Gardenia Water Requirements: A Brief Overview

Gardenias need regular watering, but the question is how often you should water them. Gardenia plants are known for their lovely flowers, but they require maintenance. That’s why it is vital to determine when to water gardenia and when not to. Here’s our guide on how often you should water gardenia and what’s not.

The Best Time to Water My Gardenia

The best time to water gardenia is when the soil feels dry but not cracked. You should also water it during the early morning or late evening hours when the sun is not shining as this will help avoid direct sunlight from damaging the plant.

Jasminum sambac flower are blooming and green leaf

How Often Should You Water Gardenia?

To water your water gardenia, you should water it every day or every other day, depending on the severity of the drought. In an area with a lot of rainfall, you may only need to water it once a week. You can water it once a month, in cold areas depending on soil moisture.

Watering Tips for Your Gardenia

  1. Check the soil moisture level regularly using a moisture meter or a hand probe. If the soil is dryer than 12 inches (30 cm), begin watering slowly and gradually increase the amount of water until the soil reaches 12 inches (30 cm). 
  2. Water gardenia needs about 1 inch of water per week. If the soil is not wet but moist, you may only need to water once a week. If the soil is wet, you will need to water every day.
  3. Don’t water when it’s windy or raining. These conditions cause runoff that can drown plants. 
  4. Wait until nighttime to water plants. It will help reduce evaporation from the leaves. 
  5. Try not to water during midday hours. It’s common to most people water their gardens because they think it’s daytime!
Gardenia jasminoides, commonly called common gardenia or cape jasmine, is native to Japan and southern China and is an evergreen shrub with thick, glossy, dark green leaves. It is particularly noted for its extremely fragrant white flowers and is often grown in double-flowered forms. Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer (June-July) in Japan.

Effects of Over-watering

Inexperienced homeowners frequently overwater their plants. It can produce issues such as:

  • Waterlogging – is when water accumulates so much on the soil surface that it reaches or exceeds the level of groundwater infiltration. As a result, the soil becomes saturated, and water cannot flow away quickly enough, leading to standing water and extensive damage to plants and property.
  • Weed Infestation – Overwatering causes weed seeds to germinate faster and grow larger than they would under normal conditions. It makes them difficult to control and can lead to an infestation in your garden or lawn.
  • Root Rot – Overwatering causes plants to take in more water than they can use, which leads to root rot. This occurs when the roots become infected with fungi or bacteria and die. The affected area will be stunted and brown, and the plant will not absorb nutrients from the soil. 
  • Salts build up in the soil – When plants are overwatered, salts build up in the soil, increasing the risk of stem rot and blossom end rot. These are two types of fungal infections that affect plants’ leaves and flowers. 
  • Plant Stress – Inhibits plant growth and flowering.
  • Soil erosion – Overwatering can cause soil to wash away, leading to drainage problems and even flooding. This can damage plants and gardens and reduce the amount of water available for use by other plants and animals in the area.

Effects of Underwatering

Underwatering occurs when the root zone of plants is kept too dry, which can be caused by several factors, including overfertilization and incorrect watering schedules. Underwatering can lead to many problems, including:

  • Reduced yields – Underwatering results in smaller and less nutritious plants.
  • Increased pests and diseases – Underwatered plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases, damaging the plant’s leaves, roots, flowers, or fruit.
  • Limited growth – Overwatered plants may not reach their full potential due to slowed growth rates. This can result in smaller plants that cannot produce as much fruit or flowers as they could have.
  • Leaf dropping – Underwatered plants often exhibit leaf dropping due to stress caused by the depletion of nutrients
  • Folate deficiency – Underwatering can lead to folate deficiency, which is a condition that causes abnormal development or breakdown of cells. This instability in cell structures may cause permanent damage to an underwatered plant either through severe nitrogen burn (which turns yellow) and/or fungal infection.
  • Insect infestation – Insects will generally be more inactive when plants are underwatered. They can damage crops, steal nutrients and utilize the humidity in an environment.
  • Bacterial or fungal disease – Underwatering may cause a bacterial or fungal infection to grow within your garden that will reduce yields over time if not known for preventative measures
  • General medical problems– Underwatered plants often exhibit general imbalance and irregular growth. This can cause malnutrition in the plant’s roots and shoots, resulting in a weak immune system, anemia (lower red blood cell count), low crop yields due to reduced nutrient uptake by leaves into stems or seeds, etc.
  • Root development problem – Lack of water will lead to stunted or undeveloped roots, physically and chemically restricting growth. Plants are unable to access moisture when they are underwatered.
  • Chlorosis – It’s a yellowing of leaves that occurs due to reduced levels of chlorophyll. Plants cannot process all the nutrients and water they need for optimal growth without being properly hydrated.
  • Under- or Over Blossoming – Inadequately watered plants will not have sufficient nutrients for the full development of flowers. The result is that there won’t be a large enough number of flowers.