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#86470 Jul 10th, 2007 at 05:03 AM
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I have a gardenia bush that I bought in June. It stands about 4 feet tall and has green leaves and flowering. The problem I'm having is that the leaves are turning yellow and when the flower blooms it is also yellow. I'm afraid I'm killing it and I love this plant and it's smell. I did repot it into a bigger container and used the soil that doesn't need to be watered as much. I have used the outdoor hose for watering, because someone said it might be turning yellow because of too much salt. I have also used a fertilizer called mircoacid about every ten days. I was also told that coffee grounds would be good. I live in the Midwest call the Tri-states and right now it's very hot. I put the plant in a shady to sunny spot on my back porch.
1. Will I need to move this plant indoors?
2. Why are the leaves and flowers turning yellow?
3. Can I plant this bush outdoors and will it come back the next year?
4. Help!

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Gardenias like an acid soil, so if your potting soil is too sweet or alkaline, then the plant can't take up iron. Do a Ph test and see if this is the problem. With iron deficiency , the new leaves go yellow but the veins remain green. Is it new or old leaves and are the veins also yellowing?
Fertilising every 10 days might be too excessive. Once a month is probably more appropriate.


The secret is the soil.
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Good points, Longy.
Also, SSharpless, gardenias like humidity. Place a pebble filled saucer under the pot and keep an inch ot two of water in it. The plants love being misted too.
Gardenia flowers turn from cream to yellow as the open flower ages. If it's new flowers that are yellowing, I'd say too much food, as Longy says.
No, it won't live outdoors over winter in your area. It's a tropical, and must be warm and kept misted or saucer-ed indoors. Indoor heat and dry air can kill it too, which is why you want to do the saucer.
If you have any pets, make sure they don't drink the water from the saucer-the water will have plant food in it.


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I, too, have a gardenia that is outside for the summer and inside for the winter. It is quite large and blooms profusely. In the summer it is on the back deck. It gets morning shade and in the afternoon it has an umbrella that keeps it from the direct sun. It likes lots of bright light but not direct sun. I do not mist it but it can get pretty humid here. It is watered deeply every day or two depending on the weather. I keep an insecticidal soap ready just in case the whiteflies attack. In the winter, it sits in front of a south facing slider- it gets lots of bright indirect light. It is on a wheeled platform so it can be turned every couple of days so the buds form evenly around the bush. The year it wasn't turned it only bloomed on one side. I usually give it a good spray before it comes back in to keep whiteflies at bay. It also goes through a period of leaf drop, but rebounds and grows throughout the winter. The room it is in is cooler than the rest of the house,especially at night. It does not get misted, but maybe there is enough humidity in the air of that room. I water it every couple of days. It does not like to have wet roots, so I let dry out between waterings, but not dry enough to make it wilt. It gets the Miracid treatment maybe 6 times a year. Right now it is blooming like crazy and when the blossoms on a branch are spent, I am pruning that branch so it will fit back through the door. Good luck with your gardenia, you just need to find the right place for it and it will reward you with the most fragrant of flowers.


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