Q.My 20 Year Old Gardenia Seems to Be Dying
I moved from the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (1900′) to the Eel River Valley, California. Coastal weather has not seemed to be good for the gardenia. Now it has lichen or some such green growth on the stems and few leaves. No new growth and it is July. It is is full sun (when the sun shies in this dank area). I have transplanted it into a smaller pot. any other ideas?
This sounds like either sooty mold or possibly canker. Both are fungi that like dank conditions. You might want to check with your local extension office (found under gov't in the phone book) for more information about controls and if the area is really suitable to growing gardenias. Hopefully they will have a solution for you, it's a shame to lose a plant you've had so long :(