High maintenance

6/3/2010 Gardenia in Bloom

The Frostproof Gardenia has demonstrated to be a very sensitive lady. If it weren’t for the intoxicating fragrance perfuming our front doorstep, I would have voted this plant off the frontyard and into a more sheltered spot, perhaps even indoors. What appeared to be transplant shock or overwatering (yellowing leaves) shows evidence of slowing down to a halt. Perhaps the shrub has dropped all the leaves it plans to drop. We did begin watering every other day and the regular black mulch was replaced by pine bark mulch. However, the aftereffects of its displeasure still lingers…the gardenia has a host of blooms but more than 50% are yellowed or browned upon opening. As I suspected, most recommendations point the finger at overhead watering. Also, much has been published about the need for acidity in the water and soil, so acidifiers are always cited as an amendment (corn meal anyone?).

With temperatures hitting 100 degrees this weekend, we will need to keep a close eye on the gardenia to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

Worthwhile watching in the garden: the last Navona lilies are blooming, the first calla (a Picasso) put out a bloom, the only Fanal astilbe appears to put out sporadic blooms (though one Fanal I put into a pot, leafed out in the shade), the pruned yarrows are showing new buds, multiple coleus are also budding (need deadheading), the Dallas Stars daylilies are putting out their first buds, our lone Kangaroo Paw has put out some new “paws”.

Of concern: the Japanese painted ferns do not appear happy…something has changed their dispositions to where they are displaying some leaf curling/browning. They should be receiving a healthy amount of watering, but it may be that they dislike the Bayer systemic insecticide that was applied to them. The seedling dianthus may also be succumbing to excessive heat and sun. I am considering moving them to the corner garden for some part shade. The Hakonechloa in the front beds are showing some burning, which is likely to continue as the summer heats up.

Casualties: One lemon balm (potted), one dianthus. Both located in the patio garden.

The salvia bed has been planted. It’s just a matter of leveling the ground and perhaps getting them mulch (if/when funds permit). All cosmos seeds have been sown in the front yard tree ring. I need to get some vegetable and herb seeds started indoors asap!