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THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS
IN MY GARDENIA THE LEAVES HAVE TURNED VERY LIGHT GREEN WITH BROWN TIPS
QUESTION FROM CARLA
I am writing to you from Rome Finally (and I hope) that someone can help me save a gardenia which, in addition to being a plant, is an emotional memory for me!
Now I'll briefly tell you the story of this plant with its problems:
I have a gardenia purchased maybe 10 years ago or more (on Mother's Day), it was in a tiny little jar.
Over the years the plant has grown very well and has become luxuriant (now it is very large).
From spring 2005 it started to have problems: leaves no longer bright green, very sparse leaves, it gave me many buds but few blossomed.
Since this spring, the increasingly sparse leaves have become very light green with brown tips and the new ones as they sprout become brown at the tip and die, moreover, some "lice" have appeared for a few days.
I keep the plant on the balcony where there is sun only in the morning but the same is covered by awnings, and in winter it has always been on the balcony but in a place sheltered from wind and possible night frosts.
I water them when I see that the earth is no longer humid and with tap water (I read the article on your site that should be watered with non-calcareous water).
It has never been pruned, also because I don't know where to start and in what period!
Please help me save her !!! it is a memory of my mother who is no longer there. Yes, she had a "green thumb", now that it is in my hands ..... alas she is suffering.
Thank you for how much you want to advise me and I greet you very warmly.
the data you give me is vague enough to tell what it is now. The term "lice" is too general. It could be mites or aphids, both easily found in this species. Now what you should do for me in order to advise you in the most appropriate way on what to do, if you do not have a camera that allows you to photograph both the "lice" and the affected leaves (it would be better), you should have a magnifying glass and describe to me what you see on both the upper and lower pages of the leaf. They are insects of a few millimeters but with a good magnifying glass you shouldn't have any difficulty in identifying them. If you go at pages dedicated to mites and aphids the photos can help you in their eventual identification.
Also, I would like to know about fertilizations :: quantity, how often and type of product (read the back of the package and tell me its chemical composition).
Also tell me when you did the last repotting and the size of the pot relative to the plant.
Let me know.
Maria Giovanna Davoli