Ailing Gardenia jasminoides

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Ailing Gardenia jasminoides

Post  SamC on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:28 am

In the autumn of 2009 I purchased a Kleim's Hardy Gardenia at a garden shop. I probably wouldn't have made the purchase save it has a fabulous nebari and what I thought would be a fabulous trunk line within in the small shrub.

It overwintered in a cool part of our house, and seemed fine. It went out in the spring and flowered wonderfully most of the summer, and continued to look healthy. Starting in the fall I noticed a few pale dry leaves. Suddenly nearly the entire crown "went dry" resulting in dead pale dry brittle leaves.

I thought perhaps it had endured too hard of a frost, and brought it back in where it had previously wintered, but leaves continued to dry and die, and eventually entire branches seemed to just dry, sadly including the one I had pegged for an eventual trunk.

The very base seems to be the only living part, some of the stem in that area is still bright green, but further up, the normally green stem appears sunken and dark brown. Doing some research I am wondering if it has fallen victim to anthracnose? I further wonder if maybe it always had a bit of that going on, with a few buds dying off, and perhaps the plant slowly weakened until it just couldn't fight off the infection?

I've read about some treatments, but I am not sure if they would be of any use at this point. I am open to suggestions, since the only alternative may likely be just burning it. I would be perfectly willing to regrow a new trunk, if that could be possible.

Yellowing on the few remaining leaves.


Sunken dark tissue on the main stem.


More leaves showing browning.


I can likely get better pics, but this is all I could manage at the moment.

SamC
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Re: Ailing Gardenia jasminoides

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:37 am

Could be over watering.

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Re: Ailing Gardenia jasminoides

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:39 am

Not sure what this is Sam. Usually with over watering or root problems the tree suffers from the base upwards and not the top downwards.

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Re: Ailing Gardenia jasminoides

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:03 pm

Most likely to be a watering/root problem. It seems still to be in that silty-peaty nursery soil, and probably should have been repotted soon after you got it. The peat is probably OK since these need acid soil, but that black, almost-gooey stuff is murder on roots because it keeps them too wet and soggy. There's evidence of chlorosis, too.

Since you are still getting some new growth, I'd break off the dead wood, and repot into a free-draining soil that contains either chopped sphagnum or peat. Being indoors probably hasn't helped, either. They like sunlight.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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