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Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Posted by prairiemoon2 zone 6a/MA (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 5:08

It's been awhile since I tried to grow a gardenia and I wouldn't normally choose it for a houseplant because of their difficult and finicky reputation. But I impulsively bought two gardenias for outdoor pots in the spring and just can't bring myself to throw them out. So...in they come for the winter. Wonder how long it will take for me to kill them? (g)

My husband has a houseplant collection at his office that I am considering sending one or both in for him because he has a nice large unobstructed West window with a few plants in it. I could keep one home to give it more personal attention, because my husband is not very experienced with plants, but my West window is partially obstructed by deciduous trees so the light is less.

I wondered if anyone had any tips on how to keep this growing until spring? I don't expect to get it flowering, but I'd like to at least keep it alive to go outside again in the spring. I won't use a humidifier and a pebble tray would be doable at home, but not really at the office. I know they enjoy higher humidity than indoor winter levels and in the past, the long ago past, I successfully kept a gardenia healthy and blooming and misted it for humidity, which I know they don't recommend any more.

So, any ideas, as to potting mix, and care and location to put it, would be really great, thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Gardenias would love a bark based, porous potting mix....fast draining. A little bit of vinegar in the water would be helpful for this acid loving plant....one to two tablespoons per gallon of water.

But the best advice would be to try to find the coldest room in the house with the best light. Gardenias are less miserable, indoors, if kept in a chilly room.

Humidity is important. Pebble trays have very limited impact on the humidity of an indoor room. Plants would benefit if they were enclosed with the tray....like in a mini greenhouse.

Grouping numbers of plants together can help raise the humidity, too. A couple of little fountain bubblers, pebble trays, bowls of water, plus a small fan for circulation and you're set. Place the fan in the far end of the room, set it on low, and let it run all the time. One little fan can create the air currents necessary to move the moisture laden air around the room. Then, close the door on the 'plant room'.

My dear Aunt lives in Ohio, and is an avid plant enthusiast. She is able to enjoy all kinds of plants because she has a small, unheated sun room.

Anyway....a cool room with added humidity will increase your chances with the gardenias.


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

rhizo, thanks for the idea about the bowls of water and the fan, something I can try. A cool room will be a little harder to provide. At home 68 degrees during the day and 63 degrees at night. At my husband's office, I would think they turn the heat low at night and weekends, but it's probably pretty warm there during the day. No unheated sunroom, boy would I love having that!

Thanks!


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

PrairieMoon,

Gardenia, one of my favorite plants, and NO, you're certainly not crazy keeping Gardenias.

Couple questions.

Are your Gardenias bushy or standards? 'Standards have a trunk'
Are they grafted?

Obviously,, there are several Gardenia varieties, but sold as bushes or have a single trunk.

I have one stardard, purchased 1994/5, and two bushy types. The bushy types should be in the compost, but I'm 'trying' to be optimistic. :)

Bushy Gardenia

Another GW member and I purchased bare-root Gardenias from Thailand, winter 2011.
When they arrived they resembled sticks.

This one isn't too bad. Bushy.

Gardenia

I doubt this Gardenia even grows. Bushy

Gardenia from Thailand

Gardenia purchased locally...Standard Tree

Gardenia

Pic taken 9/17/12

Gardenia

PM, I disagree about misting. Unless a plant is budding, flowering, fuzzy leaf, succulent or cactus, I try to spray tropicals and sub-tropicals daily. I used to mist 2-3 times per day.

Why do you not want a humidifer? Not only are they good for plants, but people, too.

I agree with Rhizo's care.

My Gardenia soil consists of, MG, black soil, peat, perlite, pebbles and coarse sand.
Every so often I freshen the top of soil.

It's fertilized with Azalea/Rhododendron fertilizer that lasts 3-months but I add about every 2-months.
It gets SuperThrive once a month, vinegar, 2-3 times per year, and Iron once a year.

During winter, it sits in the front plant room..The room is cool day and night..There's nothing I can do about warming it up during the day short of adding a heater..However, heaters dry out the air, unless electric, but then the electric bill is sky high. lol

Windows face west and some south. At night, I turn on artificial light above a shelf, so Gardenia gets very little fake light.

During winter, Gardenia is misted with a drop of dish soap and water..
Dry, stuffy air can attract spider mites. Ask people on GW's Fragrant Forum...Misting and/or showering helps!

Also during winter, I allow soil to dry so soil looks/feels crumbly. Summer, when days are sunny and hot, it gets 1-2 gallons of water per week.

Gardenia is one of the first plants to go outside in spring, and the last to come in. The coldest temps it's sat ouside would be in the low 40's.

Happen to have pics of your Gardenias?

BTW, if your Gardenias, or any plant is wrapped in decorative, aluminum foil, remove ASAP. Toni


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

No one mentioned SPIDER MITES..lol

Watch for these critters...Because all your hard work can be taken down with days if you don't catch the first sign of them....This plant IS a spider mite magnet...

So get your magnifying glass and a good insecticide spray, and stay at the ready for the battle..You can beat them if you expect them in advance...

Mike


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

No one mentioned SPIDER MITES..lol

Watch for these critters...Because all your hard work can be taken down with days if you don't catch the first sign of them....This plant IS a spider mite magnet...

So get your magnifying glass and a good insecticide spray, and stay at the ready for the battle..You can beat them if you expect them in advance...

Mike


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Toni, these gardenias were braided standards. Have no idea if they were grafted. I could take a photo later to post.

I was actually going to try to find a ‘hardy’ gardenia to try outside, but I was having a hard time finding one. I have a friend who is in one 1/2 a zone warmer who has had success with that. Then I ran into these blooming standards and bought those instead.

The reason I don’t want a humidifier is I don’t want something else to care for. I have concerns about keeping it healthy and avoiding bacteria growth in the humidifier and having to monitor that and keep it clean. And most of my plants are in the DR where my West window is, which opens into the kitchen, and the LR and is a large open space. I don’t have a dedicated plant room that I could close the door on.

Toni, you certainly are a detail minded person and I’m sure that helps in caring for houseplants. I bet you keep great records too. Either that or you have a fantastic memory! All these details will help me a lot. :-)

Sounds like there are a few things I can try to do to help these plants out over the winter. My husband would like to try them at his office, so they are going in next week. That could work for the humidity aspect, where he can add some water and a small fan and close his door. I am going to make up a spray bottle of the insecticidal soap recipe and get ready with the magnifying glass, too, Mike.

Thanks!


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Good Afternoon,

Mike, now how did I know you'd chime in? lol.

PM, Mike has Gardenias and other tropicals most people kill. You must see his plants.

Yeah Mike, you're right about mites, but spraying with soapy water, and a few other organic ingredients should prevent mites from moving in. As you know. Right?

PM,

Aw, great..Standard braids are perfect.

If your Gardenia/s is/are grafted, you'll see a lump with line nearest the soil line. Unless there's excess soil, covering the graft line.
Some grafts can be higher on trunk.
Not to worry. As long as your trees are standards.

Darn, wish I could recall the online nursery that sells hardy Gardenias..You can always Google...Check your zone and compare to the zone chart on online nursery sites.

There was only one, hardy Gardenia for purchase online, but there may be more now.

It read Gardenia trees were hardy from z5B and up. We're z5A, or used to be..zones were changed/increased a while back. We're now considered z5B.
If this coming winter is as cold as last winter, 'I have a feeling it will be,' they better go back to the original zones.

PM, gardens differ in temp. Some areas are warmer than others. But, you'd need a thermometer to test. ")

Stake thermometers are best for testing soil temp.

PM, I'd say most here don't have rooms with doors..I surely don't. lol.

There's all types of humidifers on the market. Filter and filter-less.
There are products sold to kill bacteria. Household products can be used, too. I think vinegar might work, but would have to check.

I can't live w/o a humidifer..have trouble breathing when air is too dry. My hair frizzles and skin feels like sand-paper.

Heck, when dh is at work, I boil water until windows are nice and steamy. lol. Sometimes for hours.

What type of heating system do you have? Vents, radiators, etc?
Wish we had steam heat..air is a lot moisture.

Me detailed? lol.

Actually, for years I've kept plant journals. I jot down, name, date and where plant was purchased.

The last couple weeks I've been going through old plant journals, numerically, writing info in a notebook, then typing correct dates, etc on Flickr, where my photos are stored.

As far as memory is concerned, I'd be lost. lol.

Ever hear of Birds & Blooms magazine? B&B sends a daily planner once a year. Journals have enough writing space to add plant info, including dates plants were fertilized, pruned, sowed from seed etc, and a diary section.
B&B provides pictures and wildlife, native plants. per week. I love these journals. ")

It'll be an experience growing your trees at home and at your dh's office. That's nice.

I wish you the best...Toni


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Sorry, Toni, just noticed there was another response here.

So Mike grows gardenias? Would love to see a photo of yours, Mike. :-)

A preventative maintenance schedule with the plants I would think is a little more important with something like a gardenia.

Toni, glad the standard braids are preferred.

I’m going to look for a hardy gardenia again next spring.

I like your idea of boiling water on the stove. I think my Mother used to do that, I’d forgotten that. :-)

We actually have steam heat, so that is pretty good.

Yes, I used to read Birds & Blooms magazine. I haven’t seen it in awhile. Glad to know it is still going.

I keep a journal too, but I keep a computer journal with an Excel spreadsheet. I love it. See photo below of an example. I use one spreadsheet for a daily journal that is simply dated one column for every day I enter something or with a title describing content. I can drag photos of plants into it which is very helpful. I keep lists of plants I want and what I purchase. The best part about a spreadsheet is you can use the search function to find what you are looking for fairly easily. I also have another spreadsheet that is an inventory of plants I have.

Thanks, Toni!


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

And this would be how I set up my plant inventory....


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Dear Prairiemoon and everyone in the House Plants Forum,

I've been a lurking student here since January and never had to chime in because answers to my many questions are always somewhere in the archives.

But just this once, I will commiserate: I have a pot of gardenia too. Being tropical, I have problems overwintering myself and I am gearing up for months of aggravation dealing with this diva in the house, competing with me for warmth and humidity. I am prepared to throw it out, I dare it to throw a tantrum! I actually already did that and not-so-gently plopped it into the ground this summer, whenceupon it started to thrive after being thoroughly ignored. I decided, as it got colder, I will yank it from the ground and shove it back into a pot. These verbs are not exaggerations---i really did just yank it out and really did shove it in. I figured, if it survived that, I will bring it into the house.

It flowered. Argh. Twice!

Thanks for such wealth of details, Hopefulauthor. I will leave the plant out a bit longer, dimly hoping it will die so I don't have to take it in. Which, of course, it wont. So I will have to take it in.

I don't know of you already found this post in that infamous thread (Suicidal Gardenia) but it's perversely inspiring.

"Posted by: ROBERT HUGGINS - 10 ) on Thu, Aug 12, 99 at 14:51 DEAR JOAN, ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD SPEND THAT MUCH TIME AND EFFORT FOR A SIMPLE PLANT!MY FRIENDS RECOMMENDED THAT I TAKE UP GARDENING TO RELAX AND ENJOY NATURE.OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS I BOUGHT EIGHT BEAUTIFUL AND FRAGANT GARDENIAS,MYSTERY,FIRST LOVE AND ETC AND AFTER SIX YEARS THESE SIMPLE PLANTS HAS TAUGHT ME HOW TO RELAX.AFTER SIX YEARS I TAKE FOUR VALUIM AND A HALF A GALLON OF SCOTCH AND STAGGER OUT FOR MY NEXT TRY TO KEEP MY ONE PLANT ALIVE.AFTER 3000 HRS ON THE INTERNET,GARDENING BOOKS AND HELP FROM THREE HUNDRED PROFESSIONAL GROWERS AND FOUR GARDENING CDS.HERE WHAT I HAVE LEARN. THEY LIKE WATER BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE SEMI DRY.THEY LOVED SUN BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN THE SHADE.YOU FEED THEM OFTEN.DISCRIBED AS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN TWO DAYS AND TWO YEARS ONLY ON SUNDAYS WITH A BLUE MOON RISING.THEY LOVED NORTHERN EXPOSURE IF YOU HAVE THEM ON THE SOUTHERN.THEY LOVE ACID AND IRON UNLESS YOU GIVE IT TO THEM.THEY LOVE TO GROW SPIDER MITES,WHICH YOU CANT SEE,AND APHIDS. I HAVE FOUND IF YOU BUY OLDER PLANTS THEY TAKE LONGER TO DIE.MY FRIEND SUGGESTED THAT WHEN ONE OF THE SIMPLE PLANTS WASNT DOING WELL TO MOVE TO THE NORTHERN SUN WHICH A LOT.IT DIED QUICKER.WELL I HAVE TO GO NOW MY FRIENDS IN THE WHITE JACKETS ARE COMING TO PULL ME AWAY FROM MY BELOVED GARDENIA. ITS OKAY I HEAR THEY HAVE A SALE ON GARDENIA IN THE NOVELTY SHOP."

Thanks for reading,

Pagan

P.S. Wow, that's some journal.


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Back button double-post!

This post was edited by fakechuchi on Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 9:51


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

fakechurchi, yes, I did read that thread the 'Suicidal Gardenia' ...lol. A very funny thread! I hadn't realized until I read that, just how many people had trouble with Gardenias and that it wasn't just me.

I have had the attitude of 'okay, I'm resigned to make the effort and fail', but I like your attitude much better.....

"I dare it to throw a tantrum!"

LOL

My gardenias are still outside too and the temps are getting down in the 40s tonight, they're all cleaned up in our unheated garage waiting to get their final spray before coming in. Deep breath.....

:-)


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Good Morning,

PM....Yes, Mike's tropicals and succulents look like they just arrived from FL or Africa.

Perhaps, he'll post photos.

I'd love seeing a pic of your braided Gardenia. When you have time, can you please post?

So, you're going to seek a hardy Gardenia? Good luck. Check GW's Fragrant Forum. There's a lot of info and pics from members who planted hardy 'denias.

You're lucky you have steam heat. We're stuck with vents. The only heating source worse than vents are space heaters. Talk about dry air!
Do you have radiators? Don't forget to place a container filled with water if you do. Increases humidity, too.
There's all types of tricks fooling Mother Nature..well, indoors anyway. :)

Regarding Birds & Blooms. My mother-in-law used to order the magazines...after she was finished reading, and cutting out recipes, she'd give me the magazines.
But I was referring to their daily planners.

Planners aren't as sophisticated as Excell, lol, but they're easier for me

Here's two pics I snapped last year. I should have taken a few more to display space...Maybe I'll get to it later.

Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms

On the left side, I write day/s I fertilized, SuperThrive and plants in bloom.
On the right side, I jot down names of plants purchased, dates, name of nursery, etc.

But, I like your Excel, too.
When you add a new plant, after typing in name, does type of plant display alphabetically?

A few years ago, I considered dl'ing spreadsheet software, but then thought better. I have a PC, not laptop, so it's easier for me to write in a book..easier to carry. lol.

But I like your spreadsheet, too.

Your first entry...Logee's..you know the rest. I stopped ordering from Logee's long ago. Don't blame yourself.

Your first photo. Do you have a software program with different plant pics/info, or did you manually enter?

Anyway, you're off to a great start.

Plants and info.
I'd have to scroll up, but did you say you're new with plants or Gardenias? :)

Fake, ohh, your verbs are somewhat harsh. Yank! Shove! lol...j/k.

I dare you to dare your gardenia to act up. :)

Sometimes, neglecting works better than too much nurturing. Even with Gardenias.

Did you find the Suicidal thread on GW's Fragrant Forum?
It is funny.
Valium and Scotch..What a combo. :)

Poor guy. He should have stuck with Corn Plants.

Thanks for posting the Suicide thread..

Prarie...40's high or 40's low? Toni


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

I wish I could give you some important, crucial, useful info Like Mike and Toni. I just have had dumb luck. A plant trade with another garden buddy is the reason it landed in my collection. So the most I can offer you is.......sending you my good luck.

I read it needed acidic soil. I have tons of evergreen trees that keeps my hydrangea's blooming blue so I gathered up some of the needles and added them to my potting soil. I do not like to water so keeping it moist was not going to happen without help. In went my baby pamper diaper lined pot to keep the soil moist.

In the winter it is in my bedroom. It is cool 68 through the day and lower at night.

One year it was sitting under a hanging basket of petunias they dropped the seeds in the pot and every summer they come back. It is nice compliment to the Gardenia in the summer blooming pot.

 photo GARDENIA-1.jpg


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Hi Toni,

I didn’t think of looking in the Fragrant forum for experiences with hardy Gardenias I will check that out.

We do have shallow radiators that we put water on top of in the winter. I don’t do it in every room, just the bedroom, but maybe I’ll try that this year. A glass loaf pan fits nicely.

That is a very pretty daily planner! I used to love to get a pretty new planner every year. We have a wall calendar in the kitchen as a substitute, now that I use the computer for planning and garden notes, etc.

I do have a Laptop and use it a lot so it actually is more convenient for me. And it’s much quicker for me to type something up. I also like the fact that I can store years of journals on the computer and can access them in minutes. And with my own spreadsheet, I can format it any way that I need it. If I had a desktop, I am sure it would be a lot less convenient and I might still be using one like yours.

That is another part of Excel that makes my notes more useful, is that you can sort the data in a number of different ways. I can have the list alphabetical, I can sort it by location, or where I purchased it, or any other variable that I want to set it up to accomplish.

The first photo is my actual Garden Journal. It is Excel software that is part of a Microsoft Office Suite for Mac. On a Mac you have a photo storage program and I can export any photo from there to my desktop and then manually drag it from the desktop and drop it anywhere into the document and resize it, frame it…. give it a color border. Most of those are my own photos. Or a photo of a plant from online that I’m interested in buying.

So, what’s the story with Logee’s?

No, not new with plants. I started vegetable gardening 30 years ago. :-) Forty years ago I had only a houseplant collection, but once I had an outside garden, I couldn’t seem to do both. Although every winter recently, I keep making a minor effort to pick it up again. I actually look forward to a rest from gardening in the winter, so I’m half hearted in the effort department, but I think plants indoors in the winter are important. I started renovating our property about 10 years ago, so I’ve had some experience with perennials and shrubs. It is a learning experience. :-)

I think someone on another forum posted a link to that Gardenia thread.

46 degree low expected tonight, but I’m often a few degrees warmer than the local forecast.

How about you Toni? How long have you been gardening indoors?

See photo of gardenia below….

Marquest, pretty and healthy Gardenia! Funny how the petunias reseeded into your pot. (g) Very cute combo. A Pamper in the pot? I have used coffee filters to keep the soil in when the drainage holes are too large, but the pamper is definitely a new one. Thank you for sending along your good luck, I think I’m going to need it. :-)


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Toni..You are so sweet and thank you!!!

Lololo.. Read that thread over a dozen of times for a good laugh and to get over my fear of them...

It's funny, if I watch for flowers, they don't, if I watch for bugs, they don't show up, and with I breath on them, they tell me to get away..What's up with that? So far so good..

I owe you a pic..

Mike


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Second attempt submitting a post.

Marquest,

Wow, you weren't kidding when you said Petunia seeds germinated..Your 'denia plant is filled with beautiful, purple Petunias.

One year, Petunia seeds dropped in my citrus. The seeds germinated in winter, but nowhere as nice as yours. Or filled as yours. Mine had three pink blooms.

Do you add dry or fresh fir needles in your plants?

Where is the Gardenia trunk???

PM,

The Fragrant Forum has a ton of information on hardy and tropical Gardenias.

Some threads are passion-packed...when a member is having problems with their 'denias.

PM, don't get me wrong, I love computers.
Electronics in general..Example, light bulbs. :)
But, I feel our society is too dependant on the net.

As a child we 'walked' to the library. I do admit researching online is much easier than dressing, walking, then sorting through a zillion books to find information on one particular subject.

So, guess I'm a little old-fashioned. lol

I love reading, but refuse to get Kindle. Amazon emails weekly, reminding me this electronic device exists.

My dh makes fun when another email comes in. Especially since I spend so much time online.
Guess I'm a hypocrate...lol

Logee's! In the mid-90's, I ordered from Logee's religiously.
Back then, plants were shipped in 4" pots, well-rooted, and shipping wasn't all that much, though it was higher than other nurseries.

Problem was, I didn't know of other nurseries.
Don't know if Logee's sold my name, but I started getting catalogs from other nurseries.
Two of my favorites were Stokes Tropicals and Mellinger's.

Nowadays, you'd have to get a loan to order from Stoke's, and Mellinger's went out of business, in the early 2000's.

Back to Logee's. In early 2000's, they changed. Plants were shipped in 2"-2.5" pots, barely rooted. Shipping outrageous.

Via one order I bought a citrus. If you ever saw a photo of Logee's citrus, you'd be placing an order. What arrived was a 3" stick.
Oh, crap happens. So, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.
A couple orders later, plants were arriving in awful condition.
I finally phoned.
Customer Service Reps are very nice and helpful. They sent a replacement plant which arrived large, well-rooted.
Why didn't they send a plant that nice in the first place?

After another order or two, I said, heck with this nursery. Their over-priced plants aren't worth it.
I can get the same plant on Ebay or most online stores, for half the price, and much larger in size.

I will admit. I ordered a Thanksgiving Cactus, 'Aspen,' that's impossible to locate.
A seller on Ebay sold Aspen cuttings. He made a small fortune. One buyer paid $94 and change plus shipping.
So, I ordered the TC and a Begonia from Logee's. My bill was over 30.00.

Anyway, that's the Logee's story. lol

You sure are experienced with plants.
Perhaps, one day, you can give me some outdoor garden tips.
Because of back/knee problems, the last two years our garden has been duds. Weeds do fine though. lol.

Well, let's say I've been growing indoor plants at least 25-yrs.
I first got hooked as a child, when we'd go to my aunt's farm in MI.
My MOTHER didn't allow plants indoors, but I managed to sow veggie seeds at 11-yrs.
My first house plants were given to me as gifts when I moved out of the house at 18. They died..too much lovin'.

PM, it's really nice talking to you.

Mike...here you are....

Gardenia's are like the old saying...a watched pot never boils..Mike,, you must stop watching. :)

Oke-e-doke, once your 'denia produces, you owe us a photo or two. Hugs, Toni

PS: PM, please don't take offense regarding Excel. :_


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

I look forward to a photo of your gardenias, Mike. :-)

Toni, oops, guess I should have gotten a better shot of the trunk. The pots were in the driveway and I was trying not to get my son’s car and license plate in the photo with it. (g) My husband is taking them to the office in the morning so not sure I’m going to remember to take one, but I pasted another photo below of the plant next to it, where you can barely see the trunk, at least.

As far as computers go, I guess I am a paradox. I feel the same way you do about most of the technological advances. I don’t even have a cell phone! (g) Don’t belong to Facebook. We did a lot of walking when we were kids and used our bikes. I spent a lot of time in the library, which was one of my favorite places and still have reserved books waiting for me at the library regularly. And Kindle is a dirty word to me, so I do understand where you are coming from. The laptop, though, has helped me tremendously. I would give it up if the world would go back to the 1950s kind of life. :-)

I have ordered once or twice from Logee’s and I can’t disagree, the plants were small and the prices are too high. It’s been a few years since I’ve ordered from them. Many companies coast on their reputation long after it’s justified I suppose. It does still seem to be a popular place for people locally.

Yes, we are getting to that point in the outdoor garden too, my DH is having knee problems and hip problems. It does get to be too much to keep up with, plenty of weeds in our garden this year too. :-)

It’s been really nice talking to you too, Toni.
And no offense about Excel at all!

Don’t be surprised if the next photo is of one very dead Gardenia. :-)

Thanks!


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Marquest,
Wow, you weren't kidding when you said Petunia seeds germinated..Your 'denia plant is filled with beautiful, purple Petunias.

Toni, I thought they were weeds and I kept saying I was going to pull them out all winter. Then when I put my plants out for the summer I never got around to pulling them out. When they started blooming I was surprised.

Now when my petunias bloom I take the flower heads off and put them in my tropical plant pots since I bring them in and water them every now and then through the winter.

Do you add dry or fresh fir needles in your plants?

I have a evergreen tree that sheds needles like a Deciduous tree I have two buckets of them every Fall. Some are green some are brown.

I use them around the roses and Hydrangea and since the gardenia likes acid I mulch it with the needles before I bring it in for the winter.


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RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Morning Everyone,

It was COLD this morning. 49F at 7:A.M.. It's now 71F. Poor plants sitting outside.
I'm afraid to water since night temps drop 20-30 degrees.
Humidity has been high, but not a drop of rain.

PM, I don't blame you for not snapping a photo near your sons license plate. Can't be too cautious.

I'm a little confused. Is your husband taking both Gardenias to work? I thought you'd keep one for the house.

What do you mean, 'don't be suprised if the next photo is a dead Gardenia?'
Your citrus is beautiful. Very compact.

There is one problem, although it might be the light.
Leaves look a tad yellow...Are they, or is it the lighting?

Pictures can be deceiving.

BTW, does the pot have drainage? Drainage is very important.
Gorgeous container.

Guess we're all a little paradoxal. It's hard not to be.

Lol. Cell phones. Because I tend to get lost while driving, my hubby bought me a cell phone 3-yrs ago.
I can dial out, but don't have a clue how to answer if someone should phone.
In 3-yrs, I've made approximately 10 calls.

I'm certain the cell phone company loves me, since they've made a whole 20.00 in 3-yrs. 'I'm being facetious.' lol

I've had a Facebook account several years, but rarely go there.
A good friend moved out of IL; she doesn't have a land line phone..We can talk for hours..her cell phone bill would run in the thousands. So, Facebook is the only way we communicate since she's moved.
I haven't the faintest how FB is used though.
Terms like getting 'poked.' lol. What the heck???

I believe, shopping at Logee's green house differs from ordering online/phone/mail.
Mike sometimes goes to Logee's. He said, their plants are gorgeous.
Walk-in shoppers gets to pick out the plant of their choice. I doubt their green house holds the same plants that are mailed out.

Are the plants purchased at Logee's still living? Were they garden, tropical or succulent plants?

Yep, 20 yrs ago, when I dug up our front lawn, to add perennials and annuals, I had energy.
Nowadays, weeds do better than perennials. lol.
Not really, I did weed a few times this summer, but we got quite a bit of rain, and I'm certain you know how fast weeds grow after a shower..

Wish your hubby good luck with Gardenias, PM. Keep us posted.

Marquest,

Are your weeds evergreen during winter???

Winter = NO energy. I sure understand why you hesitated weeding.

Do you take flower heads off after they fade?

Thanks.

There were three evergreen trees between neighbors' house and ours. Two got diseases, so the neighbor had them cut down.

In autumn, 'years ago,' I, well, removed a bottom stem, and spread needles in a few plants.
Now that there's only 1 tree left, I don't think it's a good idea to cut another stem..however, if needles work when brown, I doubt our neighbor would mind me helping myself. lol. So, in your opinion, do you think brown needles help with acidity???

Marquest, when do you start hauling plants inside? Is it too early?

Toni


 o
RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Hi Toni,

Yes, both Gardenias went to the office with DH. He has only become interested in having plants in his office in the past couple of years and he seemed to be very interested in having them both, so I like to encourage his enthusiasm. :-)
We’ll see how they do.

I’ve basically neglected those Gardenias all summer while they’ve been outdoors. They were full of buds when I got them and they bloomed fine, I watered but not with any frequency. I usually fall down on the job of fertilizing and that may have been a reason for some new leaves growing in a little pale green, not yellow, must be the light. The one that still has flowers on it was in full sun out front and the other one was in 6hrs of sun in the back, and the full sun one does look better.

Yes, they look pretty good to me right now, I just can’t imagine we’ll be able to keep them healthy all winter, but we’ll try.

Yes, both pots have drainage.

I understand about the cell phone, if you don’t use it all the time, you forget how to work it.

That’s great that you’ve gotten some practical use out of Facebook!

So you dug up your front lawn? Wow, that was a lot of work. Yes we got that rain this year too and it’s amazing how quickly weeds are back with a couple of rainy days.

Thanks Toni, I’ll come back and post an update!

:-)


 o
RE: Gardenias, I'm crazy but going to try them.

Marquest,
Are your weeds evergreen during winter???
Winter = NO energy. I sure understand why you hesitated weeding.
Do you take flower heads off after they fade?
No I do not have time to deadhead,

They were just small stems and I did not want to pull them in the house because I knew I would get dirt all over the place.

You seen my patio it so packed with plants I basically forgot about them until they were big and blooming.

So, in your opinion, do you think brown needles help with acidity???
I don't know it is all I have used so I guess it works. I know for sure it is how I changed the Hydrangea to bloom blue.

Marquest, when do you start hauling plants inside? Is it too early?

To early for me. My temps were down in the 40s a couple nights last week but they are back to the 50s at night. I do not bring my plants in until the temps are 30s at night and 50s daytime consistently for a couple of days.

I feel like I should knock on wood but....I have never had a bug problem and I have had houseplants as long as I can remember. I think because I have steam heat and I let the bugs die before I bring my plants into the house.

Most of my plants can live with temps at 30s for a few hours. I have even left them out when we are threatened with frost I just throw sheets over them. I do this because my goal is kill the bugs.


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