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Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Cricket on July 13, 2004 09:53 AM
I have an indoor gardenia that was being eaten alive by spider mites. In desperation, after trying different remedies, I placed it outside about 6 weeks ago. After losing most of its leaves, it has recovered and has shiny new leaves and even a few buds! I'd like to plant it in the garden but don't know if it will survive zone 8 rainy winters (Vancouver Island). If it can, what would be the best exposure to plant it in? Thanks in advance for your help!

by njoynit on July 13, 2004 05:05 PM
I have mine growing outside& we do get a bit a rain in our SE TX winters and mine does fine.mine is a huge mass of gardenia about 5 ft tall 6 ft wide now(It was taller but cut& trimmed to clean her up a bit& rooted all my cuttings for more plants)I know are some caniadians here who may know your weather better than me.I just here canada and get chills.LOL I don't get snow.

They will root in water.I pull all leaves off but 2 or 3 tip ones and when get a good bit of root I pot them up& the new leaves come in.I use safers insecacidal soap,but don't have many plant buggys visit me much.
you don't know which gardenia you got do you?

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!
by sachis2112 on July 15, 2004 09:25 AM
Many are finicky. I think what kind will make a big difference.

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by Cricket on July 15, 2004 10:47 PM
I'm unsure what kind it is. I thought perhaps planting it on the west side of the house under an overhang for protection.
by sachis2112 on July 17, 2004 08:44 AM
As a general rule(s) of thumb, consider the following.

-Slightly acidic soil. Many people use rose fertilizer or muracid(?). I gathered a bunch of pine needles off my tree and mixed 'em in with my soil.
-Most do best in morning sun versus afternoon/evening. My neighbor has one on the east side of his house that went bonkers with blooms. Mine is on the west side of the house but it only gets about the last 4-5 hours of sunlight, bright and indirect light the rest of the day. We live in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles so we get REALLY intense sun in the afternoon. I believe they are tropical natives so you should be fine in Vancouver in full sun or light shade.
-Moisture!!! They like a lot of water but they don't like their feet wet. Let me translate that for you. I have mine in a pot. I drench the soil but I have good drainage sooo... it likes a lot of water but it would kill it if I had it sitting in a saucer full of water.
-Be VERY careful about insecticides. I have a bottle of insecticidal soap which states very specifically not to use it on gardenias
-I did a quick search on the web and found that gardenias are reported to grow fine in zone 8a and 8b.

Hope this has been helpful!

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by Cricket on July 19, 2004 12:14 AM
Thank you, Sachi, that is helpful information. I'll give it a worst, I can always repot it if it isn't doing well in the ground. It currently has new buds (surprises me at this time of year) so might wait until it is finished blooming to replant. Thanks again for your help.
by Cricket on July 19, 2004 12:16 AM
Thank you too, Njoynit!
by sachis2112 on July 21, 2004 09:24 AM
You're very welcome. Hope it does well for you. By the way, I've been told that yellow leaves (particularly with green veins) means an iron deficiency. I don't know if that means they are predisposed to this problem but I thought I'd mention it.

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by Cricket on July 26, 2004 06:41 AM
Thank you for all your advice. An update... by gardenia that I thought was a "gonner" bloomed today! It must be enjoying the sunshine, fresh air and TLC.
by Will Creed on July 28, 2004 03:32 AM

Your Gardenia might not make it through your Zone 8 winters. Gardenias are listed as Zones 9-11. Consider keeping it outside in a pot and then bring it into a more protected place on the coldest winter days and nights.

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