The gumamela plants I bought in Tagaytay produced a lot of flowers within a month. Then I noticed that the flowers started falling off even before they bloomed. I noticed some powdery mildew on it and sprayed neem oil* on the plant. It worked, but it did not resolve the issue. The lady bugs** I found on the gumamela plant were not enough to solve the issue too.
After two weeks of spraying neem oil every few days, I looked for another solution. I read it's better to spray apple cider vinegar*** onto the stems of the plant. Luckily, I had some apple cider vinegar so that's what I did the past ten days. I sprayed the stems every few days. I also checked the leaves for any fungus on it (always wear gloves when working with plants!).
It looks like it worked because I don't see that much powdery mildew anymore on the plants. I also removed infected leaves and flowers. I noticed the gumamela plant growing flowers again too. Whew! I'm really bent on making sure the set of plants I got from Tagaytay live because I already failed in it ten years ago.
Learning how to tend to your plants is easier nowadays because you can search for anything on the web. You can also simply take a photo of the issue and use image search to find an answer. Plus you can also join groups to learn from others.
I always wondered how my Mom knew so much about gardening. She had very few books and she didn't like going online. I realized she knew her plants well because she spent a lot of time with them. That's how she's been able to keep her garden beautiful.
*Neem oil spray - neem oil + castille soap + baking soda + water in a spray bottle
**Lady bugs - they were probably in the plant already when I bought it