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RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #57)

posted by: sweetannie4u on 04.16.2008 at 12:01 pm in Southern Gardening Forum

I use Dish soap or TIDE mixed in water to wash my Gardenias. It gets rid of whiteflies and anything else and doesn't hurt the plants. In fact, it conditions the soil. After cleaning them with the soapy water, I rinse the leaves. No more whiteflies for the whole season.

It is too cold here in Oklahoma where I live to grow mine in the ground (I fear), so I grow mine in five-gallon containers or buckets and haul them into my makeshift greenhouse in the late Fall. They are about 4 feet tall. They bloom in May but not profusely. Still I am happy to get the one or two HUGE blooms that last for several weeks and perfume my garden.

I grew them in the ground when I lived in Shreveport. The ones I had there were much smaller, with smaller leaves and flowers, but they were very fragrant. They were planted at the edge of the shade of a large oak tree, so got some sun and some shade. The oaks and pines provided the acid soil they loved.

My soil there was rather on the clay side however, so drainage was a problem. To remedy that I planted the gardenias on mounds just like my azaleas and applied acid soil and then pine straw mulch. They did not like sitting in water. I piled on the pine straw from my trees and used it as mulch everywhere. (I miss my pine straw).

These bigger Gardenias that I have now were dug up in a swamp behind my son's house down in the Houston area. People clean out their gardens and just throw beautiful plants and trimmings back there and these were growing like all get out! So I got two with some of that buff coloured, sandy, loamy soil and brought them back with me wrapped in plastic bags. (I wanted to get that beautiful Palmetto growing back there too but no more room in my car, dang it!). I did have to watch my every step for copperheads and those HUMONGOUS swamp rattlers, yes in deedy! The soil was damp all year round, but not muddy or soggy...more like spongy wet. I think that may be the different in why we are getting conflicting testimonials about gardenias growing in wetter areas than others - it's the soil content that makes the difference!

Mine have yellowing leaves this year for the first time. I have well water and it does have a high alkaline content to it. Never forget that water can quickly change the pH in your soil, making it inhospitable for your plants and quite quickly. Salts, Chlorine, and hard minerals can pollute the soil and so add amendments to condition your soil all through the growing season. For all potted plants, it is good to give them a good flushing once in awhile to flush out the salts that built up in the pot and soil from watering. Run water through them until the water runs out the bottom for several minutes. I do this with all my potted plants every Spring. Then I give them some fresh soil. No need to fertilize them after you give them fresh soil, but you can sprinkle on some time-release type if you like.

I am going to re-pot my gardenias this week before they begin to bud. I will use some fresh, acid-rich potting soil mixed with sandy loam and some oak leaf-mold.

The Soil is the EVERY THING in gardening.
So Amend! Amend! Amend!

~ sweetannie4u


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:41 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:41 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: laydelyn on 05.27.2006 at 12:15 am in Southern Gardening Forum

I was looking for info on yellowing leaves, what a goldmine! Hey, Justdave..I'm in Charlotte, NC too. My gardenia has been in the ground since 1999, every year it has looked just like the photos posted by Shic_2006 (gorgeous!). I am plagued by white fly every year though. Bayer makes a good insecticide that works well. I check it every weekend to make sure it does not need another dose. My sister in law in Atlanta almost lost 6 of her bushes until I showed her the white fly and Bayer, the bushes are back!I must be lucky with location and drainage. Late afternoon filtered sun. I learned quick in this clay to plant more above the ground than to dig deep holes. I've done almost nothing to it except prune it heavily 2 years ago when the branches were long/lanky and hanging over. BUT .. during a recent white fly check, I found one whole stem had yellow leaves, very yellow. A few more scattered around. This happened in the space of a week. I will try the cornmeal thing. Thanks for all the info. Will let y'all know about the cornmeal! Or maybe iron, or epsom salts, there's always coffee grounds ;-)


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:39 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:39 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: Minxie on 12.05.2005 at 10:29 pm in Southern Gardening Forum

I grow mine in raised beds, covered in pine needle mulch and i use the epson Mar, June and sept...morning sun dappled shade after yellow leaves lots of blooms


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:35 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:35 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: bugsmom on 03.12.2005 at 10:30 pm in Southern Gardening Forum

I read somewhere that gardenias like pickle juice, so I always give mine what's left in the jar...


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:29 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:29 am

RE: Help with Gardenia Yellowing Leaves (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: nemosr on 03.11.2005 at 07:00 pm in Southern Gardening Forum

After reading all the above messages, comments and suggestions I just performed the following first aid on my Gardenia with yellow leaves. It also has a few leaves that turn brown at the tips. I first removed the mulch from arround the base of the plant. I than spread 1 1/2 cups of regular yellow corn meal. I than diluted four tablespoons of Liquid Iron and one half cup of Epsom Salt in two gallons of water and sprinkled that over the corn meal. I than replaced the mulch. Next I sprayed the top and bottom of the leaves with a solution of three tablespoons of Ultra Fine and one gallon of water. The only suggestion I haven't done is to spray the leaves with Chleated Iron and I think I'll do that next week. Have I overdone it? Any one with any other thoughts or ideas?


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:28 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:28 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: Dieter2NC on 05.26.2004 at 08:49 am in Southern Gardening Forum

I use 1 tblespoon of Epsum salts (magnesium sulphate) per foot of height on my gardenias each spring. This was reccommended by the extension agent. Not a yellow leaf since.


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:26 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:26 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: Pterostyrax on 05.11.2004 at 11:43 am in Southern Gardening Forum

Gardenias are like armadillos, an armadillos native habitat is dead in the middle of the road, and a gardenias native growth habit is green leaves followed by yellow leaves.

Leaf yellowing is caused by any number of factors that lead to stress. The most common is high soil pH, followed by too much moisture, followed by not enough moisture, followed by looking at them cross-eyed, followed by.........

If you want a perfect gardenia all year round, here is the recipe. Have the soil tested to ensure the pH is below 6. Remove the gardenia from its container and break up the roots if the plant is potbound. Place the plant on the ground. Make a 50-50 of bagged top soil with ground up pine bark. Check the pH of your water. If your water is above 7, add a couple of handfuls of iron sulfate to the soil mix. Now mound up the soil mix to the height of the top of the soil of the gardenia and gently slope the soil mixture out to a radius of about 3'.

Your gardenia may now last for several growing seasons before its leaves yellow, if you are lucky and hold your nose right.


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:26 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:26 am

RE: Help with Gardenia (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: WannaBGardener on 04.30.2004 at 08:51 am in Southern Gardening Forum

This may sound pretty outlandish, but some one wrote to put Corn Meal around the base of your Gardenia. Last spring, after trying everything I could think of, and still had many yellow leaves, I did the corn meal thing. Guess what Not a single yellow leaf since early last fall. And it is loaded with large buds right now. To apply I removed the mulch, and just sprinkled about two cups of dry yellow meal around the plant. (Ours is about 5 feet tall) Did this twice last year, and will give it another two cups after this rain passes, today. P.S. I don't know if the meal did the trick or not, but it made believers of my neighbors. They are adding meal to their yellowing gardenias now. :-) Wanna B.


clipped on: 04.15.2010 at 07:24 am    last updated on: 04.15.2010 at 07:24 am

Sun Coleus

posted by: ralphw on 02.20.2007 at 12:44 am in Carolina Gardening Forum

I was thinking about new plant varieties to try this year and decided to look at what's listed at BB's website. I notice that, for example, they list several dozen varieties of Sun Coleus, but do not have pictures or detailed descriptions. The most comprehensive collection of coleus pictures, descriptions and sources that I have found is available at One of the links I found there is to NC State's own Erv Ervins' pictures of Sun Coleus hybrids at the link below. Hope these pictures brighten your Winter's day and help if you are considering which of these plants to buy when warmer weather finally gets here. If you want still more coleus varieties, then go to, but be warned, it is huge.

Here is a link that might be useful: NC State Pictures of Sun Coleus


clipped on: 02.25.2007 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2007 at 05:27 pm