a huge pot too..gotta find a place that 'gives away' free

You're lucky you finished family have no interest in gardening, so I don't ask. A lot of digging and planting..sigh..I feel like spraying weed killer, but won't..can't because of the dogs for one. Our little dog would be rolling in
We had to give him an emergency bath a few mins ago..dh took them to the woods, and that little brat found a mud area..of course he came home with 4" of mud on his little body. He ran up to me, telling me he needed a bath which he got. The sink was filthy..he had enough dirt to fill up a plant

Richie, dont forget..I started the thread here on GW looking for you. Please answer on that puter takes too long to dl long threads..thanks, and I know I can speak for others, we're glad you're back..hugs, Toni

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:05PM
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