My Gardenia needs help

sdogwood(9)August 24, 2004

Hello all, my large Gardenia has many yellow leaves. Its in full sun and does get water. Does it need a special food? I give it Miracle Grow. Any Suggestions?

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Anyone have a link to the "Suicidal Gardenia" thread?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 2:36PM
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Nevermind ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Suicidal Gardenia

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 2:43PM
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Suicidal Gardenia is so funny and everyone should read it! Didn't any tips for my plant but I'm in a better mood. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 5:19PM
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lisa455(z9 LA)

Gardenias sometimes drop their leaves, but could also be a nitrogen deficiency or chlorosis. Nitrogen deficiency the leaves yellow from the tip toward stem and from bottom upwards. If it is chlorosis newer leaves are yellow or the leaves are yellow but the veins turn dark green. I have both problems at various times. I use ironite or fertilizer for acid loving plants. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 10:02PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

The plant needs acid, probably. I read a "memoir" that a man wrote about his two sisters' duties when they were growing up. It entailed emptying the chamber pots. He said that the area where they rinsed out the chamber pots had a gardenia bush growing and that it was the greenest plant with the largest gardenias he had ever seen before or since. He attributed it to the uric acid in the chamber pots' rinse water.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 10:24PM
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oldblush(8a, MS)

Could also be an iron deficiency. My mother in southern Alabama always had a real pretty gardenia and she never did anything to it. The one at the old home site is still there. I've tried on three occasions to get a gardenia established but this spring I dug up the last one and planted a rose, I gave up.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 6:45AM
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nanadeb1(z9 S.LA)

I would love to offer positive advice, but had killed 6 in the last two years, so I don't think you want me to give you any pointers!!

Good LUCK....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 3:30PM
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Vergoro yard works well for me,not the kind with weed killer though,I use it 3 or 4 times a year.IT has high Phospherous and some other things that seem to be good for gardenias.But I have heavy clay soil.I would not worry about yellowing to much it's the black that you need worry about.I think I misspelled some thing butyou know what I mean.mayby this will help I hope so Good luck Jim

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 9:37PM
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elishagt(z9 LA)

I have had the same problem. I planted 7 gardenias, and out of those only 3 are really thriving. They are such picky plants and I have done TONS of research on the problem. I discovered that the ones planted near the sidewalk don't do well because something about the cement/limestone "leaches" into the soil and raises the pH (which the gardenias hate). They have to have acidic soil in order to absorb the iron that they need. Every two weeks I treat them with soil acidifier and I spray their leaves with water soluble iron. I even bought a pH meter to monitor the soil.

Of course the ones that are doing well are plagued with whiteflies that I have to spray for and remove the sooty mold.

Whatever fertilizer you use, make sure that it has sulfur in it to help acidify the soil.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 12:43PM
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I am a professional horticulturist and an avid gardener with eight gardenia bushes in my garden, and a three year old gardenia houseplant as well. Gardenias are very difficult. I hope my advice here helps with both house plant and garden gardenias. Gardenias like lots of water. For an indoor plant it is happiest sitting in some water, not deep enough to drown the roots but enough to constantly wick water up abundantly, about a half inch to an inch in the tray does fine. The other big need is for acid soil, very acid. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) provides sulfur which acidifies the soil, but too much of this can be very bad as the Magnesium, a necessary trace element for all plants, is a heavy metal and too much can become toxic to the plant. Best is to plant the gardenia in at least half peat moss mixed with the soil. The peat moss both helps hold water and is itself very acidic, with a pH of about 3. An acid fertilizer, the best, is to use cotton seed meal, available from Espoma and in box stores in small bags, and Hollytone for all the various nutrients. Otherwise, to help stop yellowing leaves and bud drop, use a combination of the above and a little Epsom salts, about two tablespoons per outside garden plant over the root zone, once a year,but only a pinch for a house potted plant, and some Ironite or spray on liquid iron, two or three times a year. Another soil acidifier is Aluminum Sulfate which you can sprinkle on the ground over the root zone, but this is a very slow response solution, not quick enough to give satisfaction to yellowing leaves. Do not use vinegar or you may kill your plant. Also remember that with any additives, use just the right amount and no more. More is not better but can become fatal to the plant. For locating you gardenias, provide part shade, especially in the afternoon. Their favorite is high loose shade, or direct morning sun with afternoon shade, or lots of bright light and only part day direct sun. You can plant in full sun if you keep the plants well enough watered and they are otherwise happy (acid and well fed.) For pests I do not recommend the "green" solution of horticultural oil because it may and often does burn the leaves. If you must use the oil, use at half strength rate and apply on a cloudy day. Spray the undersides of the leaves only where the pests suck on the leaves. Oil suffocates the insects by clogging their breathing holes. The oil solution must be repeated often as it works only as a contact on the current batch of bugs and they will quickly repopulate if you miss even a few which is always the case. For a sudden infestation and quick results,I prefer to use Orthene, a systemic insecticide that is absorbed by the plant leaves and lasts a month, and use it once a month in the growing season. Or try watering in the root zone another systemic insecticide commonly available now, Imidicloprid (Merit) for season long protection, but apply it in late winter or very early spring for it to reach the leaves in time to protect them for the season. This chemical requires planning way ahead every year, but is a very green solution, too. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:55AM
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