Help and Advice for My first gardenia

RandawiiJuly 19, 2013

Hello everyone,

I am new to this so please bare with me :)

I got this beautiful Gardenia as a gift, it was delivered two days ago and since then I was reading online how to care for it and so but I am really overwhelmed and worried. It looks healthy to me, it has few buds and I'm expecting them to bloom soon?

I have few questions and concerns, I really don't want to harm it and need to make sure it won't die in winter.

First thing is, I live in NJ and it is almost a 100 here, I don't have a sunny window, but the brightest part of my apartment is the kitchen so I keep it there most of the day where I don't have an Ac, but I'm sure the temperature is not between 60-70. I will put it on my fire escape from 9 am-1 pm because thats the only time it gets some sunlight.

I am watering it and it is draining the extra water pretty fast.

I already have a list of what to buy for it, an organic soil and an organic fertilizer for acid loving plants, organic soluble water all purpose fertilizer, a bigger size pot for repotting later,also I might get the artificial light and some insecticidal spray.

I pulled it out of the pot to inspect the roots they look healthy to me? I am not sure I will upload a picture, but I feel there is no soil left it is all roots and you can even see them from under its current pot.

I am sorry to make this long post but I really want to make sure I am doing the right thing my questions are:

is it getting enough light like this? Should I buy the artificial light?

if it is too hot in the kitchen should I bring it to my room and use pebbles with water to increase humidity? I have an AC in my room

Should I repot it now or after it is done blooming? And if so should I fertilize it when I repot or just water?

If I don't repot it now should I fertilize it? and how often?

I saw two leaves yellowing today and got nervousI will upload the picture, it is more getting yellow from the middle of the leave not the whole thing and not the tip.

Thanks and I appreciate all the help I can get :)

This post was edited by Randawii on Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 15:27

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here are the roots picture

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 3:11PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

Can you plant this in the ground?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:34PM
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rosiew, no I live in an apartment so I can't :( It has to be in a pot

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:58PM
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search the fragrant plants forum at the link below.
there are many posts from northern gardeners about growing gardenias indoors.
the fire escape location sounds like a good spot to keep it during the summer. heat doesn't bother them but you will want to make sure it doesn't dry completely out in the container.
we grow them in the ground here so i don't know much about growing them in containers and overwintering indoors.
you can make a link to this post on the fragrants forum and you won't have to retype all of your information. good luck with your efforts. they have some of the most fragant flowers of plants i have encountered.

Here is a link that might be useful: fragrant plants forum

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Gardenias like sun. Keep it as much as you can getting some light. My understanding they are not a houseplant so you would want to put it outside like you are doing for those hours of sun, if you can. I would get a larger pot, a size or two larger if you can fit in your apt. Get a very lightweight pot whatever your budget can afford. There are beautiful pots that look like stone etc but are plastic or some sort of polymer. Then I would purchase some potting soil, if you can afford get the one with fertilizer and water holding pellets, the soil should be as lightweight as possible. Usually the fertilizer lasts 4 to 9 months. Read the bag. Before potting, very gently tease out the roots so they will sort of be pointing out into the new pot/soil. Keep the top of the soil at the same level as the soil is now on the plant's stems. All of this will shock the plant a bit so expect some yellow leaves and maybe some wilting. Keep it watered but draining water well. If it looks like it is about to bloom you might want to wait until after the bloom period to do all this. I hope this is helpful.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:36PM
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jeff_al, Thanks a lot for the link it was very helpful, yes I will post this there as well.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:26PM
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louisianagal, thanks for your help, yes I purchased everything including an 8 in container, it is currently in a 6 one so I think 8 will be fine? There are buds but I don't feel it will bloom, today I watered it and I saw few yellow leaves and 2 buds dropped, I was really disappointed , I think it is not getting enough light will grow light help in this case?


    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:30PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Gardenias are acidic. I don't think the fertilizer in the soil is acidic. I prefer to just add a small amount to the top of the soil after planting. You can buy a small bag of acidic fertilizer. Is is usually labeled for azeleas. Wait until after it blooms to repot. It is ready, but it is not pot bound. Such a pretty plant. It will take alot of heat. Surprised the label said to keep it that cold. It is a tropical plant.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Thanks for your advice about repotting, I was thinking the same way but wasn't sure.
I bought an organic soil for acid loving plants, and a fertilizer special for that purpose as well. Today I found some yellow leaves and 3 buds fell, I am watering it whenever I feel the surface is getting dry, usually every other day. But I feel maybe it is because not getting enough light? I ordered a plant light 60 watt will that help it? it is a fussy plant and will defiantly be a challenge keeping it healthy indoors

Thanks and I appreciate all the advices

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Gardenias don't like drying out. You can even keep a bit of water in the saucer under the plant to make sure it stays well watered. No, they are not easy indoors--too dry for them and they get bugs. Mine are outside in pots in full sun, get hosed down daily, and go into a chilly garage over Winter. Indoors they are a pain, the cooler the better over winter btw, but no frost. I have one variety that IS cold hardy here in NJ, 'Frost Proof'. Some plants just want to be outside--this is one of them!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:12PM
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