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Found this today at my local Home Depot and for only 39.99 I just could not pass it up! It's just over 5 feet tall and about 2-3 feet wide at the top.
It has a ton of buds on it, none are open yet but a few are close. The tag says "First Love" which if I remember correctly is the gardenia with 4-5 inch blooms. You could tell even without the tag because the buds are much larger than my august beauty gardenia. I can't wait for blooms!
It's in a larger container now, I have had success with august beauty gardenias in the ground here but I had to put a lot of peat moss in the soil. I didn't want to take any chances with this one yet. I have had no problems with the ones in the ground after I amended the soil though so I will probably transfer this gardenia into the ground eventually and just maintain it with some soil acidifier.
It had looked really sick (lots of yellow leaves and a bad white fly/aphid infestation) but I sprayed it and kept it watered and its looking much better again. Not in perfect health but no more yellow leaves at least. It gets a lot of sun which I don't think it likes very much but hopefully that will improve as it becomes better established. The smaller potted trees on my front porch are doing fantastic though for some reason (maybe the shade?) they have leaves 2-3 times larger than my other tree.
I am considering moving the large one to a shadier area which they seem to prefer. I even have another one that has not been potted in a larger pot since I purchased it but it is in part shade and looking very healthy so I think our sun down here is just too intense to not allow them some shade.
It's funny how some LOVE the sun and others - not so much! The white flies are quite a pain with the gardenias! I too did a good couple of sprays with a neem/murphy's oil/alcohol mix and they're all but gone...thank goodness. Have you tried some hollytone or epsom salt with your baby when you had the yellow leaves A?
Chantell, I'm curious about the spray mixture you used. Does this just combat white flies or does it take care of other pests as well? I've heard others talk about the neem oil, but being so new to this whole gardening thing, I have no idea what it does.
Hey JM - I use it on just about every nasty pest. I use many of my herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes so I don't use chemical type sprays. Seems to work on white fly - mealies - fungus knats etc.
Yes actually, I used epsom salt when I saw the yellow leaves. I think it was mainly stress from the soil getting too dry and I did use a ton of good soil/peat moss mix when I planted it, but I figured the Epsom salt couldn't hurt since the pH could still go lower for it. I read about the Epsom salt trick on this forum. I may try your spray mix next time they get infested. I have been using my 'green light' fruit tree spray concentrate on them which leaves the leaves shiny and kills everything but it's probably horrible for the yard "super toxic icky stuff haha"
If I am not mistaken, and God knows I have been wrong before, but that is probably an Aimee, since First Love is another cultivar, but it is patented and you seldom find it for sale because no one wants to take a chance propagating it. I do not know when the patent was dated. The Aimee has been sold in Acmes, and other places like that for several years now.
I can tell you this, it does not like hot sun. You can give it morning sun but I would not put it in the hot sun all day. I made that mistake with mine just this year. The leaves turned and the buds and flowers got brown edges before I could but them to bring them inside to enjoy. The sun has been very hot this year. Also, they like to be watered if they are outside. I soak mine about every few days and they love it. I also I give them fish emulsion once in awhile just as a treat. LOL. They really take very little care. I have several and have sold many of them over the years. I am sure you will love yours because they are an absolute joy when they bloom. When I got mine it was just marked Standard, which means of course, one stem or tree like, and I did my research and found I had an Aimee. I was thrilled.
If you get white fly or mealybug just hose it down good and use the soap and neems oil if you have some. I never use anything else and mine are inspected yearly by the state because I am a certified nursery here in NJ. Ha! Smallest nursery on their books, but necessary if I want to ship west of the Mississippi. I have Aimees in TX, WA, CA, MT all over. Sorry for butting in, but I was just wasting time looking around when I stumbled into this thread. Later, JB
I have bank statements to balance and I do not feel like doing them, so maybe I will pop over and say hi. LOL I am such a lazy old thing today. It is in the 90s here and it is 106 in the greenhouse. Too hot to even think about working. I have just been cutting glads to sell for an order and I was soaked to the skin. Not out that long. The guy just picked them up and I was so glad he did because I want to relax and enjoy the rest of the day in the AC. See you on the other thread. JB
First Love and Aimee are one in the same according to this site, is that not correct?
I do have a nice corner in the yard where it can be protected from the sun but I just don't feel like transplanting it again at the moment because I will have to prepare the soil so much. I feel lazy just saying that lol but in my defense it is already finals week for my first summer session courses (English elective and Organic chemistry O_o)
Aslan, When you transplant your gardenia, be sure it gets some sunshine. It may not be happy in all shade. If you are so busy just now, it will be happy in the container it came in for awhile but keep watering it in this hot weather. JB
It will do great there I think, their is currently an august beauty in that spot but I am just going to take that one out. It has the house on one side and a big oak tree on the other side but its open above it so it gets a couple of hours of direct sun and then just filtered or shade the rest of the day. I have one in a pot in that area that is doing fantastic so I'm sure it will be fine.
The large one (the picture in the first post) has been transplanted for quite some time and that is the one I will be moving as it gets full sun until around 4pm which is not great. The ones on my porch and in the area I want to transplant the large one too are so healthy they seem to surprise me every day :)
It only took me a couple years and a bunch of dead gardenias to get it right haha. The ones on my porch have 4 inch long leaves compared to the 1-2 inch and scraggly looking plant that is in full sun.
Either way, I will be moving it to the better spot. I'm just busy at the moment. I had one final today and another tomorrow and then my last final is to write two essays by Monday but those are easy ;)
Oh and I'll get some pictures up this weekend so you guys know what I have been ranting about for so long haha. I've just been to busy (also lazy) to get some pictures uploaded.
It sounds like you are really infected with the gardenia bug and I am so happy for you. Keep up the good work and keep posting those pictures so we can smell them. Hugs from another one of Aimee's Moms. JB
I just wanted to mention that, from my experience, Gardenias love the heat and humidity but hate full sun. Their leaves will yellow and fall off and flowers sometimes will turn brown and die before they even open.
There are some huge gardenias here where I live with hundreds of flowers, and the best looking ones are in light shade/morning sun.