Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sometimes It Just Doesn't Work Out

I often think I have the perfect plant for the perfect place.  Research is done to learn the plant's needs as to water and light requirements, whether it is tender to the cold or can withstand a Florida humid and hot summer.  Even so, some plants just don't thrive.  One such plant is the Gardenia bush I planted at the front entrance to my house.  It was in bloom and smelling wonderful when planted.  Perfect part shade location with acidic soil should have been to its liking. 

Gardenia - May 2010

I loved enjoying its scent as I would pass by that little standard gardenia on the way to or from my front door.  Gardenias are Spring bloomers but maintain glossy green foliage all through the winter.  The green foliage in winter was one of the main motivations for purchase.

Gardenia - May 2010

You can guess where this is going can't you? The mealy bugs just wouldn't leave my Gardenia alone. I lovingly washed the leaves with soapy water. It thanked me by producing new leaves. The mealy bugs came back. I sprayed it with Neem oil. It produced very small new leaves this time. The mealy bugs came back. I washed it with soapy water. I finally admitted defeat.

The front entrance bed looked pretty pathetic with that brown leaved Gardenia standard and limp Caladiums. Something had to be done.

Camellia Sasanqua - October 2010

The Caladiums were clipped back to the ground to snuggle in the soil until Spring arrives again. The little Gardenia was placed at the curb for yard waste pickup. A new, lovely Yuletide Sasanqua Camellia was planted where the Gardenia had been.

Camellia - October 2010 
 Red Blooms w/ Yellow Centers Coming Soon

This is a Fall/Winter bloomer and while not fragrant, hopefully will add beauty to this area for a long time.  There is another Sansanqua Camellia around back that has done very well here at My Garden Path, so I'm counting on that as a sign that this new one will be happy too.  Time will tell.


  1. Nana ~ I'm sorry you lost your gardenia. I have two babies grown from cuttings sent to me from Tom in NC of Seventh St. Cottage. I hope they will give me some of those wonderfully scented blooms. Gardenias are one of my earliest scent memories of FL when I was a little girl.

    It is a real disappointment when plants die. I've not bought any plants since the economy went south over two years ago now. I'm planting things around the yard, from cuttings, seedlings that just pop up, of things growing and already know they are hardy. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can create with what I already have.

    Your camelia will look lovely in that spot, but alas, no scent. Enjoy the wonderful blooms anyway.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

  2. Oh my goodness, Nanak! What a perfect choice! I love that camellia! Son #2 bought me 'Yuletide' for Christmas last year. The old specimens in town are so stunning! As for gardenias, I make no secret of my dislike of them among my acquaintances. I ripped three specimens out a couple years back.

  3. Don't you just hate when that happens? But the camellia is an excellent choice.That specific one is on my list of must haves.

  4. Kay,
    Oh that poor gardenia. You really gave it your best shot! The camellia is going to be a good choice there. Did you buy anymore at Bok?

    Can you believe I still haven't gotten mine in the ground? I'm going back for a Yuletide for sure and maybe another... but it would be good to get this one in the ground first. It's been another crazy week.

    (word verification is bless:-)


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.