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Brown edges on gardenia blooms

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

My gardenias are looking healthy except...they often get this brown "crust" on the unopened blooms...and when they open, you can see the edges look brown....
This must me a common problem with gardenias....it doesn't look like a pest but rather something I am doing wrong...

Can you help? So talk to me! : )

Rob

Thumbnail by robcorreia
Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Hopefully one of the more knowledgeable ones pop in...but when all else fails - Epsom Salt, Holly Tone and Fish Emulsion. Maybe scratch some Holly Tone into the soil around the base and mix up a spray of the epsom salt and water and mist your baby...obviously early in the day so you don't burn her leaves.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

my junior guess is that something is keeping them from opening as easily as they want...lack of moisture/vigor??? (I've seen that on mine too at times)

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

I don't think it's lack of vigor, there are blooms all over....it's more like something is "burning" those edges...

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Howdy, Folks...

Robcorrei, I was wondering if your gardenia is in the ground, in a pot/container, in the house or outside, what the temps have been like lately, and how much watering you do.

Several factors come into play ranging from light levels to overhead watering or misting to (heaven forbid) spider mites.

I sure hate to see your gardenias suffering, those are the flowers and fragrance I yearn for every year.

Shoe
(Thanks Chantell for the holler. Hope your gardenias are doing well!)

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

A few weeks ago I got a Gardenia Tree and it had a dozen or more buds on it. I had it in my bird room for a few weeks and NOTHING happened except some of the buds were no happy, brown edges, etc. I decided it needed more sunshine. I put it on the south deck and watered it daily, alot of water. Sometimes more than I have ever watered a plant before, but I had no idea what the root system looked like and was not going to disturb it until those buds opened. Within a few days, the change happened. The entire plant perked up and the buds began to open and the flowers were perfect. Just yesterday I took this...some of you have seen other pics of this plant but this is just so beautiful I had to take more. I would suggest you put it in the sun, give it lots of water and a shot of Chantells suggestions. Then Pray. Keep us posted because this is not an unusual problem but there are so many different reasons for it. Gardners are like doctors, we try and figure out problems one step at a time. Good Luck. JB

Thumbnail by JBerger
San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Thanks everyone!

Ok doctors, here is more info for you:

- growing in pots
- part sun/ almost full sun
- I water everyday and spray the whole plant with the hose on hot days
- fertilized with osmocote, sometimes "acid lovers" ferts too (no difference noticed)
- on unopened buds, the brown crust is like a hard crust...sometimes I remove these browned edges as it looks like they would prevent the buds from opening...
- doesn't look like a pest, more like something I'm doing wrong!
- plant looks healthy and is covered in buds, but almost all open with those &@^$^% brown edges!

Thanks again!
Rob

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Rob - I don't know the answer to your questions as I only have 2 gardenia bushes that I inherited when I moved into the house, and they are in the ground. But I do have an observation in regards to the blooms on the old-fashioned gardenia that I have (I assume it is an old-fashioned one because the house is almost 30 years old now) - the flowers are actually only picture perfect for a day or two. I had posted this photo a couple of days ago.

Thumbnail by soilsandup
Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Then they brown around the edges quite quickly. I took a medium range shot of the bush, and it was extremely difficult not to include any blooms with brown edges. There are several in this shot that is turning brown. You definitely do have something wrong because your closed buds are brown-encrusted, but the browning of the open blooms is just something that I have accepted because the fragrance makes up for that. Each bloom lasts only a couple of days, but they do send out a lot of new buds. At the end of the season, I have a thick litter of dried blooms beneath the plant.

Good luck with yours.

Thumbnail by soilsandup
Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

In the vase, they only last one day. But the fragrance is unbelievable indoors.

Thumbnail by soilsandup
Sarasota, FL

This is the first year I've ever had buds and flowers go brown early also. I believe it from the excessive heat this year down in Fl.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Soils...that's just humiliating, lol! Gosh, I think I can smell your flowers from here!

Something curious happened that might mean something...I actually have some perfectly white blooms this week! Only two things have been different from usual:

- we've been having some unusually overcast weather for at least two weeks
- I've changed the sprinklers time from mid-morning to evening...

Do they dislike full sun? Or....do they dislike overhead watering in hot weather?

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I seldom do overhead watering on the gardenias because it seems to make the flowers get brown sooner. The only overhead watering they get is the rain, and I have noticed this happening, so I am just cutting them and bringing them in as they open on the Tree so I can enjoy them longer. They last several days in the house and I am a happy camper when I can smell my gardenias. I just love that scent. The keep the scent for days after they get brown also. Amazing. Sun is out for a change and I am hoping my awning is going to be installed today, so I will talk to you all later. Hugs.

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Ha! So it could be the water huh? It's so dry here, I just feel the urge to give them a shower sometimes, ehehhe...

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I am not saying it is the water, it is just what I observed with my bloomers. Can you water them without the overhead sprinkler and see what happens? It is cooler here and cloudy and more rain is expected. I think I am growing mold in my ears.JB

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Yes I can! I'll do that from now on and watch!

Gosh I so wish I could say I have too much rain, lol!

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

robcorreia mine were brown but not on edges like yours. j berger interesting you say that about overhead sprinklers. my sprinklers are above my heaven scent gardenia this was what the bloom looked like as soon as it was picked and brought in side. the brown looks streaked across it. it still smells incredible though.

Thumbnail by candela
Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Candela, funny you should say that about the way the brown gardenias smell. I usually cut the brown blooms off my gardenia tree, the are as big as the bottom of a coffee cup. When they start to brown from being open for awhile, I cut them off and bring them inside and put them in a little saucer of water. They smell so good for nearly four days or more but they look absolutely disgusting. Just goes to show you, beauty is only skin deep, or should I say petal deep. Have a good day. It is raining again. We had 11 days of rain, one nice day yesterday and today it is raining again. Not just a drizzle, I mean rain. Where in the world is it coming from? Hugs to all. JB

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

OK, this isn't a great picture, but I wanted to show you guys the browning starts on the closed buds. The brown stuff sort of becomes like a "hard" crust, preventing some of the buds to open....

Thumbnail by robcorreia
Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Rob,

Did you ever figure out the problem with the brown buds? I'm having the same issue here in No. Cal except my buds never open. They just fall off. Some of the leaves are turning bright yellow too so I'm wondering if I need to water more. I sure hope it's not a sun problem (they get full sun) because mine are in the ground...

dee

soilsandup, that is one beautiful bush!

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Dee.

I find that with gardenias, sometimes they look great, other times I get the browning and premature falling off. I have not taken a scientific approach to figuring out the problem. As someone else said, even when they are ugly looking, the gardenias still smell great.

Good luck with yours!

Big Sandy, TX(Zone 8a)

It looks like the leaves are also burnt at the tips, maybe to much nitrogen?

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

(bump) What kenboy said. Did you ever figure this out? I'll never have gardenias, up where I live. But the whole thing looks chemistry-related, to me. Especially given the brown leaf tips. That's not typical of, say, a pest. Some kind of burn - overhead water in midday, or nitrogen, or too little water overall, or maybe even over-watered (check roots, hmm....). Or - something in the water? Chlorine? Fluoride?

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

I grow roses, never tried gardenias. But I know that thrip damage looks precisely like that on roses. I also know that thrips seem to go for fragrant plants before ones that are not. You might try spraying the flowers with neem oil just as they start opening. Or maybe dusting them with rotenone. Just an idea.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

If your gardenias are planted outside, maybe, just maybe they got too cold? Too much fertilizer will also brown the leaves. Not enough water. Mine are practically sitting in water all the time but they love lots of sun and lots of water. Depending on your species it could make a difference because unfortunataly the different species need different attention.
If you know the species maybe I can find you an answer. JB

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

No, I still don't know exactly what the problem is....but I did find a bunch of APHIDS around unopened buds...could that be it? Maybe....

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

UGH Aphids....nasty things...right up there with mealies, fungus knats, and spider mites....grrrrr

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

I remove aphids with windex (or a spray of water.) They drown instantly, and the touch of ammonia feeds the plant. Since I don't use pesticides, I've never had to remove aphids after the start of the growing season, lady bugs have always moved in quickly. (But that's outside..)

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi Chantell! Long time no "see"! hehe!

I don't use pesticides etither...I remove the aphids with sticky tape! I think I've learned this trick here at DG!

Prescott, AZ(Zone 7a)

Sticky tape. Cool idea.

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I am still fighting mealy bug but not as much as prior to the big storm that blew my ladybugs away. Darn they were doing so well and then they were gone. I am so lucky that my damage was in the hundreds instead of thousands. It was too small for the insurance to cover. Oh well. I think we should have a bumper crop of lady bugs this year if they did not blow off the farm. LOL.
The kids just finished staking all the new baby trees they planted before the storm and they blew sideways. Plus we just took down another tree that was damaged. The barn roof is repaired and all is well. Now all we need is a tornado or another nor'easter with big time wind and I am moving to Alaska, I swear. LOL Hope your Easter is a good one. We had my kids from PA for breakfast and they went home to be with my DIL family and now my SIL family is coming for egg hunt. This is the group with kids, which I can do without.I raised four and said when they are grown, no more little kids.I pretend I hate kids, but I just hate the way they are raised these days. No more firm hands, etc. LOL My grandson is 16 now and what a cutie. He is so sweet too. Loves to play baseball and do cross country running. Working on getting his drivers license.
I am such a proud granny. Must go. Hugs to all.HAPPY DAY!

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Hey , Chantell, Rob, Steve, everyone....the old lady has a problem. Last year at this time Rob has this problem. My Aimee's , God forbid, are doing it now. They open and a day later the petals on the blooms are turning brown around the edges. This bloom is only a day old. This began happening about a week ago when they started to bloom. They start out white and beautiful.. Overnight. Boom..here is it. Take a look and think of me CRYING EVERYTIME I LOOK AT THEM.

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Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Ahhh JB I come to YOU with my Gardenia issues...the ones that stay alive, that is. I don't know what to tel you - don't we have a disease forum some where??? That is pitifully sad....I'm so sorry

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I think we found the problem. We transplanted it into a very large pot about a week or more ago. I gave it water and it rained but my SIL the Nurseryman said he thinks it was not getting enough water. The new soil was not yet soaked and the little roots were thursty and this was making the blooms turn brown. Well, I gave it some fish emulsion and alot of water to the point it was really wet.....yesterday the blooms looked better and today I am hoping the ones that open are going to be o.k. I will let you know. All else is fine. Leaves that turned yellow and dropped and buds that fell off were all from the stress of being transplanted prior to it blooming. I just had no choice. it was so pot bound I just bit the bullet and did it. Now I am paying for my haste. Thanks for your thoughts.

Sarasota, FL

Rob I'm wondering if it might be a humidity problem? Another question is your gardenia grafted?
I have a Miami Supreme in a 10 gal pot; it's in partial sun and needing watering daily. Once the flowers open fully, they're history.
Gardenia flowers here as well as jamines always have flower thrips. Since I use flowers in devotional service, I use a paper plate (overhead light off) and place the picked flowers and plate about 3 ft from the flourescent light above the sink. I agitate the flowers carefully with my fingers and the thrips all start facing and marching towards the light.
Since I have A.D.D. my mind starts playing from the movie poltergeist," Welcome children, all are welcome go into the light!." Before they go airborne I slide the flowers to another plate and carry the one paperplate out the back door and knock them off.
Jasminum sambac cv. Maid of Orleans is one flower they love 2nd to gardenias. You might pick a flower bud just opening and place it in a zip lock baggie. I don't know if chili thrips have reached your area yet but that's considered a way to check.
Just some ideas.....

Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Wow, I never heard of a thrip. Now I need to look them up and see what they look like.
Thanks so much for the comments Kal. JB

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

JB - you'll find Kevin to be humble but let me just tell you he is a wealth of information - he has an AMAZING garden that I was blessed to get a tour of last June.

Sarasota, FL

All right Chantel, now I'm blushing!
Overall I find gardeners and plant lovers to be amazing people that come from the heart and just love to share! I've only known of really one person that was a "plant hoard and gloat" and that was about 8 yrs ago.
My grafted Aimee up and croaked; no idea why...guess it was it's time. I planted a Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos) in its place.
Was picking champaca this am and a 6" plant was 'waving' at me. It was pot so it was ripped and flung into the yard! Some neighbor's bad idea of a joke or trying to get revenge since I was calling the cops after being ripped out of a dream by 2:30 am boom boxes, crowds and drunken rachor. I called a truce with their mom so no noise after 12 am.
Back to fragrances, yuthika is flowering (Jasminum auriculatum aka J. molle).

Thumbnail by Kalpavriksha
Wrightstown, NJ(Zone 7a)

Kevin, if you would like anothe Aimee I will send you one. I have quite a few all sizes. I can not imagine having a Molle growing in the yard. I am so green with envy. My Molle is a sad looking potted plant that blooms once a year if I am lucky. I thought I had lost her last year, but she came back. I just love the different frangramces both Jasminun and Gardenias have. They are my favorites.
I must go out and mow more grass. Just came in for a break and some chocolate. I need a boost.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

My compliments always come from the heart...I meant what I said, Kevin. Now I must take a moment to "toot my oldest gardenia's horn" - to know me is to know that I kill any and ALL gardenias brought indoors...if they're hardy...I stand a much better chance. I knew my 'Shooting Star' was gonna really put on a show - she was given a good meal of fish emulsion a week ago and I want ya'll to see her today...ahhhhh life IS good!! Come on now...tell me how proud you are?!? Even though I had nothing to do with it....just LOOK at my baby girl!!!

Thumbnail by Chantell

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