Seed Pod

“Seed Pod”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 



Today, while walking around the garden just checking things out, I noticed a bright orange “something” on the gardenia bush.  On looking closer, I discovered it was the seed pod I first saw back in the summer.  Being green and inconspicuous, I guess I forgot all about it until the bright color of the ripening pod caught my attention.







Here it is nice and green in July.  The next photo shows it now.  It must be just about ripe.







I am going to have to watch it closely now to make sure that it doesn’t pop open and spill the seeds.  I don’t know what I will do with the seeds.  I will plant them, but I can find no information on germinating gardenia seeds.  I have had gardenia bushes here for over thirty years and have never seen a seed pod before, so maybe it is rare for them to form seeds.  You would think with all the information out there on the world wide web, I could find something, but so far no luck.  Nothing in my garden books, either.


Well, I am not going to count on anything until I actually have the seeds in hand.  However, I think that if I could get some plants from the seeds that would be something worth writing about.




  1. tina said,

    November 20, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Very pretty seedpod. Good luck capturing them. You might just put a baggie around it loosely so in case any seeds fall out you can get them.

  2. patientgardener said,

    November 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    If it were me I would sow some of the seeds straight away and some in the spring.

  3. November 20, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    How exciting Jan, now you really have to watch it closely so you can harvest your seed. It’s a rare looking and beautiful pod. / Tyra

  4. Brenda Kula said,

    November 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Hm, hard to believe there isn’t something about that online. But then you stumble across that problem from time to time. I’m sure if it’s out there, someone will email and tell you! Sorry it isn’t me!

  5. Alex said,

    November 20, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I’d be curious how this turns out…keep us posted! 🙂

  6. Jan said,

    November 21, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Tina, I just was thinking that I need to cover the seed pod with something – maybe a stocking? With all the upcoming holiday activities, I don’t want to lose it.

    PG, that sounds like a plan. Since I don’t know too much about gardenia seeds, that would seem to cover all bases.

    Tyra, isn’t the pod itself interesting? I was surprised by the vibrant color. It reminds me of a rose hip.

    Brenda, maybe someone out there does know about this. I am continuing to research gardenia seeds.

    Alex, I’ll be updating the gardenia seed saga from time to time, if I can get them to germinate.

  7. Randy said,

    November 21, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I can honestly say I have never seen a gardenia go to seed in my entire life! I hope you catch the seeds and plant them. I’m curious to see how they grow.-Randy

  8. Jan said,

    November 22, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Randy, I’ve never seen it before, either. If I get some seeds, I’ll plant them to see what comes up. It should be fun.

  9. Sallie said,

    December 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I have never seen a seed pod on a gardenia either and now I have 3 red pods on my bushes. Am going to keep searching the internet.

  10. Jan said,

    December 10, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    It is amazing what one can learn on the internet. Let me know if you plant your seeds.

  11. Ewa said,

    December 19, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Oh, you grow gardenia in the garden?! OMG! OMG! I love the plant so much.
    Tell me please, cos different sources are not clear about it. Does it like acidic soil? I managed to kill one plant, but I would love to try again 🙂
    I would like to ask for permission to publish these 2 pictures of gardenia seed pods in my blog in Polish – I would add also source live link to your blog.
    Thanks for sharing these pictures,

    • Jan said,

      December 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

      Ewa, of course, you may use my photos as long as you identify them as mine and link to my blog. I have had gardenias for many years, and they are wonderful plants. Gardenias do like acid soil. I hope you try again to grow these wonderful plants.

  12. maxine said,

    July 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I have had “seed Pods” from my Desert Rose plants for two years. I recommend and have used cheese cloth to wrap around them, not too tight. I checked mine twice a day to see if they were starting to open……..”a watched pot never boils” I believe is the saying…. This year I do not have as many as before….I have twp large DR plants ….last year I had at least 16 pods, with about 10-20 seeds in each…..most of which I was able to retrive the seeds and plant. I have about quite a few pots in my backyard with grown health Desert Roses.
    I am very interested in your progress with your “pod” of gardenia seeds!! I read this and ran out to look at my bush – tree, it is about 6 ft tall..I did not see anything but will keep watch…….PLEASE take pictures of progress and post when you can!!!

    Thank you
    West Palm Beach, FLorida

  13. HENRY said,

    October 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm


    I have been trying to get information on Gardenia Seeds myself. You know why? Because I have a Gardenia bush in my yard that has at least 100 pods just like your picture. My bush is about 5 yrs old and the first pods came last year after the flowers fell off. They formed, turned red and then brown at the end of winter. You do not have to worry about losing the seeds because the pods will not open. I harvested them and planted a pod as well as single seeds. They both came up. I now have little plants everywhere. Right now as I write this, my bush is again full of pods. They are beginning to turn red. I’m sure you know by now that there are many seeds in each pod. Have you had any success in growing plants from your seeds? Have you found any additional information about this, no one seems to be familiar with Gardenia seeds, including my brother who has a Phd in Agriculture. If you would like a picture, let me know. Good Luck!

  14. Lynn said,

    November 17, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I work for a landscape company. While walking in the back lot I noticed our Gardenias have pods on them. I have never seen pods on Gardenias before. Our pods are still green and it is November in NC. We are going to keep one of the plants here at the shop and experiment with propagation. Do we need to wait till the pods turn brown before cutting them from the plant?

    • Jan said,

      November 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      Lynn, I think I would wait until the pod dried on the plant before harvesting. I think I took mine too early.

  15. Henry said,

    November 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    If you pick them while they are green or red, they will do nothing. When they are green they are hard, when they turn red, they are soft and if you open one they are mushy inside. They will dry on the bush and turn brown in spring. You can then pick them and plant the pod whole or take the seeds out and plant them. I have had them come up both ways. There are about 50 little seeds in each pod.
    Good Luck!

    • Jan said,

      November 18, 2009 at 5:35 am

      Thanks, Henry, for the info.

  16. Henry said,

    November 18, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    You are very welcome!

    It will be exciting to see if the plants from the seed pods have flowers and pods when they mature!

  17. Pamara said,

    January 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I have a two year old gardenia and it too is covered with those orange pods.
    I will wait until Spring and harvest them as well as Henry sugested. My other 5 bushes have none…I thought maybe because of its pods it is a female plant and my other ones are males.???? hmmm

    • Jan said,

      January 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t think gardenias are male or female, Pamara. Good luck on your seeds.

  18. karen said,

    January 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    “Thanks” to all of you for the above information. I have had Gardinia bushes in my yard for over 30 yrs. This is the first tme I have ever seen these beautiful orange pods. I planted this bush 7 yrs ago. I cut 2 branches with the pods and now have them in water. I will take the above advise and wait for them to dry, then plant.


  19. Henry said,

    January 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm


    Karen, they would probably mature better on the bush but I think they will be ok if they are allowed to completely dry out.

    I have about 10 gardenia bushes that are from seed pods. The largest is about 3 ft tall and I’m excited to see if it will flower this year!

    Hopefully I can post some pictures for all to enjoy.


  20. HENRY said,

    February 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Any updates? My pods are bright red now and starting to wrinkle and dry! My bush is 7 foot tall now so I will have to cut it back. Hopefully it will still produce pods.

    • Jan said,

      February 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

      What a coincidence, Henry. I just responded to a comment on my “Copyright” page from Kathy about her seed pods. I sent her to this post and your comments about your pods. Sounds like hers may be ready to plant.

  21. HENRY said,

    May 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Harvest day! Today, I harvested my Gardenia Pods. I picked one-hundred and twenty-one pods off my bush. Some big and some small. This does not include the ones the birds got and the ones that fell off earlier. Its amazing and very exciting. Some pods have just a few seeds in them, other big ones have fifty or more seeds. I have already planted at least twenty pods and have fifteen seedlings growing in pots and beds. I also have ten little bushes that are two to three feet tall. Three will flower this year. I am anxious to see if pods form behind the flowers. Happy planting!

  22. October 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I have had a gardenia plant for 4 years and no pods, but a friend of mine has had hers 15 yrs or more and this is the first year that they have pods all over the branches. They are so unusual and beautiful, like a tiny pineapple shape. I have seen all the comments and Henry, I think these ones with pods very well may be female, too. . My nieces has had hers 20 years and never heard of the seed pods. Very cool , how much they stand out when they are there. No missing that, Hope yours flowered . I am going to do as you suggest and see what happens. Maybe they are aliens? he he. Cyndi Eberle-Waite, in Ga.

    • Jan said,

      October 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      Doesn’t seem to be as rare as I thought. Mine was the first I had seen, and I had had gardenias for over twenty years. It certainly is interesting to see who has these seed pods.

  23. Henry said,

    January 5, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Hello Again to all you lucky “Pod People” and Happy New Year!

    My Gardenia plants that I grew from seed pods did flower last year! They had smaller flowers and yes smaller pods too, but they are indeed pods. Only the oldest one has pods and it only has 3 pods. Its about 4 ft tall and 3 yrs old.
    I cut back my original bush after the pods formed and I still picked 100 pods on New Year’s Day. This time I picked them early while they were red and soft and wrinkled because I didn’t want to share them with the birds. I’m letting them dry out and they seem to be fully mature.
    I’m looking forward to planting some in Spring but I will have to be careful where I put them because my wife and kids are all Gardenia’d out. ” Until the beautiful fragrant flowers come”

    Happy Planting and Growing!

    • Jan said,

      January 5, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Congratulations, Henry. Sounds like you really know how to plant gardenias from seeds. I find all of this so interesting since I didn’t realize until recently that gardenias even made seeds. That will teach me to be more observant.

      • Henry said,

        January 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

        Thank you Jan,
        I have had great success with my seed pods but I think most of it was just good luck. Most of the seeds that came up were just broadcast into my flower garden. The ones that I planted in pots didn’t do as well. When they come up, they are easy to spot because they are so green and shiny. I grew up on a farm but it took four crops of gardenia pods before I remembered that harvest time is in Fall, not Spring. That’s why I picked my pods early this time. In looking back at your first pod picture, it was probably mature and just needed to dry like you said. I hope you get more pods this year. I have pods, seeds, and little plants everywhere! It’s is exciting!

        Good Luck,

  24. Jennifer said,

    July 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    So I’m new to gardenia’s and only have two pods. Do I just keep them dry until spring and stick them in the ground a few inches? Thanks, Jen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: