Pictures of my evil gardenias.

mersiepoo(6)October 30, 2008

Okay, here are some pictures I took a few weeks ago, and the lower ones are ones that I took today. I think I got rid of all the thrips on them. I cut off all the leaves on the one and left the other one alone to see what would happen. I think they are just leading me on, will wait till they get flower buds and then when I think that I'm going to actually GET a bloom to open, they'll start to wither and die!

So I'm taking long do you think these will live? You can bet on one, or both. I bet both will die in oh...I'd say 4 months. That way they will make it most of the winter, and I'll get my hopes up that they will bud..and then CLUNK, they'll keel over. Then I will go INsane-er.

First pictures of the evil plants, about a month ago I think.

One that got trimmed real good (Gary Gardenia, the one who really has it in for me I think)

The new leaves always look so yellow, don't they?

Toying with me, I know they are....

Here are the pictures I took today. They're all inside because its getting cold out.

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Hi Mersie,

I think the one that got trimmed so bad (Gary gardenia?) is going to die indoors in your home. With limited sun during the winter in your home, there's nowhere to go for 'Gary' but down the grave in time for your Halloween celebration... LOL! :)

As for gardenia #2, it looks green and healthy but with the soil mix you are using (is that 80% sand?), I doubt it will survive in the long term. Why don't you use the tried and tested, black, loamy, humus-rich garden soil? You probably have some in your backyard. It should do better than that sand-soil mixture you are using which seems to have more sand than soil. Gardenias don't like waterlogged soils but they don't like loose soils either. Loose soils make root establishment difficult especially for young plants with few roots to anchor to the soil. Try bending your gardenia from the topmost branches. If it doesn't spring back to its original position then your soil mix is too loose and lacking in compactness which is not favorable to good root establishment. (Too compact a soil will clog drainage which is also not good.)

For all my potted plants, I use loamy garden soil mixed with 20-25% rice husk. It makes for good drainage while maintaining correct soil firmness/compactness. The husk also fertilizes the plants gradually as it tends to decompose slowly.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 2:22AM
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I have a question....I know your meaning well for the soil your recomending, but that is according to the growing conditions you have down there with a tropical climate where you don't have tio worry about short days, and winter cold, and having to bring your trees indoors.This kind of soil will never due for those of us that have to grow our plants indoors for all these cold months. We are definately inviting water problems and root rot because it would take forever for our soil to dry out this rich and thick, rice hulls or not.
I feel like if we all listened to your advice and changed our soils over to what your saying, there would be a mass death of all our Gardenia up here in the cold artic circle where there is less than 6 hours of sun by the time December rolls around. Not enough to dry our pots out for sure!
Here's what I can't understand. Why is it that when I go to my local greenhouse, or even my Aunts home, their Gardenias are so beautiful and healthy all the time, not growing in what your saying to use. In fact, the plants I see are growing in peatmoss based material, and some are growing in bark based material with absolutely no compost or garden soil. They only use chemical fertilizers too.
Doesn't this mean that Gardenia can grow beautifully in this type of soil too, that you are dicouraging us from using? Just confused here.
If I lived in Florida, or the Carribean, you bet your boots I would grow in the soil your saying to use, the more worms the better,even cow manure, but I am an unfortunate soul stuck up here close to the North Pole who has to keep my plants in pots and hope the soil I use dries out quickly and doesn't break down quickly to stop air from reaching the root zone for healthy root production,,lol
Wish I could visit your Islands by the way!!:-)
Keep warm
Take care, Mike

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Appearances are deceiving..I had put sand down because it deters fungus gnats. I hadn't put down enough sand because I ran out of it. So far it's just regular miracle gro mix.

As to see if Gary bites it, I'll be interested to see what happens. So far he's put out new leaves. They are in a south facing window, so hopefully they will survive. If I have to I'll put some lights on the buggers.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Hi Mike,

I get your point. However, isn't it that in a typical American home during winter, humidity indoors is very low? From high school physics, I've always learned that low humidity = faster rate of evaporation = faster rate of drying. Wouldn't a fast draining, fast drying, soil-less or other special easy-drying mix do worse than moisture retaining garden soil?

I strongly recommend you try real soil in your indoor conditions. Sometimes you need to try things and sometimes things are not what they seem or are believed to be... especially with plants. If what you've been doing doesn't seem to work, why do it over and over again?

Nurseries are different to American homes. Their humidity, watering and fertilizing schedules are carefully monitored and controlled. Humidity in nurseries is usually maintained around 60% to 70%. Humidity in hour home during winter is probably around 40% or less so why use a fast-draining, fast drying mix?

Anyway, it's really up to you. I am just suggesting you try it out with some of your 'dispensable' plants.

It's really like the case with my euphorbias. All nurseries from where I bought them almost always use exclusively sandy soil on them. However, I've experimented with them extensively and always found out I get healthier euphorbias with better blooms in rich loamy soil than with sandy soil. As a bonus, I don't have to water them as frequent as the nurseries do. It's definitely a simpler and easier life for me.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:23PM
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