Watering needs on my gardenia confusing!

meyermike_1micha(5)December 7, 2008

I am confused about my gardenia's watering needs!! This is wierd. When the soil seems dry I water, then in a couple of days some of the leaves turn yellow. But if I don't water when I think it is dry, the flower buds wilt ok.

But then when I hold off on watering to the point of wilt on the buds, I then carry that thing down to the shower and give it a bath and a good soaking, why is it that it perks right up, I get buds to open, and no leaves turn yellow? It is as if it doesn't like to be watered unless I give it a shower!! LOL

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Sorry, I meant to say ..When I don't water when I think it is still moist the flower buds wilt.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 3:22PM
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MM, seems like you have a tempermental gardenia. I've heard they exist, but never seen one before. Mine usually die after they produce buds, they like to torture me and then kick the watering bucket.

Don't take advice from me, since I am an expert at killing the $#@! plants. I usually just douse mine every week or 2 with a good soak in the sink with nice warm water. I also dump water in the humidity 'tray' I have them in and mist their leaves. For some reason, mine is still alive. I don't know why! :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 8:17PM
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You are way to funny!!!

Ok..For example 5 days ago I watered my gardenia after making sure it was dry to me anyway,and when the buds started to wilt with a watering can so it would get an even good watering feast ok. Within 2 days I noticed yellowing leaves..ok. I figured, oops to much water!!
But no. Yesterday when I noiticed the buds wlting and weak, instead of watering again with can, for fear I would get more yellowing ok, I drag it downstairs into the shower and showered it and soaked the pot too. Within 1 HOUR, and I timed it, all the flowers stiffend up and the whole plants looked so vibrant. I looked today, and not one yellow leaf, and tommorrow it will still have no yellow leaves, and better yet, I have a new flower opening now..What's up with that?
It probably thinks it is outside for the time it sits in my bathtub and gets rained upon. I think it has phsycological problems!! Or maybe it gets excited when I shower with it and likes to perk up then...Oh goodness that doesn't sound to good. Let's just say it likes company when getting a bath!!!Lol
Who will ever be able to read their minds anyways. They are babies that are always crying and yet never satisfied when you show then attention the way they want!!
I am so proud of you all for at least keeping yours alive. As soon as I can put an image of my denia on here, I will... First It will have to take a shower and you will see it in all it's glory!! lol
Take care for now..Mike

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Mike, last week I took 96% of my plants to the sink..I filled both sides of the sink w/water, and a couple drops dish soap..Then set plants in the water until it seeped up to the top..The only plants that worried me were succulents..
It really made a difference. Same when they're brought to sink/shower and hosed. If I had the energy, every plant would be brought upstairs to the shower, sprayed, kept overnight, but that would take a month..it took 7 full days just taking to the sink. lol..Actually there's 3 plants to go..one is my tree Gardenia..the soil was still a tad moist, so I decided to wait, and two cacti my brother brought from Vegas. Tonight I will get to those.
Also, because temps were in the single digits, sigh, I haven't yet watered anything in the green house..After 2 whole wks of single digit temps, it's now near 40F..Amazing! This wkend, the gh will be hosed with the hose attached to the house faucet. Outside water would be icy cold..

So, your 'denia likes shower opposed to regular watering..Hmm, a finicky plant, it is..:)
IMO, it's not that the water is different, but because the entire plant is getting drenched, leaves are 'Super Misted' hence, humidity. Steam builds up, and your denia's in heaven. You know, keeping your Gardenia in the shower overnight won't harm it..Especially if after you shower soil and leaves, then turn on shower aiming at leaves, not soil, or just letting water mist around the plant..Close the door while doing this. If you have a hygrometer, set in the bathroom, watch the needle rise.

If showering keeps it happy, continue doing it..What size is your plant, Mike? How tall, what size pot? What material is pot? Clay, plastic?

My tree gardenia is doing fine, cross my fingers, lol, but I'm worried about the variegated tree and variegated dwarf..never had luck growing variegated denias before..especially during winter..
I got both trees at Almost Eden Plants..both were a good size..if anyone is looking for good sized, fragrant plants, try Almost Eden..His plants are very healthy, good size, and well-packed..he's nice to talk to, also..We spoke on the phone a few times..He helped me choose both GArdenias..

Mercy, so how's your %)^#$% Gardenia doing? lol..For some reason I thought you lived in Fl, thinking, she can grow her denia outdoors..Why all the work keeping potted inside?
Sorry about that..
Keep doing what you're doing and your denia will reward you..Spring is only 3 months away..lol..Do you summer your plants outside? If so, what type of light do you place in?

Do you guys in cold climates fertilize in winter? If so, what do you use? What about ST, Epsom Salts, etc? Toni

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Hi toni!! How are you.
Would you beleive that it was 19 degrees yesterday morning, and this morning it was 63 degrees with winds blowing at 40+, then tommorow it is suppose to be in the 30's with freezing rain and sleet!!
You think my gardenias would like to spend a couple days outside so they will appreciate the fine home I have givin them while the pests jump off the leaves for a pretend spring good ole time? lol
The gardenias I have are in plastic pots and clay.
The one that is flowering right now is in a clay pot in Al's soiless gritty mix
I just got an "August Gardenia" in the mail this am. It is all light green, almost yellow, but I think I can get it looking healthy by months end..I think.. I hope. Every leaf is almost yellow, a washed out green. Any suggestions for greening it up?
Toni, would you feed it and leave it in its original pot? Would you just stick it in a lot of light and do nothing to it, but water it until spring?
Also it is in a one gallon pot, looking kinda rootbound. Would you transplant it, and into what kind of soil since it is still small? Thanks toni!
You are right about showering my deinias. Thay love it more than hand watering. In fact just as you suggested, I do leave them in the tub overnight with the door shut. In fact, I turn on shower to hot, and let it get all steamy in their, then that is where they will stay all night.
I hope you do well with your new ones!! Variegated? They must be beautiful!! I will be posting alot of my fragrant plants under the fragrant post soon ok. Keep your eyes open.
One more thing, I noticed those , almost microscopic white bugs back again even after spraying water and the mix I make, but not that bad. I noticed the new leaves on my denias and citrus looked like they were dehydrating and curling. But not as bad. Will I ever rid of the pest once and for all, or will I just keep them at bay? Do your plants look as shiny and green as mine after you have sprayed the homemade pesticde like mine looks?
Thanks for everything!
Merci, I have a feeling that some denias actually can show compassion for us humanoids, and seems to me that maybe, just maybe you might have a couple in your batch of rebellious children. If they continue to torture you, fight back!! Instead of soaking them in a sink of nice warm water, threaten to stick them in a vat of acid. Maybe you can put some fear in them too..lol
Thanks for your advice, and I really believe that you know what you're talking about, because if you had a nice breed of denias, they would appreciate all the love you show them and actually give you the joy of getting old with them together! :-)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Hey Mike..Wow, I'm shocked hearing the insects returned..You know, if it's not too much trouble, and temps are in the 40's, why not stick your 'denia outside about an hour?
I wish you knew what these bugs are.
Yes, I think sleety icy would show those Gardenias you're not playing around..lol..Well, j/k..if it's 32 w/freezing rain, it may be disasterous, on the other hand, it might not..The cold temps just might rid the bugs..hmm.
My tree denia just finished flowering too. Two flowers, but they're already in fading mode..sigh.

It's ironic about your August Gardenia..a month or so back, I bought one, from a small, online nursery..The few plants sent were small, but worse, the denia is exactly as you're describing.
I removed it from the upstairs bathroom..every leaf is mottled yellow..I checked for insects, especially mites, but couldnt find any, though I didn't try the white sheet of paper, yet.
This is what I'm going to do..Mix Epsom Salt and Iron in a gallon of water. Give a good soaking. Then make a batch of insecticide. Spray..Keep the plant in a cool room. Since every leaf is mottled yellow, I hate doing it, but all will be removed. I can't stand the sight, and they'll never green so there's no reason leaving them on.
Because it was late in the year, and her soil well-draining, I left in the same soil and pot. Don't know if I'll repot or not, but I have to decide before it gets the iron and ES's. No fertilizer..not until I see growth..Although, I have a bottle of slow-release Osmotcote for acidic plants..if I decide to repot, I'll add a little Osmocote. In case it's a nitrogen problem.
The leaves look like they've been attacked by mites, but I'm not 100% sure, so by adding iron, ES's, insecticide and maybe slow release fert, that should cover all areas.
Irom, Magnesium, insects, and nitrogen.

Mike, your gardenia potted in clay and soil-less mix must dry out super fast. How often do you water? Is the Gardenia in a clay pot and soil-less mix, the same Gardenia that prefers showers to hand-watering? If so, I can see why..lol..
Was the clay pot new? If so, did you soak first before potting? Clay pots should be soaked, otherwise they dry way too fast..absorb water to the point roots won't get a drink..

A woman I met on Gw, who lives up east, phoned tonight..she told me about the unusual weather you guys have been having, about your beautiful 60F day..
Weather has been weird..single digits here, then up to 40F. Then 3-4" of snow when temps were near 40..It got cold again, only 23.5F. Who knows what will happen next?

Mike, what will you do with your August Gardenia? Toni

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:11AM
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Hi toni!
What did I do with my gardenia I recieved yesterday..the August Beauty'? I did exactly what you would of done, what you suggested..
I even called the garden place where I got it from to check on the history of care they did on this plant.
They said the reason why it was so yellow is because they water so much there, that the nutrients leeched out of the small rootbound pot it is in, and that it was malnorished. Starving for miracid!!! Can you beleive that. At least they were honest. They said I might be able to green the leaves up, especially the newer growth if there is any. They said they were sure it would do better with me, after hearing my knowledge of plants and that I should give it much light, since it was use to being grown outside in sun. Poor thing. Along trip, malnourished, brought indoors,in a tight pot, I even saw some rotted roots, and it is all yellow!!! We will reserect it together right toni. So I took your advice on this one.
I took it out of its little one gallon extra root bounded pot, washed some old soil off and repotted in Al's soiless mix with a little extra bark and turface so it dries out a little slower. I put it in a clay pot and soaked it first.
I them mixed slow release fertilizer in it, then watered with iron, and "superthrive"...NO epsom salt though because the fertilizer Al made me already has that mixed in my fertilizer with minors too. I just add a little of gypsum to the soil to have the perfect fertilzer combo..
I also gave it a bath, shower, washed off with soap, then sprayed with your bug spray just to cover all basis which I will do for a couple of weeks everyother day.
It will get strong light starting tommorrow and be put in a warm tropical humid room with a ceiling fan to give it fresh air. Let's see what happens..lol
If you can think of anything else I should do, tell me please. You almost forgot to tell me to superthrive!lol. Don't you forget to too...:-)
Thanks for your advice toni. I am not going to feed any liquid or powder fertilizer as you said until spring or when I see new growth emerges, even though that greenhouse said I should with an acid loving plant one asap. I like your advice better!!!;-). You are smart in your growing great plants.
I am taking a picture of it tommorrow, then one in a few weeks and lets see what happens. I will post..The denia that likes to be shower watered instead of by hand, it is in the clay pot in the soiless mix. It seems to dry out every 4-5 days in all the light I keep it in. lol. It just popped a beautiful flower again! I am getting getting strong arms because of that one!
You must be in shape lugging all your upstairs to be showered..LOL
P's....When is it going to be spring again? I miss the warmth! Today it was in the low 30's with freezing rain and heavy rain tonight. My worst weather!
I hope you saw this post. Talk to you soon ok.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:45PM
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jeelli(5/6 CT)

Hi Mike and Toni. I can't tell you how much I learn from reading your exchanges! (Especially Mike, my New England neighbor and fellow Plumeria and citrus grower)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Nice!! Wait till you see somemore pics, once I stop being lazy to post them. Did you get tht huge ice storm we got. Half my state is out of electricity still, and I lost half my trees!!
My favorite weeping willow was completely devastated that I weeped!
What a mess.
I hope you are ok too. If any of us can help eachother in anyway, we are all here to stay!!
Take care neighbor..:-)
How's your plumies doing by the way? Rae they stuck away some where? Ho'ws your citrus too?

Toni, if you don't want to open a can of worms on how you feel about the enviroment and what humans are doing to this earth, then don't go and see.."The day the earth stood still"..Wow,,Lol..In fact you remind me of the alien..LOLOLL

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 1:14AM
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I just wanted to clear something up. Looking at what I wrote, it may sound like what someone has read it to mean.

"Yesterday when I noiticed the buds wlting and weak, instead of watering again with can, for fear I would get more yellowing ok, I drag it downstairs into the shower and showered it and soaked the pot too. Within 1 HOUR I timed it"
I never let a potted gardenia soak in water that long nor any plant. Instead of claiming victory, I might of claimed a life...

Better said is this...Yesterday, when I notice buds limp, I carried it down to the shower and along with showering it, I also wet the clay pot it is in and made sure I soaked the soil well. After this, within an hour of the shower it had, in which I timed, all the buds perked up.
Sorry for any misunderstanding. Someone here thought I actually soaked the whole pot and plant in water or ender water for the whole hour....Sorry

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 6:52AM
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I have always loved Gardenia plants, I do lots of meditation and the aroma of their flowers "for some reason" helps the meditation. Anyway, I just moved back from Florida, and Order 7 Gardenia plants, some of them are the Frost Free, others are the regular ones. I just planted some of them and one just started to have the leaves turn yellow with green lines. And this is the one that that you can neglet. I make sure that the fertilizer and soil are the corect ones..so any help will be appreciated. I once had one for years, and never had a problem, even forgot to water once in a while...I heard that you should not spray the leaves? is this true, or can I also give them a shower once a week? HELP...I do not want to kill them...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:09PM
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campbellms(North MS 7b)

After killing 3 Gardenias... the greatest sin is over-watering

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:36PM
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To begin with:

Where do you live? What kind of mix do you use? What is it comprised of? What do you use for fertilizer? How much sun do they get? How often do you water and how do you know when to? How long does it take for your pots to dry out on cloudy days? On cold days? In the winter?

Trying to understand your cultural habits and the conditions you subject them to is a must to get proper help.

The more detail the better. Then you will get all the help you need:-)


    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:08PM
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mike, you are too good and with your gardenia's, I gave up growing them indoors and pampering them more than kids. I killed few gardenia's saving them indoors during winter. As of last year, I moved to outdoor hardy gardenia's and all of them seem to be doing fine. I have 4 varieties of hardy gardenia's that seem to love zone 7 and 2 of them I started last year that survived harsh snowy winters and came back now shooting several buds. their fragrance is same as any other gardenia. Below is the list of 4 kinds:
gardenia frost proof
gardenia jubilation
gardenia crown prince
gardenia heaven scent

I tend to other tropical fragrant plants indoors that are not this time consuming in taking care of them.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:45PM
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