The Q&A Archives: proper watering of daisy gardenias

Question: I live just south of Nashville TN. I've planted 12, three gallon size, daisy gardenia bushes in my front yard and have installed a drip irrigation system to water them. Everything I read says that these plants need quite a bit of water but I can't find anything more specific. The drip heads I'm using are rated at 2 gph. Can you tell me how often and how long I need to water for best results. - Thanks, Joe

Answer: The frequency and amount of water you need to apply depends as much on your soil type as it does on the needs of the plants. Daisy gardenias prefer moist to normal soils. Moist is defined as soil that receives regular watering to a depth of 18 inches, does not dry out, but does not have a drainage problem either. Normal watering means that soil should be kept evenly moist and watered regularly, as conditions require. Most plants like 1 inch of water a week during the growing season, but take care not to over water. You may need to check the soil moisture level a few hours after running your drip system to see how deeply the water penetrates. Try running the system for 30 minutes (which equates to 1 gallon of water), then digging down near the plant to see just how moist the soil is and how deep the water has penetrated. That should give you an idea of whether you need to run the water for longer periods of time or run it more frequently (every day in hot weather, every 2-3 days in spring or fall). Wish there were an easier way for you to determine how often and how long to run your drip system, but it really depends!

Best wishes with your daisy gardenias!

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