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Sweet Olive Update

Posted by moonwolf Z6 Central PA (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 6, 11 at 17:59

Hi everyone,

My SO still has brittle leaves that fall off if you bump it. They're wrinkled and dull colored. I don't know what to do with it. I hate to throw it away.

Brad AKA Moonwolf


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Hello Brad...What have you done since you got it? Any changes? Repot, fertilize? Toni


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Hi Toni,

I did repot it after I got it in the mail (twice actually; I put it in a plastic pot then a day or so later I put it in a clay pot). What I think happened is I let it get too dry. It's been like this for awhile now and it hasn't grown or flowered at all.

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Unless a new plant is potbound to the point roots are growing out of drainage holes and top soil, it's best to let the plant acclimate before repotting or fertilizing.

Your best bet would have been to keep in a plastic container.
To check for life, you can do one of two things. Scrape a little bark off. If the inside is green, your SO is alive. The second way is by pruning stem an inch or two.
Again, if it's green, the plant is alive.

Oh, there's another thing you can try. Gently bend stems. If they're flexible, they're living. If they break, at the minimum, that part or complete stem is dead.
Did you repot because roots filled the pot or another reason?

I remember you posting a pic of your SO. Let's hope it's dormant. SO's aren't the easiest plants to grow indoors.
I bought a SO 5+ yrs ago..a cutting actually. The same thing happened..growth stopped and leaves hardened. Silly me gave up too fast and tossed it, but don't do the same thiing I did.

Have you Googled SO care? There's a lot of great info out there..or try the Fragrant Forum here on GW.


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

It was in a tiny 3 inch pot when I got it and it was rootbound. I repotted it because it looked better in the clay pot plus I was afraid it would stay moist too long in a plastic pot (some of my other houseplants died because of too much moisture in the soil; clay pots as I read it allow the soil and roots to breathe). I scraped the bark on it and it's brown :(. I did research about sweet olives before buying one and I didn't find anything on them being difficult. RIP Kakyuu.

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Brad..that's terrible.
Was the clay pot new? If so, it should have been soaked before use.

Brad, it's not the soil's fault..lol..Adding Perlite and/or gritty sand lightens heavy soil, but soil should be tested before watering.
Even by sticking your finger inside the dirt. If your finger comes out clean and dry, it's time for a drink, if your finger comes out wet, muddy, wait a few days then retest.

I too used packaged soil, but add Perlite and bark. Water flows easy enough.
I also underpot, this way there's very little chance of rot due to over=watering.


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

The pot was new (they were on sale at Wal-Mart for a dollar each). I also repotted some of my hoyas into them. They're doing fine. At least I got to smell the flowers!

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

What size are the clay pots? Your Hoyas should do well in clay..they grow similar to succulents, so the soil should dry fairly well w/o worrying about overwatering.


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Sorry to hear about your OF. I keep mine in a container but don't try growing it as a houseplant. It goes outside between the frost dates and in an unheated greenhouse or the garage over the winter. It pretty much goes dormant. Mine doesn't behave like an evergreen as it drops almost all it's foliage over the winter. While dormant I water it infrequently, maybe once a month. As soon as the temps start warming up it puts out new growth though I do have some die back at the tips. I've had it for about 4 years and it's still fairly small. Maybe because of what I do during the winter but it blooms almost all season, especially spring and late fall. Only sporadically during the hot months. I wish I was a couple zones warmer and could grow it inground. Not much to look at but what a wonderful fragrance. I'd try it again if you have somewhere to keep it cool but protected from freezing over the winter.


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Karen, how've you been? Long time no talk. How are your plants over-wintering? Especially Brugs and Plumerias.

I believe SO's are basically slow-growers. I bought one 15 or so years ago. It lived about 3 then went kapoop. But during that time, it grew as slow as some cacti.
One thing I remember, its tiny flowers, 'winter' were perfumy sweet.

Come spring I'm going to hunt an SO down. lol. Wonder if they're variegated types. Toni


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Hi Toni. Still here, busy. My little one is finally in kindergarten and my 2 older kids are in high school. Still plant crazy. I've cut way back on the number of plumerias and only have about a dozen. I still have loads of brugs and passifloras and have really become interested in the SA asclepiads the past few years. I guess I still have some of just about everything. I keep telling myself I need to cut back but that never happens. I'm going to So. FL tomorrow and am debating whether I should stop by Gardino's. Well, I know that I shouldn't but...... They do have such wonderful hoyas as well as loads of other interesting plants. I picked up a beautiful grafted pink Pseudobombax ellipticum and quite a few other plants last winter (3 boxes full). I just can't do that again and I know if I go I won't be able to resist.


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Karyn, your two older children are in HS? You're kidding, right? No, don't think you are, but last time we talked they were, well, babies...lol..God, time goes way too fast.

I remember your last, a teeny baby. Now kindergarten!!

Lucky you, going to Fl...ohh, wish I could go. lol.
I'm tired of gloomy days, more snow predicted.

I vote you go to Gardinos..lol..Yes, they have beautiful plants. Know what you should do? Either before leaving or if you have access to a puter in Fl, Google, 'gardinos, codes and coupons.' Don't know if coupons are available at the time, but 15% or more, helps. Print the coupon, and present when you're ready to pay.

Karyn, what's SA stand for?

You and I have been telling each other we need to cut back, how many years now? lol..
You've been to Gardino's before? Is Gardino's a large nursery? Attached gh's? Go, go go..lol..never know what you'll find. There's other nursery's you can visit
How did your 3 boxes filled w/plants handle the drive? You drove right? I doubt you can keep plants on a plane. Or maybe you can. Last time I flew was 2002, and don't plan on anymore flights..

Have a wonderful, safe trip. Enjoy..Toni


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Toni, I think they're 6 inch pots. My hoyas are doing well in them. I tried rooting one in it and only one cutting survived. It's small but living!

Karyn, lucky you! I hope you find something at Gardino's if you do go! I would go in a heartbeat if I could. I got my Hoya shepherdii from them last Feb. (came with a heat pack) and it's grown nicely.

Speaking of Gardino's and SO, they have it for sale. Last I looked they still had it available.

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Brad, where did you buy your SO? Was it AA?
I can't root Hoyas for the life of me.
Please don't tempt me about Gardino's sale. lol. It's too cold to ship plants...and snow is on the way..


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

It's funny I've been buying from Gardino's for years but last winter was the first time I visited in person. They aren't really set up as a retail shop and I assume do most of their business by mail order. They have several greenhouses spread out over a few acres, not quite sure how large the property is. I called and set up a time to visit. Andrea and her husband were wonderful. They spent hours showing me around the greenhouses. They have some incredible plants, many I'd never heard of. They actually gave me very good prices. Many of the plants that I bought weren't listed on their website and they gave me a couple freebies as well.

Toni SA is South African. I fly to FL. It takes too long to drive. A plane only takes 2 hours. I box up the plants myself and mail them to my house. DH is home with our older kids. Being in high school they can't miss it without a major hassle. I'd love to be able to leave Kyle home too but he's too young to get himself ready in the morning and his school starts too late for DH to hang around and wait so he comes with me. We'll see what I end up sending home from Puerto Rico in Apr ; )


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Toni, I bought it at Almost Eden Plants back in November. What nursery is AA? I remember how much you and Mike (meyer mike) were praising it when I first posted about it!

Karyn, have fun on your trip! If you do get anything from Gardino's, let us know!

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Sweet Olive Update

Karyn, I've talked to Andrea on the phone, she's very kind and helpful.
One day when you have time, send pics. I'd love to see what you hauled in on your last visit.
What time are you leaving? Bet you're extremely excited.
Again, have a safe, fun trip.

Brad, sorry, I meant to type AE not AA..lol..typo.
I've been ordering from John, AE, for years. He and his wife send large, healthy plants.
Come spring, I'll probably order an SO from AA. I hope he has the extra large variegated Gardenias this summer. They have a few other plants that look interesting.


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