Gardenia's blooms are yellowing and dropping...

megret7June 4, 2013

Hi all!
I purchased a beautiful gardenia shrub from a farmer's market a couple of weeks ago -- 3 gallon pot. Immediately repotted into a very large (2-1/2 foot diameter) pot to go on the patio. Pot was filled with an organic, tried and true potting soil.

I realized quickly that they don't like full sun -- within 2 days some of the white petals were scorched.
I moved it to the front porch corner, where it only gets a bit of sun in the mornings (about 1-2 hours' worth), then total shade in the afternoon/evening.
The petals aren't burned anymore, but the white blooms are turning lemon yellow and falling off. I have pulled some off to hopefully encourage more blooming, but some are now falling off on their own.

The leaves look spectacular -- green and waxy/shiny, full and no sign of over or under watering. That's what has me so confused. I only water every other day IF soil feels dry.

New buds are forming all over, too -- none have opened yet, but I notice new buds daily.

What would make just the blooms be suffering, not the leaves? They seem to be falling off and suffering from the top down, I might also mention. Right now the only white blooms left on the plant are near the base of the shrub -- and more of those are turning more yellow-ish daily.

Haven't given it fertilizer yet as a gardener friend told me to wait till late June. (Acid-loving plants tend to like Osmocote with the purple lid, so I have heard.)

Any ideas?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how long did you expect the blooms to last..

second ... i would NEVER transplant a plant in bloom ... the first thing the plant will sacrifice due to stress... is the flower ... perhaps next time.. wait until the flower show is over ...

no fert.. until it is full re-established ... with new mdia.. you should not need fert too soon.. unless you are flood watering it ...

you are trying to love this thing to death ... relax..

and keep in mind.. no single flower.. in and of itself.. is long term.. they are ephemeral ... here today.. gone tomorrow... and seldom lasting 2 weeks ...

dont love it to death ...


ps: why not in mother earth???

pps: dont over water it either ....

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 3:54PM
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I put it in a pot because everyone where I live swears by that for long-term success. It will also allow me to put it inside (or a greenhouse) during the couple of months it drops below freezing here at night.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:38PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by megret7 none (My Page) on Tue, Jun 4, 13 at 16:38

Ken is goodhearted, ..., but his words maybe harsh. Here are my experiences:

1. An over-sized pot is dangerous for Gardenia. I like to keep my Gardenia in small pots. It is easy to manage. Of course, it dries up quicker and require daily attention if placed outside. Repeat, daily attention like a servant ... Do not transplant Gardenia during blooming period.

2. Flowers suffer first when the plant is not happy. Each of my Gardenia flower lasts about 1 week in normal temperature. If the plant is unhappy, Gardenia will abandon both flowers and flower buds in large numbers. You will find out the plant is very fragile and could decline very rapidly.

3. When healthy, Gardenia love full sun, except for the hot midday and early afternoon scorching in hot summers.

4. Watering a potted Gardenia is extremely difficult. You must not over water it. Depending on the temperature and the size of leaves, you might try to water on the side of the pot in small quantities. The water should be acid - achieved by adding a diluted half-strength acid plant fertilizer. This is especially the case for new comers. If your Gardenia is established and growing big, and the temperature is hot, then you can water heavily.

5. When healthy, Gardenia needs a lot of water, and grows very fast into a fat shrub. The leaves, shiny like the surface of a mirror, glow green vigor and the waxy flowers radiate brilliant perfume. It is elegance and richness combined. No wonder so many people love it. I love them too.

This post was edited by jujujojo on Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 12:52

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:47PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I have a gardenia in a pot that is outside in spring, summer, and fall and inside in a sunny window (floor to ceiling glass) for the winter. I find it is very easy. It is large now- have had it since it was about 10" tall. The blooms always yellow as they fade, so don't worry. Also, don't expect flowers in the summer. It needs temps at or lower than 60 degrees F. to set buds. We keep our heat low and turn it down to 55 degrees F at night in winter. With that, I get lots of flowers during the winter and the fragrance is divine. Our cool spring was wonderful and I have lots of buds now when I normally don't. I water when it is dry (usually once a week, but sometimes I forget) and water until it runs out the bottom. I use tepid tap water.

Relax. I bet it will be fine.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 7:32PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by cyn427 z7aN. VA (My Page) on Sun, Jun 9, 13 at 19:32

Yes, Gardenia is easy in Virginia, especially during the hot outdoor summers. Have you tried Gardenia in Wisconsin for example ... oh well ... =)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:56AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

The OP is zone 8 if I am reading her name correctly. I did not think we were discussing Wisconsin winters or summers for that matter, although those are really quite lovely (I was born north of Green Bay, btw). Also, I have to bring mine in in the winter. Gardenias don't love our hot summers actually.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 10:37PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by cyn427 z7aN. VA (My Page) on Tue, Jun 11, 13 at 22:37

Yes, I know. But north of Green Bay is beautiful and humid, no? The water in most of flat Wisconsin is chemical softened with salt. The soil contains many microorganisms that Gardenia do not thrive on.

One thing I disagree with you, Gardenia likes heat, Please put it in some shade when the sun is burning.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 6:54PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"The water in most of flat Wisconsin is chemical softened with salt."

First off, Wisconsin is not flat. In fact, it has quite the rolling hills.
As for salt softened water, many cities use lime in the softening, a large portion of the population gets their water from Lake Michigan which doesn't need to be softened and the rest depend on which aquifer they they tap into.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:35PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Just to be clear, jujujojo copied that bit saying "posted by cyn427" Before she inserted his/her comments. The comments are his/hers. Next time, please use quotation marks, the term in re:, or use italics to indicate you have pasted something into your post jujujojo.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:53PM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Good discussion. Gardenia is a somewhat tricky plant but the mystique associated with them is often overemphasized. They can definitely deal with full sun (as mine do), but I think they prefer morning sun only. I don't think they particularly enjoy 100 degree heat and sun in the dog days of summer, but not much does.

I think the acidic requirement is overstated as well -- yes they can uptake nutrients better in acidic soil, but I have gotten massive blooms with soil pH at or near 6.0. I don't mess with them unless they don't look happy.

I think I get about three nice "smell" days out of each flower before they decline (yes, I smell mine almost daily when they are in bloom).

I have noticed that my outdoor blooms are not nearly as fragrant as the blooms in greenhouses and even on my indoor plants. No explanation for why yet, but I am interested in any you might have.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:06AM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by tsugajunkie z5 SE WI (My Page) on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 17:35

"First off, Wisconsin is not flat. In fact, it has quite the rolling hills. "

I am fact based. Please list all mountain ranges in the flat state of Wisconsin. Thank you =)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Megret, do you have somewhere in the ground for your Gardenia? This one in full sun until very late afternoon often blooms when the temps are below freezing at night, there are usually a few blooms around the end of the year. This pic is from 6/3. The flowers start white and turn yellow in about a week, then fall off. There's just a couple flowers left now, this bloom spurt is over.

When it's hot & sunny is when it does most of its' growing. Planning to do some trimming/take some cuttings this weekend.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:53AM
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