Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

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Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  rck89 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:39 am

Hello All - Glad to see all of the new posts and questions in the forum!

Can anyone tell me the correct ph levels for Gardenias and for Brazilian Rainforest bonsai? Over the last couple of days both of my plants, which were health are now struggling big time! I went away for the Kofuku Show in Japan (which was fantastic) and when I got home after a week, many of my gardenia's leaves had turned black and crispy and began to fall off in droves! The plant is now almost fully defoliated! My rainforest tree lost a lot of leaves but with no discoloration. This plant is particularly sensitive to any changes in conditions, hence lack of water might have been the problem. My wife fell down on her resonsibilties! This plant seems be recovering, but my gardenia is not.

I have stopped feeding both plants and removed the gardenia from its heating pad and have cut back a bit on watering. Both plants continue their Winter "hiatus" under T-8 lights for about 14 hours per day. So what to do now? Thoughts and help please.

Bob

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:55 am

Gardenia enjoy a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 mildly acidic. If by Rain forest tree you mean Brazilian Rain tree (Chloroleucon tortum), they aren't fussy about soil pH In fact I'm having trouble finding a recommended or preferred range for them online, which I interpret as not being too fussy. I don't think soil Ph was your problem.

I would (gently) ask your wife if the Gardenia was fertilized in your absence. Black crispy leaves makes me suspect a few things, Nitrogen burn, Urea toxicity, root rot....something got it!
-Jay

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:57 am

Bob
I have been told to handle gardenia like azaleas. This winter I accidentally let mine dry out a little to much and I had some leaves turn black and fall off. That being said I think that it was damaged by the combination of drying out compounded by the heat pad. In my experience the use of heatpads is tricky because it drys the soil from the bottom first. So the top looks slightly dry and the bottom will over dry.

So I would say that they both dried out at some time. I like Jay think the ph is not the problem. Depending on how long they were damaged will be the deciding factor.

So how are your bald cypress's doing?


Mitch

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  rck89 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:25 pm

Thanks Mitch and Jay for your timely help....much appreciated.

After more examinations (and worry) I think that my gardenia problem is drying. My wife (or soon to be ex, if it happens again), I now believe let my beloved trees dry out. So I'm watering and checking on it daily. The current Ph of my gardenia is 7 - what would you recommend using to lower it slightly? And would you do it now (lower ph), while the plant is ailing or wait a bit? I think that I will remove any remnant of time release fertilizer pellets that might still may be in the soil. My Rainforest tree is recovering. Again, lack of watering was the problem, especially since it was on the heat pad!

Finally, if really don't know what's happening with my bald cypress trees, since they are in "cold storage" for the Winter. I will begin to spray them for fungus in the next several days. Thanks for remembering and asking!

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:57 pm

Well Rick

If I ever find a nice Gardenia I'll definitely remember to keep it evenly moist if this is what happens when they dry out. I would recommend not using the heating pad as it may be causing you more trouble then its worth. I would also remove the time release pellets and withhold fertilizer until the tree (hopefully) resumes strong growth.

See the acidifying inorganic soil thread for lots of info about soil Ph and proper fertilizers!
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7523-how-do-we-acidify-inorganic-bonsai-soil?highlight=inorganic

fingers crossed
-Jay

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pH Levels

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:01 pm

Why are you spraying for fungus? Important rule: Never spray for fungus or insects unless you see signs of damage or had a problem last year. Ask your doctor what happens if you take an antibiotic when you don't need one. Same problem.
Iris

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  rck89 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:57 pm

Bonsaisr- The reason I was going to spray for fungus (and bugs) now is because several of my plants had these problems last year. And since we didn't have very many hard freeze days here in Chicago this Winter, I'm anticipating even bigger problems this Spring.

Just trying to get a "jump" on projected problems. Thanks for your thoughts!

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:03 pm

Bob
I agree with Iris, dont spray for any thing until you know you have a proplem. All I would do now is scrape on of the stems on the top of the tree, if its green no worries mate. Most of my BC's are leafing out now.

It looks to be a early spring here! Yea................. alien

Dont give up on the gardenia yet, it may pull thru.

Mitch

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  rck89 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:08 pm

Thanks, Mitch....Are you in Australia?

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  rck89 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:09 pm

Mitch - New Orleans is certainly not Australia! You through me off, with your use of the word "mate".

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:29 pm

Bob
No, as you see in my profile I am down south. Just out side of New Orleans La. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night...........ha ha

Mitch

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Re: Ph Levels - What is the right levels for Gardenias and Brazilian Rainforest bonsai?

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