Clippings by peterk312

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RE: Oh Gardenia...you know the problem! (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: meyermike_1micha on 09.27.2012 at 06:57 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Ok..Let me see if I can help you too here since I can honestly say I never have any issues with mine unless 'I' make a mistake.

South facing window? Very good!
Stop the hydrogen peroxide. There is no need for it if your mix was made correctly. Remember. TOO much air to the roots is not good either.
Use vinegar instead at 1 tablespoon per gallon of water to unlock the nutrients in your mix if for some reason you are using a high pH solution, that being your tap water.

Did you somehow let your tree overly dry out at least ONCE? Yes, it only takes once on gardenia for fine roots to rot if you have waited until it wilted. But many will survive the first round. It can take a while to recoop while it can looses many leaves and roots. Forget a second time, you can say farewell to it. I am not kidding. They are one of the only plants I own that can not take wilt, no matter what the books say. I don't believe though that rot is your issue at this point no matter what you think or you would not have such nice white roots at all.

If you are using the gritty mix and not sure of how to water, and yes, after all this time, you need to go back to the wooden dowel method. Don't be afraid to depend on this method for certain plants, I still do.

Your fertilizing method is ok, but right now I would stop all together until the roots start doing their job properly again. Or, until the vinegar treatment corrects your issue.

I would put a layer of pine mulch on top to protect the upper roots as the lower roots tend to dry out slower and teh top faster. That is what I do and it workd wonders. I never have top root death and can hold off longer on watering to give the lower roots a chance to dry out at the same time as the top.

Ruby, I would not be concerned about the bark. The fact that you have bottom roots that look nice and healthy while the top is dry, tells me you are holding more moisture below the surface than on the top. I showed you how to fix that.

Now, as for rot and why I think it's not that?....If you had root rot, your leaves would fall a deep yellow and not look like that. To me, it looks more like your tree is in need of nutrients, a nutrient defficiency, locked up by using a water solution too high in pH. That should be corrected without fertilizer at this point. Just use vinegar and water when you water next time.

Soooooo

1. Don't worry about your mix. It has done fine for you, and should continue to do so for another year or two.
2. Your fertilizer is fine, just hold off until the pH of your mix is corrected.
3. Don't worry about the bark.
4. Get a wooden dowel and use that until you get the your watering practice corrected now that your tree is in-doors.
5. Keep your plant where it is, in good sunlight.
6. Cover the top of your mix with a light layer of pine mulch or just extra bark for added top moisture.
And
7. Relax. If your plant is keeping many leaves, which it seems to me, not all is loss. You might of caught it just in time.

Please keep us updated and excuse the typo's. I had to leave. Good luck:-)

Mike

NOTES:

In ref to gardenia that had dries leaves and someone suspected root rot, but according to the clipping above it was probably not so.
clipped on: 08.21.2013 at 01:11 pm    last updated on: 08.21.2013 at 01:13 pm