At the start of May, I went out and got myself another gardenia. Unlike the last few times, I spent about $35 dollars on it. I happened to be at my local Lowes, aimlessly wandering the aisles of the garden center. As I made my way around one of the rows of plants, I smelled the hint of gardenia in the air and my eyes settled on about 10 or so plants, innocently waiting for a home. I did my best to fight temptation, but it was too great for me and before I knew it one of them jumped into my wagon and away we went. Before I put it in the car, I made a pact with her. I would treat her well by giving her a nice sunny spot on my deck and a big blue pot for her to scretch and grow. The only thing I asked of her is that she reward me with flowers and that beautiful glossy foliage.
Once I got home I left the gardenia in my kitchen as the days were still cold. I watered her and waited for the weather to warm up so that she could enjoy the deck. As the days turned into a week, she decided that I had broken our parking lot pact and promptly began yellowing and dropping her leaves. She sadly offered me one flower as though taunting me with what could have been.
I started to get that sinking feeling that my gardenia purchase had been a mistake, but I decided to pull out my experiment from last year. (Click here to read that.) I sprinkled the soil with a layer of corn meal and whipped up the liquid fertilizer. The days warmed up and my gardenia was moved outside. The gardenia seemed to approve of this and has returned to her happy state. The yellowing has stopped and she is full of buds waiting to open. She even thanked me by opening up another fragant white flower. But she kept that hidden well inside her branches, as though she was saying that she was still to timid to trust me completely.