Gardenia questions

Jac3674

Seedling
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So, I posted a few weeks ago about my new Bonsai seedlings I got. I found out one is a Gardenia. I've done a bit of research and found out Teabags, Coffee Grounds, Epson Salt, and Vinegar are good for them.

My question is do I pour the vinegar directly onto the soil or do I dilute it? It's already 5% diluted white vinegar. I hope I am using the right things for it?
 

armetisius

Chumono
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Do NOT apply vinegar to a seedling plant.
I don't care what you have read or where but it is bs.
Now a plant in the ground and needing emergency acidification
of the soil a mild dose at around 1% might be tolerated but vinegar
is one of the best natural herbicides there is.
What soil are you growing this in? Gardenias like a sandy loam with
LOTS of organic matter in it.
 

Jac3674

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I am using the soil it came in so not sure. So Sand and Coffee grounds mixed with manure is good?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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As with many things, DOSE, is the key concern. A little is great, a lot can do serious damage.

Manure, if fresh, is to "hot" for a tree in a flower pot. But composted manure (more than 6 months), is pretty good stuff. It also matters some which animal was the source of the manure. For example horse manure tends to be high in salt, not good for gardenia. Cow & goat manure is better. Chicken & most poultry manures are rather high in calcium, gardenia does not like high calcium in their soils.

Generally for bonsai we want slower, rather than more rapid growth. Nice steady, healthy but slower growth. So we feed very lightly. We don't want the trees to grow coarse with big leaves and long internodes. But we do feed enough to keep everything nice and healthy.

Coffee grounds, I've used them, too much is a "bad thing", again go light. You want less than 10% of your soil mix to be coffee grounds, I'd shoot for 5 % tops.

Gardenia want an acidic soil reaction. I would use a blend of about 25% to 40% peat moss, at least 50 % should be inert particle for drainage, like perlite or pumice. Sand is not particularly good for the inert component, its particles are too smooth, doesn't hold enough air or water. But in a pinch sand can work. The remainder you can put in some of your other ingredients, like the manure, coffee grounds, and or douglas fir bark - the seedling grade used for orchids is perfect. Key is to not overdo the "active organics" like manure and coffee grounds.

If you have a bonsai supply place available, I would use a blend of Akadama and pumice for my gardenias. Or Kanuma and pumice. That would be my choice.
 

armetisius

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I am using the soil it came in so not sure. So Sand and Coffee grounds mixed with manure is good?
Okay I just saw them in the other post. That gardenia is in a peat based potting mix.
Leave it alone until next spring. As it starts to get a little dry sit it in a saucer of water
and let it suck it up but after about an hour sit it in the sink to drain. They hate wet feet.
 
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