• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Who's got luck with gardenias?

 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
O knowledgeable ones,

I've got this gardenia that has been full of flower buds ready to grow and bloom, but... no.

I was told to spray and drench with vinegar water, because gardenias love it acidic.
Also, I have these leaf cutters (red ants) constantly climbing on it at night and removing tons of bits of leaves every time.
Is there any companion for my gardenia that would keep the environment nice and acidic and the leaf cutters away?

Or any suggestion at all?

Thanks.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gardenias generally need an acidic soil to thrive. I'm not sure that vinegar is the best way to acidify a soil, as initially it is very intense, but may not persist the way that mineral acidity does - sulfur, nitrogen and phosphate make a soil acidic for a long time but vinegar breaks down in days or weeks. Most commonly, sulfur is used as a quick way to amend the soil and make it acid.  The amount needed depends on the soil type.

Humus (soil organic matter) is one way to amend the soil that will benefit gardenias. Peat is rather acid and might do the job. Foliar sprays of kelp, fish emulsion, or chelated trace minerals can also do the job ... gardenias need acid soil to absorb certain minerals (iron, zinc, manganese) but they can also absorb it from the leaves even when the soil is not acidic.
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you.
I did buy some sulfur here, but it's some yellow powder that doesn't smell like sulfur at all.
For chelated minerals, my best shot right now is molasses in water.
Also, I need to figure out how you say peat in Spanish.

So... but do you confirm that those tiny buds are not growing because of the wrong pH or it could be something else? They are heavily mulched with chicken manure for phosphate.
 
Dan D. Lyons
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wasn't Marlon Brando ranting about gardenia's when Martin Sheen was trying to assassinate him in Apocalypse Now? I believe gardenia's are acid lovers. I generally treat acid lovers the same when I plant them, remove half (or more) of the soil from your planting hole and mix in peat and crushed dried deciduous (oak, ash, maple) leaves and half of the remaining soil. Works well for my blueberries
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Deciduous.... I've got avocado leaves here, but avocados are pretty alkaline.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic