I'm new to this forum and have an urgent question about my bonsai gardenia which I received as a gift 2 weeks ago. I did see a few yellowing leaves from the beginning but I kept the plant. Now it has a lot more leaves that have either turned yellow or half white (where the other half stays green). Please see attached pics.
It seems like, although I'm not certain, that the yellowing is happening from the bottom up and in areas that are crowded or blocked by other leaves. It has buds but no flowers yet.
Some more info on environment etc.:
I live in Fort washington, MD, about 15 miles south of DC. Climate has been unstable lately, but mostly cloudy with temps ranging mid 50s -high 80s and some rain. We've been getting a lot more sun over the past few days. We've also had a few humid days also.
I have my plant outside where it gets full sun ( when the sun is out) from around noon/1pm onwards.
I didn't learn about humidity trays and such until the other day so I had the plant in the pot it came in, and on the front steps (concrete). I don't have a tray yet but I raised the bottom by putting large pebbles beneath it for now. Having read some things on the web, I'm guessing I should put some kind of water tray by it?
I make sure it gets water (either hose or rain) at least every other day if not every day.
Also, am I supposed to cut the branches at all since it's a bonsai plant or do I wait until after it has flowered?
Any advice would be helpful at this point. I'd like to keep it alive and well!!
Thank you in advance!