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gardenia
#88004 February 19th, 2007 at 07:25 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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Yippeee!!! My gadenia is getting lots of buds. It will be blooming like crazy. Last year I did not turn it so only 1 side bloomed. This year it has buds forming on both sides. When I see those sad looking ones ot the stores, I want to buy them but I really don't have room for more than the one I already have as it is quite gigantic. The gardenia was my mom's favorite flower and I think she is watching over it and guiding me to do the right things to keep it growing and blooming. I had tried to grow them before but with NO success. This one is a monster that is 5-6 years old and going strong.How are fellow gardenia lovers doing with their plants?

Re: gardenia
#88005 February 20th, 2007 at 01:56 AM
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I congratulate you. I have tried many times with no success. I had one last me one winter and one summer. The next winter it died.

Did you have alot of humidity around it this winter? I wish I could grow one the fragance is the best!!!!

Re: gardenia
#88006 February 20th, 2007 at 02:01 AM
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That's so great, Deb.
Gardenias are my favorite flower, but I have to buy a new one every year.
Even out where I am, coastal southern California, they're so difficult.
Every time something happens-yellowing leaves (even with iron chelate), dropping buds, you name it.... eek

Re: gardenia
#88007 February 20th, 2007 at 02:03 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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I keep it in front of a South facing slider that is in the kitchen/dinette area. It stays cool at night- thanks to a drafty old house and gets bright indirect light by day. I water it several times a week, but only a gallon or two at a time so it does not have wet feet. I do have to spray for white fly. I also have to fertilize it several times a year. In the summer it is out on the deck- south facing. I have to shade it during the afternoon with an umbrella. It gets LOTS of water in the summer. I also prune it back after it blooms to keep it so I can get it back in through the door in the fall. Other than that I don't so anything. Sometimes I think it survived in spite of me. I need to learn how to post pictures so I could show this shrub to you.

Re: gardenia
#88008 February 20th, 2007 at 03:57 PM
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Plus, every time I prune them they croak. eek Duh

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#88009 February 21st, 2007 at 03:03 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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When I got to the point that I realized it needed to be pruned, I called the local florists and asked them if they knew how I should go about it. They couldn't offer any advice. I also talked to the garden experts at the Penn State cooperative extension and again no luck. So I just set about lopping off the branches after they finished blooming and honestly I was prepared for it to die. It survived and the next summer had incredible growth. I think the key is to find a place that it likes to be, which I did by accident, and not pay too much attention to it.

Re: gardenia
#88010 February 21st, 2007 at 09:34 PM
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You mean you pruned off only the branches that had flowers?

Re: gardenia
#88011 February 21st, 2007 at 11:09 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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NO, I'm sorry about that. I pruned the whole thing. If a branch had flowers on it I waited until the flowers were spent before I whacked that branch off, but I also cut off non flowereing branches.

Re: gardenia
#88012 February 23rd, 2007 at 05:54 AM
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Oh.
I used to wonder if some disease attacked through the newly cut ends. Duh

Re: gardenia
#88013 February 23rd, 2007 at 06:39 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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Gee, I never thought of that happening. As I said, no one I asked could give me any info so I struck out on my own. It is probably a good thing I never considered that or it might have held me back. Actually I think the pruning not only keeps it at a somewhat managable size, but I think it might encourage vigorous growth in the summer. It goes through a period of leaf drop when I bring it in because it doesn't get the light it would get outside but once that is over, it settles in for the winter.

Re: gardenia
#88014 February 23rd, 2007 at 07:42 PM
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Do you know the name of your Gardenia? I have heard there are certain ones that are easier to grow inside and outside as we have to do in the lower growing zones. I want to say Maid of New Orleans is the name.

Also, I have read that Jasminum which look and smell like a Gardenia are easier than Gardenias. I am going to do some more research and try again.

I will defintely get a Jasmine because they are suppos to be easy and find the Gardenia that everyone says is more likely to survive my treatment.

Re: gardenia
#88015 February 23rd, 2007 at 08:18 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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This gardenia is one I got at the local supermarket when it was on the clearance rack for $1.99. Hey nothing to lose. I see them at Walmart too. So which ever kind they sell that's what I have. I also have a jasmine and when it blooms, it too, is heavenly. It is so pleasant to sit on the deck when a warm breeze is blowing and the fragrances just waft by. I love flowers and I love the ones that have a fragrance. I don't want roses if they don't smell nice.

Re: gardenia
#88016 February 26th, 2007 at 02:42 AM
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OK you have the magic touch. Maybe I should wait until my grocery store put them on cleareance. I brought 2 that cost me 9.00. They both died. LOL

I am going to keep a look out for some on sale. I am like you I love lots of fragrance in the garden.

Re: gardenia
#88017 February 26th, 2007 at 03:22 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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When I got this gardenia it almlost did not make it through the winter. I had it in front of the slider,but too close to the baseboard heater. It was also on a bed of pebbles for humidity. spring came and I threw it outside thinking it would surely die, but it began to show signs of life and it did quite well with morning shade and part sun in the afternoon. I was prepared for it to die when I brought it in but it made it through the winter. I did make mental notes about where and what it liked and made sure to do the same thing each year. I found the right place quite by accident--I figured it would get the most light in front of the slider, so that's where I put it. Dumb luck!!

Re: gardenia
#88018 March 5th, 2007 at 02:38 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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I have been rewarded with my first bloom. I hope that it means spring is near. The winter may have started out warm, but the low temps now are making up for it.

Re: gardenia
#88019 March 5th, 2007 at 03:41 PM
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At the end of spring last year, my Home Depot had an abundance of gardenias in 6 inch pots, and marked them down from $10 to $4.99. I bought 3, and planted 1 in the ground up front by the mailbox - full sun most of the day, 1 in a 10 inch pot on my front step - full sun til midday, and kept 1 indoors getting full sun through a window for about 2 hours.

All did very well, which surprised me, as I had never been successful with gardenias before. I've overwintered them in a south facing window which gets morning sun until about 11a.m., and they have all been doing pretty well after the intial leaf drop when I brought them inside.

Here is a picture I posted in the chat forum of an indoor bloom this past November.
[Linked Image]

Unfortunately, last week I noticed that one of the plants was COMPLETELY covered in spider mites and webs. Not wanting to trash it, I took the entire plant stand with plants into the shower and blasted those buggers away. Then I sprayed them with a little Ivory soap in water - I have recently read, that when using soap to get rid of bugs, one should use "pure" soap such as Ivory, and I just happened to have some. So far, so good...
[Linked Image]

Re: gardenia
#88020 March 5th, 2007 at 03:43 PM
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And here are some of the buds on the plant that was heavily infested with spider mites - funny how the one that was infested is the one that has many buds!
[Linked Image]

Here is the only bud on the other plant in the stand. It's about to open, and already smells delicious!!!
[Linked Image]

Re: gardenia
#88021 March 5th, 2007 at 04:14 PM
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Looks good Lynne....glad that they seem ok for you now!!

Re: gardenia
#88022 March 5th, 2007 at 04:14 PM
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Lynne, those plants are LOVELY! Duh A gal pal of mine from the garden club gets them on her little Jade plants in her greenhouse all the time, but the ones she gave me have never been bothered by them. Could humidity be a factor?

I think I'll keep my eye out at Walmart & Lowe's for Gardenias! [Linked Image]

Re: gardenia
#88023 March 6th, 2007 at 04:38 PM
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debnoel Offline OP
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Lynne, your gardenia plants look great. Mine is going through a bit of leaf drop and it is blooming. I just fertilized it with an acid fertilizer. So far I have avoided the white fly and the spider mites. Before I brought it in last fall, I sprayed it with an insecticidal soap hoping to avoid the pests. I keep checking and so far so good. I wish I knew how to post a picture so I could show you my plant/shrub. I love the heavenly scent when it blooms. We are going to be moving in a couple of years and already we are thinking about HOW we will move this plant.
Patty S., Yes, buy a clearance one and that way if it dies you won't feel so bad. I went through several full price ones before I got this one. Maybe it was grateful for being saved.


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