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Gardenia Seeds [Best Buying & Grow Guide]

Gardenia can be quickly propagated from cuttings, but adventurous gardeners opt for seeds that take two to three years to flower.

You can harvest Gardenia seeds from the seed pods once the flowers are spent. To germinate the seed, presoak the seeds in lukewarm water and sow them in a moistened seed starting mix at 70-75°F temperature with ample humidity.

The germination can vary from weeks to months depending on how ideal and conducive the environment the seeds get. Thus, read on to learn how you can fasten the process.

Gardenia Seeds Overview

The lovely flowering shrub, Gardenia, hails from southern Asia, Africa, Australasia, and Oceanic regions, where they grow in the tropical forest beds.

Over 142 Gardenia plant species belong to the coffee plant family, Rubiaceae, and each plant is used for a different medicinal purpose.

Gardenia infused with tea eases the discomfort associated with Premenstrual syndrome and other health benefits.

Here is a brief guide about Gardenia seeds.

ColorLight-colored (When immature)
Yellow to brown (Ready to plant)
Bright orange or red shell (When mature)
Size¼ inches long
ShapeTiny and irregularly shaped
Weight0.005 – 0.010 g
Blossoming SeasonSpring and Summer
BlossomWhite to pale yellow flowers
Seed Pod
Spent flowers make way for seed pods 1½ inches in diameter and dark
Harvest SeasonFall and winter
Growing TimeSpring (When grown outdoors)

Late Winter or early spring (When grown indoors)
Conducive TemperatureAround 70-75°F (21-23.8 °C) to germinate
Germination Time3-4 weeks
Inflorescence3-4 years

How to Collect Gardenia Seeds?

Gardenia produces self-pollinating, waxy and creamy-white flowers in spring and summer.

Once the petals or flowers drop off, the ovary containing the seeds will begin to swell and develop into mature fruit.

The flowers die in summer and begin seed production or the fruiting process. The seed pods ripen pretty quickly and can be confirmed via their changing color.

properly ripened gardenia seeds on a basket
The properly ripened or mature Gardenia seeds have bright reddish brown looks.

Bright orange or reddish seed pods indicate they are mature and ready to be picked, usually in late fall and winter.

Remember, you must not transfer Gardenia outdoors when they are producing seeds. They are cold-sensitive and can die with dipping temperatures.

Once the seedpods mature, they burst open and disperse the seedlings on the ground.

So, regularly check them once the color of seed pods begins to turn reddish brown or they have become one and a half inches in diameter.

Steps to Harvest Gardenia Seeds

Follow this guide to harvest Gardenia plant seeds carefully.

  • Wait for the seed pods to turn mature with an orange or reddish color
  • Break the seedpods from the stems and collect them in a paper or bag.
  • Pick out the seeds using your finger or a pair of tweezers.
  • Handpick each seed pod from the plant and manually process it.
  • Fresh seeds do not need further processing but consider rinsing and drying for future use.
  • Wash the seeds under cool tap water and remove any residue.
  • Spread them over the paper to dry. Once dried, they will appear yellow to slightly brownish.
  • Transfer them into a Ziploc bag and store them in a cool location.

Where to Buy Gardenia Seeds?

You can always order a batch of healthy Gardenia seeds if you are not up for harvesting seeds.

Here are a few sellers specializing in Gardenia plants with viable seeds for sale.

Garden Paradise SeedsWorlwide shipping, 3-11 days
Plant My SeedsWorldwide shipping, 3-11 days
Hobby SeedsWithin a week
Sheffield's Seed CompanyShipping may take at least 3-5 days

Steps to Germinate Gardenia Seeds

Aim to sow fresh Gardenia seeds right after harvesting for optimal seed germination.

But before getting your hands dirty, ensure you have seed starter mix, tray and 2-3″ pot.

Step 1: Prepare the Seed

  • Freshly extracted seeds do not need to be presoaked. So, directly sow them in the seed-starter mix.
  • But presoak stored Gardenia seeds using lukewarm water to prepare them for germination.
  • Do not soak the seeds for over 24 hours, as anything more can drown them.

Soaking in water helps soften the tough seed cover, making it easier for the seed embryo to sprout.

Step 2: Prepare the Starter Mix

  • Use a seed starter mix containing organic and inorganic material or mix equal parts of perlite and peat moss.
  • Stir the ingredients and moisten the solution thoroughly by watering.
  • Set the pots aside to drain excess moisture.
Monstera seedling in the soil
You can prepare a starter mix for seed germination or buy commercial mixes.

Step 3: Sow the Seeds

  • Fill the 1/4 inch germination tray and about 3 inches for the 4-inch pot using potting mix.
  • Place the seed on the soil and gently push it inside, barely covering them.
  • For fresh seeds, add one seed per section or add 2-3 seeds per section for the stored seeds.
  • Cover the tray with a clear plastic bag to mimic a mini greenhouse.
  • Place them a few feet under the grow light (14-18 hours) and maintain the temperature at 70-75°F.
  • If you live in a colder climate, use a heating pad to boost germination.

Depending on the growing condition, it could take four weeks to three months for the Gardenia seeds to germinate.

Step 4: Transplant in a Pot

When the seed sprouts several inches or grows a couple of leaves, transplant them into the individual pots.

  • Prepare a well-draining, porous, loose potting mix of pH 5-6.5.
  • Gently turn the germination tray on its side to slide the seedlings out.
  • Transplant them in each small pot and fill them with soil mix.
  • Place them in an east or south window with drapes on to ensure morning sunlight but protection from the afternoon sun.
  • Regularly water them to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • To prevent overwatering during the germination process, use a mister.

If you live within 8 to 9 USDA zones, you can move them outdoors but wait for them to become sturdy enough to handle outdoor conditions.

Care Tips for Gardenia Seeds After Germination

Here is a brief guide to caring for Gardenia seeds and young saplings.

Sunlight1. Avoid direct sunlight and place them 5-6 feet away from south window

2. Aim to use full spectrum grow light that boosts germination
Temperature1. Maintain temperature at 70-75°F

2. Ensure consistent temperature of 65°F during the day and 60°F at night
Humidity1. Maintain humidity over 50%

2. Humidity less than 40% can dry the plant and anything above 70% will invite root rot problem
Watering1. Daily water seedlings to keep soil moist but not soggy

2. Increase watering frequency in active season but reduce in fall and winter.
Fertilization1. Fertilize monthly in spring and summer with balanced organic formula mixed at half strength.

2. Alternatively, use slow-release fertilizer such as Azalea or Camellia fertilizer for every three months.

Final Thoughts!

If you are up for the challenge, consider harvesting seeds from mature Gardenia and sowing them just before spring.

Remember, fresh Gardenia seeds have higher chances of germination than stored ones. So, aim to use them as soon as you harvest.

All The Best!

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