Alfalfa Pellets Saved My Gardenia Shrubs!

Huntersville, NC

I bought the inexpensive 40lb bags bag of alfalfa pellets for my hostas last summer.

The gardenias were professionally installed last year and immediately the leaves began turning yellow and falling off. Was told use Ironite. Did it. But I only got a dismal 'recovery'.

This spring/summer came and the gardenias again began their poor performance. Disgusted I made a powder of the alfalfa pellets and applied a generous amount to the area, working into the soil well. I watered well with Super Thrive and watered again two days later. I left town for two weeks with instructions for additional watering if we didn't get rain.

Lush flowering gardenias greeted me on my return!

Some may want to credit the improvement to the SuperThrive, which I do love. But I had used it before with little or no improvement.

After reading alarming information about Miracle Gro, I seek alternative soil improvements.

Alfalfa pellets work well with my hostas too!

Davidsonville, MD(Zone 6b)

My gardenia's are looking a little bit dismal, I have some left over alfalfa pellets and superthrive so I will be trying this and get back to you.

Thank you 50glee

Huntersville, NC

Good Luck ! Remember to water well in all this heat!

Davidsonville, MD(Zone 6b)

Will do, thanks 50glee....As for watering, the way the heat is down here in Florida, I have to water day and night, luckily I have rain barrels.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

50glee--where did you buy the alfalfa pellets? Just want to know if I'd have better luck finding it at a garden center or a feed and grain store or a pet store. We sell some rabbit food where I work but it's probably fortified with other ingredients/vitamins/minerals.
Thanks!

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

I would buy it at a feed store...pricing will be much better. Will be picking up some for my yard - for sure!!

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

Thanks Chantell!

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Do you just spread the alfalfa pellets as-is on the soil around your plants???

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

happy - looks like the originator of the thread powdered the pellets and worked into the soil. Sally swears by making the tea. Being the procrastinator I am...I've yet (despite being at the feed store at least twice monthly) to pick up any alfalfa. I think the one time I did years ago - I tossed it on the ground...LOL.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Chantell. What takes you to the feed store twice monthly (if you don't mind me asking)???

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Our Southern States is a feed store/nursery...since I drive past weekly - I like to take a peeksee at their plants. I'm all about the herbs this year and their lemon trees when they were 50% off - LOL. But the real reason is that I use bird grit (turkey grit size) to amend the soil that I use in pots and when planting out in the yard - esp. if it's a plant that requires good drainage in our clay soil. I also add rice hulls to the soil...more so earlier in the season but even now add some. I simply couldn't find a reasonable (nor close) source for pumice and just honestly don't care for perlite. The soil/grit/rice hul mix works fine for just about any plant.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I forgot they have a nursery, and didn't realize they have rice hulls. I buy grit from them too -- but that's the only thing I've bought so far. They are a bit of a drive for me, so if they have anything else special I wouldn't want to miss it when I'm there....

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

No rice hulls there, happy - have to order those. If you need something near swap time - just let me know week prior - I can p/u for you.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Chantell -- no need, though; I need to make a run this week or the next, and that should do it for me for a year. Are rice hulls pricey?

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Nah - cheap...Sally had given me the info on the cheapest ones http://www.annapolishomebrew.com/shopGcereal.asp

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow -- a brew shop in Severna Park -- who knew? Do you drive there, or mail order?

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Uummm mail or bug Sally before a swap LOL

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Chantell: How is the alfalfa meal marketed at Southern States? I just called one to pick up some grit, and asked about alfalfa meal -- they said they didn't carry it.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

I've still not used the alfalfa....or if I did its' been so long I forgot...ugh. Not much help, am I?

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

Happy, you'll need to ask for alfalfa PELLETS, not meal. It's usually with the bunny feed. :)

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks! I didn't realize that. Does Southern States carry bunny food? Are alfalfa pellets used for horse food? I'm trying to figure out where I can go to buy it at a reasonable cost.

Holly Springs, NC(Zone 7b)

I don't know if Southern States carries them, but it appears from the posts above that they might. Any feed store should carry them.

Dolan Springs, AZ(Zone 9a)

50glee, if you are still out there Thank You!

Thumbnail by Mountaindweller
Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

50glee, thanks from me too. I applied it to my gardenias and saw a vast improvement. Having said that, the day I was spreading the pellets, a friend who was with me at the time told me all I was doing was setting a buffet for deer. Since that is a problem (not huge but a problem) in my garden, I worried for a while. I can't say that I noticed any more deer activity after spreading the a. pellets.

Dearborn, MI(Zone 5b)

Hi there, thank you very much for the tip, but I have a question. I live in zone 5 and I already brought my Gardenia inside. Can I apply the alfalfa now or I should wait until spring? Thank you in advance

Dolan Springs, AZ(Zone 9a)

Mine bloomed in the house, I don't think you will hurt anything. But maybe ask over at the beginner gardening site if nobody else chimes in here.

Dearborn, MI(Zone 5b)

thank you Mountaindweller

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