Patented Roses and propagation

stampin_kerryMarch 4, 2009

I'm new to the site, but I've been reading all the great info. about stem propagation--thank you everyone.

One person mentioned that you shouldn't try to propagate roses still under patent. they went on to say especially/primarily if you want to sell. I do not want to sell, but I'm very intrigued by the posts and success. Since I love roses, but find them to be a huge drain on my budget I thought this might be something I'm up for. How do I know what roses are still under patent?

Also, is there a resource I can go to in order to get the milk jugs and the soda bottles? We get our milk in gallon jugs and we don't drink soda, but this technique seems to work the most consistently.

Thank you!


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Plant patents are for a period of 20 years, for the most part. Any rose introduced within the last 20 years, especially those introduced by the large growers, may be patented. To avoid this, I don't propagate any rose variety unless it is 20 years old -- even if it isn't patented. I do this out of respect for the work of the hybridizer, whether they get royalties from their work or not. Besides, there are so many wonderful roses introduced before 1989.

Almost all of my milk jugs and soda bottles came from trips to the local recycling center. Tell the guy there that you need them for a special project, and ask permission. Most are happy to let you take what you need.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 6:26AM
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tkopari(Z4 MN)

If you go to HelpMeFind (link below) the rose listing usually tell if and when a patent was granted for that variety. They recently changed it so you have to be a "premium-membership member" to actually view the patent, but it still gives a date.

I hope that helps.


Here is a link that might be useful: HelpMeFind

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:39PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Go to, look up the rose, and get the registered name for the rose, which will usually have three letters in capital letters followed by some other identifying name. For example, the registered name for Knock Out is RADrazz. Then go to and enter the registered name. That will return the patent information, if there is one on the rose.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 8:09PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

I forgot to add that it does not matter if you plan on selling the rose or just using it in your own garden, it is illegal to asexually propagate (cuttings, grafting, budding, etc.) a rose that is currently under patent.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 8:11PM
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The likelihood is that they won't arrest you, but it is illegal. Not sure why though if you're not doing it for sale - it's not necessarily the case that you'd buy it otherwise. The few people who actually do propagate their roses aren't going to massacre any market and they may, like the people who download music, increase the market as other people stop by to admire the rose.

At any rate, here's how you get your milk jugs. I use 2 liter plastic soda bottles. Just peel off the label and cut off the bottom of the bottle. Now you have a nice little bell jar. Put the stick into the ground, water it, and stick the soda bottle over it. You can unscrew the cap to check on the moisture and you can even pour water through it to keep things properly moist. And since you have the twig in the ground, you don't have to worry about overwatering. I put them into paper cups or something similar, punch holes in the bottom, and stick those into the ground in a shady place.

You can get cheap soda for less than a dollar. I just pour it out so I have the bottle.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:09PM
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jont1(Midwest 5b/6a)

THere is a way around propagating a rose that is still under patent. All you need to do is contact the patent owner/hybridyzer and get written permission to asexually propagate the rose.
I did that with a hybridyzer when I wanted to try several different rootstocks for a rose he had bred to see if there was a diffrence in how it performed.
The other time I did it was when I asked Jackson & Perkins permission to propagate a rose that was no longer being offered by them or anyone else in the USA. Their stipulation was that I was not doing it for monetary gain which I wasn't. I just wanted more plants of this rose and they agreed that I could give some to other rosarians so long as there was no money involved.
Try it if you really want a particular rose. It certainly worked for me.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:05AM
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artqueen-2007(zone 9 TX)

Try clear plastic go cups, they are cheap. Also, I have used plastic bags from the grocery store, just put them around the whole pot gently tie them up.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:07AM
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I look at it as if I purchased the rose/plant, it is mine to do with as I want to so long as I do not sell them, maybe give some away. That would be like buying a yellow car from Ford, but because you did not get permission to drive it in a heighborhood where they are no yellow cars in that area except Buick and Caddies that are blue and green. Think about it. If I am wrong I am sorry.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 3:50AM
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It's true that no one is going to come after you for propagating a patented rose for your own garden. It is against the law, however. The purchase of that patented rose gives you the license to own the one patented rose plant in that pot ... not asexually produced copies of that rose, regardless of whether you sell the copies, give them away, or plant them in your own yard. Patent law applies for roses as it does for any other patented product. It's easy to make copies of roses, or software, or lots of other products, and share them outside the patent. That doesn't make it the right thing to do.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 6:37AM
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"it is mine to do with as I want to so long as I do not sell them, maybe give some away."

If you are just making a couple copies for yourself, nobody is going to object, although technically that is illegal also. When you get into giving away copies to friends, then its starting to infringe on the ability of the breeder to collect royalties due him for copies made and distributed, and that is clearly a violation of patent.

Secondly, your car analogy doesn't work. The actual analogy should be: you bought a yellow Ford and went home and made copies to give to your friends. Clearly that would be a violation of the law and Ford would be on you for damages, and rightly so.

There are thousands of non-patented roses out there which you are free to propagate and share with friends, and sell even, if you want. The right thing to do is select from this group of roses to propagate and leave the patented ones to the nurseries that have a license to propagate them.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:18PM
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It is not a big deal to propagate roses under patent as long as you keep those roses in your own garden. If you are giving them away or selling them to others, then that is something you really shouldn't be doing. Yes it's agaisnt the law, but you're not really hurting anyone or anything. There are some people who take it too seriously and no one is going to go after you for it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 10:29PM
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"Yes it's agaisnt the law, but you're not really hurting anyone or anything. "

Yes, you are: you are stealing revenue from the owner of the patent. If you were the creator of any intellectual property that involved a huge investment of time, energy and money, you'd take the loss of revenue seriously as well.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:39AM
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what do you do if you buy a property, it has roses on it, and you cannot identify them? can you now propagate them for yourself, and if someone challenges it, just say they were always there. i mean this is your OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY. Aren't we a country of individual freedoms? Isn't this the land of the brave and the free? so what I do on my own property is my own business, as long as I do not have a drug lab, or my own moonshine still, then I have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to propagate my own roses. What happens if the branch falls down, and then self roots itself? Did the bush now commit a crime. So how do you know that it was me who did the layering, unless you were trespassing on my property? That is why we kicked out King George out of this country, and why we died in a horrible war to defeat the NAZI. What next??? Take away my guns???
Make it illegal to say the Lord's prayer in public school???

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 9:09PM
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I'm having deja vu. That rant sounds very familiar.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 12:27AM
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I don't want to get involved in this issue but I notice that klinko 16 is from Canada. So I am wondering how we are denying your constitutional right when you are not even from the US?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:33AM
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mgleason56(Michigan 5b)

Yes trospero, we've both had these conversations with the above before, LOL!!

My rant, and other than this, I agree 100% with trospero; Some breeders, lets use J&P for example, have the habit of patenting a rose, then pulling it off the market almost immediately. I cannot tell you how many requests I get for Lucille Ball. I have tried for years to get J&P or the new company to give me permission to propagate and distribute to no effect. Under this situation, I have little interest in any "loss of investment" from the holder of the patent since they have such little regard for it themselves. Again, other than this scenario, I agree with trospero 100%.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Was that before my promotion to Colonel?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 7:16PM
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