Gardenia rapidly dying please assist

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I received this plant a few weeks ago. I've been watering it every 2-3 days as recommended. It sits on my desk in a room with big windows-- but no direct sunlight. It's losing its leaves quickly--they're yellowing and growing spots. I have no idea why, but one theory is that even at night here, the fluorescent lights are always on. Perhaps it is confused? Should I dry it out? It hasn't even flowered yet.
 

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just.wing.it

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Don't dry it out!
All light all the time probably isn't good.
Also, lots of commercial buildings turn off the Heating/AC at night....might get too cold, depending on where you are....
 
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@just.wing.it thanks for the quick reply. So you think I should just keep watering it and hope for the best? I think the heating is pretty much always on in this building (midtown Manhattan)
 

just.wing.it

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@just.wing.it thanks for the quick reply. So you think I should just keep watering it and hope for the best? I think the heating is pretty much always on in this building (midtown Manhattan)
You're certainly welcome!
You'd be surprised, about the heat....I work in many big time DC buildings, and it's very common here....
Don't over water....just keep moist....
Some use a bamboo skewer, or chopstick, and stick it in the soil to measure the dryness....
Just keep it stuck in all the time, and you can pull it out and see if the bamboo is wet or dry...
But yes....drying is super bad for these gardenias.
 

music~maker

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I received this plant a few weeks ago. I've been watering it every 2-3 days as recommended. It sits on my desk in a room with big windows-- but no direct sunlight. It's losing its leaves quickly--they're yellowing and growing spots. I have no idea why, but one theory is that even at night here, the fluorescent lights are always on. Perhaps it is confused? Should I dry it out? It hasn't even flowered yet.
If it's not right in a window, it's probably not getting anywhere near enough light. Trees don't do very well indoors on desks, especially if you don't have any kind of supplemental lighting.

I tried growing these inside once - they looked great for a while, and then rapid death. Just another data point. If you really want something for indoors, you might want to consider a ficus, chinese elm, or a jade. Those are much more forgiving of indoor conditions (though they all still prefer to be outside when they can be).
 

rockm

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too much water. Wrong soil and location. Ditch the drip tray. It's worthless and may be contributing to your overwatering problem. Two to three days is no long enough for soil to dry down a bit. The interior of the root mass is probably an anaerobic swamp and the roots are rotting.
 

music~maker

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I wouldn't keep one of those indoors either.
Neither would I, tbh. My elms stay outside during the growing season and dormant on an enclosed unheated porch during the winter. The only thing I keep inside are my tropicals during the winter.

But I know that some people do manage to keep them inside, and they're a hell of a lot more resilient than gardenias indoors. There aren't really many things that do work indoors, but chinese elms seem to do OK as long as they get enough light and are properly watered.
 

Denese McBride

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I'm having a lot of problems also with two indoor gardenias. I have had lots of good advice on this site. Thank God for it. My gardenia bonsai arrived full of buds but none ever opened. It turns yellow and has lost lots of leaves. The other one is just a regular plant and has stabilized. It seems to be a little more hardy than the bonsai. I thought I was over watering but because of good advice I now believe it was getting too cold at night because I like to have my room really cold at night. I have begun to put the plants outside in daytime since it's been 70 to 80 degrees here in SE Oklahoma in daytime. At night someone brings them in and places them in my laundry room because there is no ac in there. I have a jasmine bonsai that is doing well and flowering nicely. Smells so good. I would bring my gardenia home if I were you where you have more control over lights, temperature ect. Good vibes to you.
 

sorce

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I was reading a gardening article and in it....

They made reference to old cold damp basements with dirt floors....

Where people used to hang gardenia upside down for the winter after just shaking some dirt off!

Come out fine in spring.

Interesting!

Sorce
 

Denese McBride

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In the nineties I had a regular gardenia plant that lived in a large pot outdoors. I had it for many years and never brought it indoors in winter. A few times I can remember it being snowed on or iced over. It was very healthy and bloomed and lot each spring. Smelled so good. Maybe it's a matter of each plant getting used to its environment and being healthy initially. Completely unrelated to gardenias but tropical, I had a grapefruit tree that my Mother started from a seed. It got to be around 5 ft tall and had thorns on the trunk. Hadn't produced fruit yet when I had to leave it because we moved upstate and pot was too heavy to lift. I love gardening!
 

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