re-pot in al's gritty mix or wait ??Heatstressed Gardenia! Help!

Alwayzbgrateful(8)August 5, 2011

Ok I'm really new here and dont even know if i'm posting in the right place,if not please let me know.Anyway I have a 3 gallon Aug.Beauty Gardenia in a plastic pot, still in the same pot and soil I bought it in. I've had it now about 3 months and it was doing great!Blooming the entire time I've had it(until now) and beautiful crisp green leaves. Until this crazy texas heat came rolling in, its been over 110f for the past week and a half, and will continue through next week. About three days ago I noticed it was a bit wilted and some of the leaves were going yellow.I didnt think much of it then but this morning @7am when I went out I saw about half of leaves were totally dry and then rest were light green and wilted along with the branches. I checked the soil and it was so HOT I could hardly stand it. I watered it with cool water and took it into the house. I usually have it under an old Pecan tree that allows morning sun and filtered light after about 10am. I know very little about gardening on general, let alone how to care for a gardenia. The only reason I even got this thing was because my 7yr. old daughter fell in love with it at the nursery, so I got her 3!LOL One is in a pot under the same tree doing great still blooming, and the other well......I wanted a gardenia in the ground so I pulled it outta the pot and noticed that there were two plants in there. SO (me in my blissful ignorance) I ripped apart the two that were potted together and planted them both in the ground ,and even those are doing awesome!!! I called the nursery where I bought them an told them what was going on and the man that answered said that Gardenias in texas are only sold as "novelties" he said they are such particular plants and so hard to grow they're not worth the effort,and went on to say I should throw it away and enjoy the others while they're blooming 'cuz I will certainly kill them. When I do they also should be thrown away according to him gardenias in Tx are just annuals. I asked why that part was not mentioned when I paid $30.00 each and was told at purchase they had a warranty, if they died within one year I could get my money back. Regardless of why they died. He was quick to say, that didnt apply to gardenias and hang up on me!I would really enjoy proving him dead wrong,and I know with ur help I can! Please if someone could please offer any help/advise I would really,really,really be grateful!Oh by the way i forgot to mention watering, I only ever watered after the top 3-4 inches or so of top soil felt dry.I'm wanting to repot into Al's gritty mix but I'm afraid to. I'm really unsure about how to even go about doing that.i have done all the sifting and mixing already but still too afraid! LOL Maybe the 5-1-1 mix would be better??

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Hello and welcome here Always?

Over here Gardenias are only considered annuals too, to be thrown away come the fall. They only sell them come the spring and practically give them away in fall.

You can grow anything where you live, and if not better than I could if you use the right mx. I am not sure if that plant already has root rot which it sounds like it to me, but it sounds like you are doing something right already with the others, I would watch them carefully and even pot them in the gritty mix while they have a good head start. I love the gritty mix so much for my gardenia that I don't wait for any special time of the year and they always do very well, especially when repotted while in good health.

As for the other, you will be taking a risk. I would do it no matter what since it is on its way out now and hope for the best.

That is what happens when they are in heavy peaty mixes. They do well and then all of a sudden collapse.

What I would do if in very hot weather like yours if I see the first sign of stress is bring them inside until the hottest part of your temps has passed. Sort of the opposite of what I have to do. I have to bring mine in when the coldest temps move in.

Typically when I but my plants I always switch the right into the gritty or 5.1.1 mix as soon as they come home and they all do well. many wait till spring, but not me.

Please let us know what you do and pay no mind to that guy. I know you can grow healthy gardenia there given the right conditions and most of all the right soil!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:02PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

When I have had a problem with nursery pots over heating, and I can't repot at the time, I dig a hole in the garden and bury the pot. Our temperatures should not be that different from yours, and I have Gardenia in the garden almost 10 years. Our average winter lows are in the mid twenties. Al

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Are you feeding them with a complete fertilizer including all the trace elements? My gardenias sometimes got yellow leaves due to lack of iron. That can happen because it is lacking or it can be due to the pH of your mix/water being too high. I'm not an expert on gardenias, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:08PM
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Thank you mike for your kind words its exactly what I needed(bad day today)Is there a certain procedure for potting into the gritty mix? I have premixed in a large basin,and all I lack right now is the Gypsum.Do I need to soak the mix first or wait ,if so how long? In the meantime I will try to bury the whole pot as Al suggested, Our A.C. blew out today and now its Hotter inside than out if u can believe it. I haven't had much time to read all the threads re:gritty mix or 5-1-1 ,But I have everything I need to make the 5-1-1, should I go ahead and repot in it?Or wait to get the gypum and plant it in gritty? I know i have to bare root the Gardenias before I pot em up, is there a certain way to do so without causing too much damage to the root zone? I have some superthrive on hand should it be used before or after I repot into the mix? A customer of mine works at Texas A&M (horticulture)A while back he suggested I use a "antitranspiration"sp? foliar spray,but I have been rather unsuccessful at finding one,does anyone know of one that works?Thank you for your speedy response, and sorry for all the questions but again this is my first year and I'm still learning A LOL. I feel like a child playing 21 questions LOL.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:21PM
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ohiofem, I was told by nursery where I bought my gardenias,that they had just placed an extended release fertilizer into the soil,and that I should wait till fall to add anymore. But then again these are the same folks who admitted to hating gardenias with a passion, so they probably are just telling me this so I dont add any and I get to watch my denias die a slow horrid death, all the while thinking it was something I did,or didn't do............. By the way I just noticed that all the other 'denias that are still doing really well are called "Jubilation Gardenias a cultivar that will bloom year round given the right conditions" Can the variety have anything to do with hardiness?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:46PM
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If you need to call me for some quick help Always, feel free to.

I will e-mail my personal phone number once you e-mail me. I have been to tired lately to write all you need to know out. I can accomplish much more with a chat lately. No problem:-)) We will make you a pro.

Hope you find many reasons to smile today, starting with here:-))))))))


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:55AM
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Hey mike I've tried to email u several times for whatever reason its not working, maybe you might have better success, my email is please email me as u as u get a chance, I have several questions as u might have noticed.... LOL, Thanx ;)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:04AM
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Hi Always

I will e-mail right now. Let me know if you got it, ok?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Mike, Still no email.....I wonder if the gardenia Gods are plotting against me??LOL So far my gardenia is still holding on, and is even putting out a few new leaves. I havent repotted yet as I'm waiting to speak with a pro, so I dont kill her.Maybe if u try my biz phone #(254)2293147

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 11:50PM
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I called you and no answer. i also e-mailed you and it returned to me.

Sorry I couldn't help Always. I hope it grows well.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:58PM
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old_eagle(7b - North Texas)

Have been unable to find the recipe (neophyte) for Al's gritty mix. Also need recommended variety for North Texas. My aunt, in Dallas, had two outdoor Gardenias for several years and gave away more than 300 blossoms each year. She only covered them with a sheet when it froze.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:42PM
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Here is the recipe (excerpt from the thread below):

*For long term (especially woody) plantings and houseplants, I use a superb soil that is extremely durable and structurally sound. The basic mix is equal parts of pine bark, Turface, and crushed granite.

The gritty mix:

1 part uncomposted screened pine or fir bark (1/8-1/4")
1 part screened Turface
1 part crushed Gran-I-Grit (grower size) or #2 cherrystone
1 Tbsp gypsum per gallon of soil
CRF (if desired)
Source of micro-nutrients or use a fertilizer that contains all essentials

I use 1/8 -1/4 tsp Epsom salts (MgSO4) per gallon of fertilizer solution when I fertilize if the fertilizer does not contain Mg (check your fertilizer - if it is soluble, it is probable it does not contain Ca or Mg. If I am using my currently favored fertilizer (I use it on everything), Dyna-Gro's Foliage-Pro in the 9-3-6 formulation, and I don't use gypsum or Epsom salts in the fertilizer solution.*

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 12:08AM
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I have been reading about the gritty mix and have decided to try a gardenia plant in it .I am new to all this and was wondering on a question.I have managed to get dyna gro 9-3-6 for it in the uk.I went ahead and repotted it as it looked bad so had nothing to loose a while back in the gritty mix .My question is for using fertiliser .My tap water is ph 7.5 and still is after adding f/p . Do I need to lower the water mix so when f/p is added the whole mix comes out with a lower ph? .Or may i just fertilize at ph 7.5 as I am thinking that some nutrients will not be availiable at this level .Am I wrong ?.Sorry for the questions I am new to this and just want to make sure I get it right. Many Thanks for reading :O)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:22AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I would add enough white vinegar or citric acid (from store that sells wine-making supplies) to bring the water I'll be irrigating with (fresh from the tap) down to about 5.2-5.5.

The pH of the soil solution is much more important than the pH of the medium for container culture. Within reason, if you put the nutrients in the soil solution, your plant will access them.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Thank you A1 .So i lower the ph and then I add f/p also ? In the gritty mix how often would I fertilize? everytime I water? Also the gardenia only has a few leaves on each branch and a little yellow in colour as i felt sorry for it at the store .I do hope it works any other information I would need to know would be greatly appreciated .I have had years on throwing away dead sticks and hope to get there finally .Thank you for your reply :O)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:37PM
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oops sorry for the double post :O(

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 1:42PM
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