Gardenia bonsai finally thriving - thank you

revelle(z9 / Central CA)November 12, 2009

I just wanted to give thanks to this forum for helping me cope with and save (?) my office's gardenia bonsai.

It was given to my boss as a gift and was beautiful out of the box. A big plant - close to 2' across. Thick, full foliage, blossoms, the whole nine yards. I was put in charge of keeping it alive, as my boss has a somewhat less-than-green thumb (okay - she can kill anything in the plant kingdom).

I followed the care instructions, and it began to lose leaves. Every day, more leaves yellowed and dropped.

I bought it a humidity/drainage tray. More leaves dropped. I fed it SuperThrive. More leaves dropped. It had pretty decent sun and adequate (every other day) water. I talked to it, cajoled, pleaded and begged it not to die. More leaves dropped. It must have lost more than 80% of its leaves.

Then I found (Google is your friend) posts in the forum talking about how hard gardenia bonsais could be to grow. I was getting depressed. I didn't want to lose this plant - my boss had just lost her husband unexpectedly, and this beauty was a gift from her colleagues. Then I found where one forum poster suggested trying Miracid. I finally found some.

Within a few days, leaves stopped yellowing and falling off. Leaf buds exploded all over the previously balding branches. We rejoiced. Either it has adjusted to its new home, or we found the right combination of feeding (or both). I continue to feed it a very weak Miracid once a week and SuperThrive with every watering.

Please forgive the cameraphone picture. :)

Best regards,


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Nancy, sorry to say most of the growth was the tree getting use to it's surroundings. A decent amount of light and a little water would have been enough. When you move most tropicals or there is a major change in the environment, they react by dropping leaves.
Superthrive is a product that the jury is still out on. Many of us have used it and not used it with the same result as just normal good care. Of course if you read that big poster of theirs' it will revive dead trees.
Be careful with the Miracid. Any chemical fertilizer, when over-used, will cause root damage after a while.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 11:34PM
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I have pretty much the same problem. Recd this bonsai gardenia for Mother's Day, was beautiful, thick and lush w/lots of green but then it started getting yellow leaves and dropping them. I had noticed when I unwrapped it there were roots above ground so I took a good grade of potting soil and placed over the exposed roots. I also used Thrive in the water. It came w/two packets of small gravel and don't know what to do w/them? My son had it shipped to me and he will visiting next week and I'd like to show him a healthy plant. I NEED HELP

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 5:31PM
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