Q: Could you please tell me what this is on a gardenia plant? The bush has several of them and they have been there for a while.
A: It’s a gardenia seed pod. If you open it up, you can see several small seed inside. As you’ve noticed, the red pod is very attractive.
Work has been done at the Center for Applied Nursery Research to find gardenias that have showy fruit.
The only one I’m aware of is Gardenia jasminoides ‘Grif’s Select’ , a dense, small-leafed form selected by Dr. Michael Dirr for its unique qualities.
It is hardy, compact (3′-4′ high), and the abundance of fragrant white flowers in May and June lead to heavy red seed capsules in fall. It does best in sun to part shade.
If you care to plant the seed, do so in early summer in a bed that gets morning sunshine and afternoon shade.
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