Q: Can I start gardenia bushes by planting seed pods?
A: Gardenia seed pods are easy to spot in winter because they are typically bright orange or red. Each one contains several small seeds. You can try germinating them indoors in the winter if you have a sunny window sill. Open a pod to remove the seeds and plant them one-fourth inch deep in an eight inch pot filled with seed starting mix. Thoroughly moisten the soil and let it drain completely. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and put it in the window. It may take four to eight weeks before anything happens; typically only half of the seeds will sprout. If you do get a few seedlings, keep them indoors until the weather warms up in spring. Gradually move them from indoors to full shade to light shade outdoors. Fertilize lightly a couple of times in summer. In fall the sprouts can be planted in their permanent landscape spot.