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Keyword Search Results for:
Gardenia

10 Found

Question: 30-5201
My gardenia is yellowing. I just got it a few months ago. I water it regularly. What could be the problem? Joan, Middletown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Unfortunately, regular watering is not good for plants. I suspect that you are watering too often. Yellowing could also be a lack of iron in the soil mix. When the days do get longer and the plant begins to bloom, it does require more frequent watering. Although gardenias prefer to be moist, you can rot the roots with too much water. I would repot the plant in a two inch larger pot and use a third of coarse sand with the remainder standard potting soil. After the plant has established itself in a east or west window, add a tablespoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer with chelated iron to the surface of the soil.

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Question: 31-5201
Our gardenia has yellow leaves. Will chelated iron stop this? Loren, Massachusetts.

Mort's Answer:
Distilling your water before applying will eliminate the chlorine that usually causes the yellowing. Simply leave a vessel of water in the sun for a few days and the chlorine will filter to the bottom. Fish emulsions and seaweed fertilizers contain chelated elements including iron, magnesium and other trace elements. Some synthetic fertilizers add chelated iron to their formulae. Trace elements are especially helpful with houseplants because the soils are sterile. Houseplant soils do not bacteria to break down elements like the outdoor soils.

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Question: 32-5201
Can I prune my 59 inch gardenia? Lizzie, Aberdeen, MD

Mort's Answer:
Your Cape Jasmine aka Gardenia radicans is practically full grown. G.jasminoides and the large flowered G. jasminoides fortuniana or G. veitchi can grown as a houseplant in large clay pots in the same environment as the ferns. Because of their frequent flowering, they do require a high phosphorus fertilizer and an annual teaspoon full of bonemeal spread on the soil. I would hesitate to do anything different, than you are now doing. If there are random branches that are tangential to the mass, then I would cut the end branches to maintain itıs global natural shape. I would not cut off any large buds. I hate to see flowers wasted for order.

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Question: 403-3410
I have a six inch gardenia that needs transplanting. What is the best way? Inez, Shelter Island, NY

Mort's Answer:
You should replace the six with an eight inch clay pot. Use a mix of two-thirds potting soil and a third coarse sand to fill the pot. Break up the outside roots before adding new mix. Do not fertilize for a month. Place the plant in an east or west window. Fertilize with a high phosphorus fertilizer after the roots are reestablished. A tablespoon of 5-10-10 will suffice for six months.

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Question: 668-5211
My gardenia has lost some of its leaves. I brought it indoors in November. Does it need to be in a new pot? Eleanor, Old Lyme, CT

Mort's Answer:
You may have brought in indoors too late this year. Normally, you would have brought the plant indoors in September. The cold nights may have induced dormancy. I would put the plant into new soil and a two inch larger clay pot. Cut off any black or brown roots and use a soil mix of 2/3 potting soil and 1/3 coarse sand. Cut back the ends of the plant and place the repotted plant in an east or west window. When the plant starts to show new shoots, you can resume fertilizing with a higher middle number like 5-10-5.

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Question: 555-2311
My gift Gardenia is glossy green but the flower buds never opened. What can do to bring the flowers? Bill, North Shore, MA

Mort's Answer:
That was my first question on radio some 31 years ago. You need to apply a teaspoon of bonemeal or 5-10-10 fertilizer to the top of the soil. Greenhouses feed gardenia and most other plants with just enough liquid fertilizer to bring the plants to buds. There is not enough phosphorus in the stems to make them strong enough to hold the weight of the flowers.

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Question: 563-2511
My gardenia is yellowing. I just got it a few months ago. I water it regularly. What could be the problem? Joan, Middletown, RI

Mort's Answer:
Unfortunately, regular watering is not good for plants. I suspect that you are watering too often. Yellowing could also be a lack of iron in the soil mix. When the days do get longer and the plant begins to bloom, it does require more frequent watering. Although gardenias prefer to be moist, you can rot the roots with too much water. I would repot the plant in a two inch larger pot and use a third of coarse sand with the remainder standard potting soil. After the plant has established itself in a east or west window, add a tablespoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer with chelated iron to the surface of the soil.

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Question: 833-4112
Should I bring my potted gardenia indoors? Alberta, Ronceverte, WV

Mort's Answer:
Gardenia needs 5-10-10 granular spoonful a few weeks after translocating in the house. Check for mites, mealybug and scale before taking it indoors. Scale will appear under the leaves as brown helmet. Mealybugs are a cotton like web in the joint between the leaves and stems. Spider mites are almost microscopic and are usually red. Mites are found under the leaves and near a vein. Spray outdoors with malathion outside, if you find these pests. Spray downwind and put a handkerchief over your face. It is one of the least toxic but the foulest smelling chemicals. If you are concerned about using chemicals, try canola oil. Oils lock in insects and they suffocate but oils are not as affective with large infestations.

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Question: 963-2613
My gardenia has a lot of leaves and no flowers. How can I get it to bloom? It is in an eight inch clay pot. I took it outdoors but that has not helped. Lois, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
That was my first question on radio 33 years ago. My advice is the same for DL from Cranston, RI. Liquid fertilizers do not supply enough phosphates to hold buds and produce good sweet scented flowers. Add a teaspoon of bone meal top the top of the soil. Gardenia likes partial shade and clay pots to breathe. Ease off on the liquid fertilizers.

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Question: 1341-316
My gardenia has had but one bud in seven years. It is glossy green and I have fertilized it and it is in a shaded area. How can I get it to flower? I love the scent. Ro, Levin, New Zealand

Mort's Answer:
That was my first question on radio 35 years ago. We often expect any fertilizer to work magic. Liquid fertilizers are too unbalanced with high nitrogen. Nitrogen is great for leaves and lawns. Higher first number formulas are deficient in phosphorus and potassium. Flowering plants need higher middle number fertilizers like 5-10-10 granular. Most soils have phosphorous locked up. Soil amendments like gypsum for alkaline soils and lime for acidic soils help release the phosphates. I would apply 5-10-10 now. A half cup o0n the ground will suffice.

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