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23 February 2014

TINZ Winter Update, Gardenia in the Kitchen

The plastic pot almost touches the heating vent

This same pot of tropical gardenia spent the previous winter in the sunniest spot in the premises, under a skylight, about two feet from a heating vent. There, it shriveled and threw a tantrum, dropped its leaves, ditched its flower buds. 

After spending the summer months outdoors in the ground, it was shoved back into the pot and parked right beside a heating vent in the kitchen. It was prepared for indoors without ceremony and largely ignored throughout the winter. It is watered with no particular attention to schedule.

The gritty mix was key to this undertaking, allowing water to drain out freely while keeping the roots moist. For it's first month indoors, the plant was watered every three days with about a cup of BT-treated water. This prevented the horrible fungus gnat from ever getting a foothold. 

The only light it got was from the west-facing window and fluorescent bulbs overhead.

It appears that this plant is not so much a prima donna but a curmudgeon. Ignoring it now seems to be the key to keeping it alive through a prolonged, unusually cold winter. 

Look at that layer of dust, it didn't even get the occasional shower that other tropicals received. Because it is a bitch that attracts all kinds of pests, it is isolated and only perfunctorily maintained in the kitchen where it is the only plant.
Throughout the winter months, expect the plant to occasionally throw out some buds--they never get anywhere. New leaf growth (note the light-colored leaves in the background, right) tend to be real, however.
Read the Previous Post About this Plant

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