Can you Overwater a Gardenia?

Producing mostly snow-white to creamy-white flowers with an unmistakable, sweet, strong, and summery scent, the Gardenia is an evergreen shrub that features dark green, shiny leaves. It’s a prolifically flowering plant indigenous to the subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Australasia, southern Asia, and Oceania.

Preferring to grow in warm gardens situated in subtropical regions, the Gardenia is a sensitive plant that primarily enjoys a mix of morning and afternoon sun and shade. SinceGardenias cannot endure frost and are not very tolerant of being moved or touched, they’re best left in a position where they’ve established themselves.

The issue is checking that you haven’t overwatered your Gardenia. Like with most bonsais, too much water can cause an issue. We’ll take a quick look into if you can overwater a Gardenia and how to resolve it.

Can you overwater a Gardenia

How Often Should Gardenias be Watered?

Gardenias should be watered regularly but not excessively. Their roots should be in soil that’s consistently well-drained and damp, and the plant will benefit from a daily misting.

Roots of plants in standing water will ultimately cause the death of the plant through root rot.

Signs of root rot are when the leaves of the plant turn yellow then drop off. When buds fall off your plant, the cause is that it has been exposed to very low winter temperatures or that the soil was dry for too long during warmer weather.

In spring and summer, you can water almost daily, sometimes twice a day if it’s excessively hot. When autumn and winter arrive, you and drop it down to every alternative day or twice a week. You can also add mulch to the soil surface to help retain moisture.

Can you overwater a Gardenia

What does an Overwatered Gardenia Look Like?

If you have an overwatered Gardenia, you’ll see the leaves turn yellow and start drooping. You’ll notice that it affects the older, lower leaves first before spreading upwards. Eventually, the leaves will drop off, even if your soil has moisture.

New buds may appear, but they will die soon after that. You might also smell a terrible odor from the soil, which may be an indication of root rot.

Can you overwater a Gardenia

How Do You Save an Overwatered Gardenia?

All is not lost. You can save your overwatered Gardenia with the proper bonsai tree care by following a few easy steps:

  • Change the soil: The cause may be that there’s not enough aeration in the soil. You can buy a mix with some bark that helps the roots and soil drain the water more easily.
  • Increase drainage: You should check if there are enough holes at the bottom of the pot. You can also add drainage stones at the bottom to make the liquid pass more easily.
  • Improve lighting: It might be that your Gardenia doesn’t have enough sunlight during the day. Consider moving it to a spot with direct light for several hours, which will ensure your plant drinks more.

Once you’ve attempted the above, only water the soil when you feel the top two inches are dry. As soon as you see new leaves and signs of vibrant life, you know you’re saved your Gardenia. It may take a few weeks to adjust, so practice patience.

We have a detailed bonsai tree care guide with all the relevant information. Check the guide out here!

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Final Thoughts: Can you Overwater a Gardenia?

Giving your Gardenia the extra attention that it demands will reward you with a beautiful, fragrant, and happy plant that will make you the envy of your family, friends, and neighbors. We hope our small guide has shown you how to prevent overwatering.

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I have always been a keen cricketer and enjoyed the outdoors, including gardening from time to time. At the age of 60, I often sit and marvel at the awesome wonders of creation. Cooking, reading, and writing are my main hobbies.

Brian Limerick

Brian Limerick


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