my rose seedlings are starting to Flower!

SeeingreenMay 11, 2014

Thanks to Kim, I have a number of rose seedlings for this year, and it is quite exciting they are all starting to bloom! This is a self from Mr. Bluebird :D

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Congratulations! See? It isn't really all that difficult, is it? And, it's a whole lot of fun! Once you feel confident about raising the seed, it'll be time for you to start making your own crosses. That is when the real fun begins! I just posted today on my blog about a species hybrid seedling which germinated last year flowering for the first time. There are several other posts before it about other seedlings which have proven themselves to be of interest. Please feel free to browse the blog if you're interested. Keep up the good work! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Pushingtheroseenvelope

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:41PM
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lol too late, I've already read all of the articles on your blog including todays:) I really enjoy them, as for future hybridizing endeavors I have more roses to work this year so I'm betting I will get more viable hips. I have a few crosses in mind including using some of the seedlings as pollen parents.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Neat! Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it. Good luck using your own seedlings. That's when it really gets fun! Kim

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:18PM
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seil zone 6b MI

That's lovely! Seeing your babies bloom is always so exciting!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Thanks Seil it is

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:47PM
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more seedlings blooming, though a few of them are having trouble with powdery mildew, I think they get a bit fried so I have put up a screen above them and have stayed on top of watering, they get dried out so fast in this weather, I love so much :D

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:35PM
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and heres another

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:38PM
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and another....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:39PM
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going to have to transplant these two very soon... probably already should have,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:41PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

How the heck do they bloom so young? lol Thanks for posting this, something else to think about. :-)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:45PM
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I believe if I have it right roses that repeat tend to start blooming just weeks after developing their first few sets of true leaves...Once blooming roses take longer sometimes as I've been told up two or three years even. I have one right now who is a year old and he's decided to be celibate and revel in his green leaves.... :P

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:57PM
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Congratulations! Yes, they should respond quite well to transplanting so they don't dry out so quickly and have more nutrients and room to make use of. How early a seedling flowers is mostly determined by its genes. Usually, mini seedlings flower fastest, earliest, presuming they don't also contain genes from once flowering types. I have mini X species crosses going on their third year with no flowers yet. I also have species x species crosses which are flowering their first year. Go figure.

There are seedlings out there right now which aren't quite three months old from Lynnie using various other pollens, flowering when only a few inches tall. Kim

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:54PM
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reemcook(8a PNW)


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Thanks Kim, Reamcook

I started transplanting them, I was waiting on a few of them because I wanted to see their bloom first, but they really are over due for some leg room.

I notice also, at least in this case all of the singles seemed to bloom earliest way ahead of the doubles I wonder if that is because the plant doesn't have to invest the same kind of energy into a simple 5 petal flower or if its because they are minis as you mentioned do you think it could be both?

The minis did developed quite quickly. it was wee willie winki who flowered first and has continued to do so ever since he started.....he is quiet a cute little guy

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:19PM
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"I notice also, at least in this case all of the singles seemed to bloom earliest way ahead of the doubles I wonder if that is because the plant doesn't have to invest the same kind of energy into a simple 5 petal flower or if its because they are minis as you mentioned do you think it could be both?"

Most likely, both. Minis often repeat incredibly quickly, as do singles. Partly due to genetics and partly, as you mentioned, because it takes a whole lot fewer resources and time to generate five petals than it does multiples of five. Combine them into a five petal mini and it should repeat quite quickly, which is often the case. Of course none of it is written in stone as you are certain to find an exception for every "rule", but that's usually the way they work. The individual single flowers often don't last as long as the more double ones, but they arrive much earlier, much faster, continue pushing longer and later than really double ones. When you get down to actually making your own crosses, you are REALLY going to appreciate those five petal glories! SO much faster and easier to collect pollen from and emasculate in preparation for pollination. Kim

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:32PM
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seil zone 6b MI

They're doing wonderful, Seeingreen! I love all the different colors and forms you've gotten. That tiny single is adorable!

Listen to Kim, he knoweth from whence he speaketh, lol But I'll add that I have several from polyanthas this year and they bloom very fast too! I cleaned and stratified my seeds on Jan. 7th and had my first bloom on March 28th on a seedling from Pookah.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Thanks Kim for info and Seil for the encouragement :D
Seil you seedling looks great, I've started keeping clear coffee cups for the next batch as well as for cuttings.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Joe Moose, Zone 9A

Fantastic! I am now inspired to try my hand at this.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:16AM
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You're welcome, Seeingreen. Go for it, Joe! It is EASY and it is FUN! Here is one which flowered for the first time this morning. It was sort of a "throw away" cross made just to see "what if". I wanted decorative stamen. It seems to have worked! Kim

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:22PM
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awwww looks just like a cherry blossom :D
So since the burgundy colored stamens are recessive did you cross two roses that carried the trait?
Was this trait apparent in only one of the parents?
What growth type do the parents display?
Kim, I was just given Nozomi have you ever grown or crossed it with anything?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:35PM
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That could develop in to a rather interesting seedling, Seil. Congratulations! Thanks, Seeingreen. I love colorful stamen. No, the "mother" is this April Mooncrest (linked below) and the father is plain old Burgundy Iceberg. That rose has nearly black stamen and anthers with white (instead of yellow) pollen. The mother makes a large shrub to short climber here. Burgundy Iceberg is a larger, floppy floribunda in this climate. Only Burgundy Iceberg "wears mascara". Nozomi has a good reputation, but I've seen what it can and will do once it gets a foot hold in the ground! It ATE a friend's rear garden in the San Francisco area, even creeping into her trees and nearly covering her daughter's playhouse. She used to call it "Kudzu with thorns". Sean McCann's recounting of the story of the little girl for whom it's named brings me to tears each time I read it, and the rose has a good reputation. I'm just frightened of it! Good luck! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: April Mooncrest

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Hey Kim if you could give me some pointers on growing roses from seed I would appreciate it. my last try failed. Thanks and feel free to email me!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Hi Alana, timing is going to vary greatly by climate. Traditionally, the advice is seeds germinate above freezing until temps approach 70F, then taper off. What I experience here is they continue germinating (though more slowly) well into the 90s. I only plant mine outdoors, but that is because my climate permits it. I've not attempted raising them indoors, so if that is what you prefer or must do, I'll defer to those with that experience for advice.

Basically, you want a medium which retains moisture but never stays soggy so the seedlings don't rot. The ideal is for it to be light enough to permit small, weak roots to penetrate and for small, weak seedlings to come up through the surface so mediums which "crust" are disadvantageous. A seedling mix is about the nicest texture. If you can use that light a mix and keep it appropriately watered, great! I can't. I use a traditional moisture control potting soil in boxes I built for seed planting. I went to my local big box "home improvement store" and bought two, 6' fir fencing boards per box. I had them cut off the patterned tops so they were rectangular boards. I had them cut (for free) each board so I had a four foot length with the remainder (a bit less than 2' due to squaring the end) as one of the sides. That left me with two 4' lengths and 2 pieces of the same length, making a rectangular box. I stapled nylon window screen for a bottom to filter the soil and permit water to drain. Over this, I stapled metal hardware cloth to give support to the screen. I sat the boxes on saw horses with lengths of 2" x 4" to support them between the horses, and 1" x 2" set between the 2" x 4" so the bottoms had sufficient support. The boxes are 8" deep, allowing four cubic feet of soil per table with several inches of space for the emerging seedlings to grow. To keep critters out of them, I made 1" x 2" frames to slip over the tops of the tables with plastic hardware cloth stapled to them so air and light could easily pass.

I plant the seeds directly in the moisture control soil, separating the rows with small bamboo stakes cut to fit the depth of the box. Each row is labeled with plastic labels so I know the cross and each is separated from the other by the stakes laid upon the soil.

The rows of seed are covered by about a quarter inch of the moisture control soil mixed with perlite to provide a lighter, more easily penetrated cover. I tried seed starting mix in this set up and found it too light. It dried out too easily and washed off the seeds with rain and hose water.

You can raise them in smaller pots, if you can prevent them from drying out too quickly or being cooked by too intense sun. I realize your conditions in the east are far different from mine here north of Los Angeles, so what works best here isn't likely to be best there. Hopefully, I can pass on the "why" of what I do so you may have a better idea how to replicate "why" with the right "how" for your conditions.

The seeds "know" when conditions are best for germination. They don't like freezing temps, though they are quite frost hardy until they form their first true leaves. They will begin germinating just under forty degrees and speed their rate as the temps rise. As I mentioned, supposedly, that rate begins falling once temps hit 70F, though I've observed it often continues fairly steadily until well into the 80s.

The seeds also "know" the difference between hose water and rain. They will sprout with the hose, but let it rain well and they explode! The same is true for the seedlings, as it is with other plants. They do well with hose irrigation, but a good rain and they really show their pleasure!

When to plant? Some people feel holding the seeds in the refrigerator is necessary for germination. It may be if the genes you're working with are more cold hardy, shorter season types. If you're dealing with traditional HTs, floribundas, minis, etc., they usually germinate well planted directly from the hips. I sometimes refrigerate, sometimes not. In this climate, the weather isn't appropriate for germination until after Thanksgiving. These past few years, we've really not had a real "winter", and it's been possible to pollinate almost year round. Seeds are ripe and viable about 110 to 120 or so days after pollination. If I pollinate in winter to spring, by mid to late summer, they're "ripe". If I don't harvest them, something else is going to. I'll clean the seeds and put them in small plastic bags with a plastic label, marked with #2 pencil. Graphite doesn't wash off the labels. ALL other pencil or pen types will. I'll hold the cleaned seed in the bags from harvest until around Thanksgiving or later, depending upon the weather. It SHOULD be cooler and beginning to rain here by that date. If it is, planting is easy as the rains will keep them watered and the temps are appropriate for germination. If the rains don't come and it remains warm, I"ll wait, holding the seeds in the refrigerator until planting. If all goes according to plan, they'll be under soil by Thanksgiving with the first germinations around New Years most years.

I have planted directly from hips with late crosses and they germinated as well as any others. You'll find germination to be quite variable from year to year. Sometimes they come up like grass seed. The next year, pffft! Virtually nothing.

Some types, such as Banksiae, are known to require two years to germinate. I raised a Banksiae seedling after four months under soil several years ago. I have two or three this year which have sprouted in three to four months. I planted Xanthina seeds last year which failed to germinate. However, they're now germinating the second year in the seedlings which were transplanted from their neighboring seedling rows in the table. I know what was planted beside them, and am sure these are Xanthina seedlings. I planted the second half of them this year and several are sprouting after four or so months under soil. It is entirely possible for many to sprout after a few weeks to a few months under soil. Some will take up to two years. Many simply don't sprout. If you repeatedly fail to raise anything from your efforts, I'd expect something to be off in your variables. If you just don't get high percentages of germination, it may be due to weather, the particular rose variety you used as seed parent, the actual cross or other variables.

Some people advise storing the seed on dampened paper toweling in baggies; some in damp peat or sand. Allowing the seeds to fully dry delays germination, which is usually what I go for due to my weather related planting issues. If you're holding them in the refrigerator until they sprout, then planting them, moist refrigeration can be useful. I don't have the ability to raise them indoors and must wait to plant outside. The weather isn't appropriate for that until the Thanksgiving or later period, so dry storage is more suitable for my conditions.

I also can't safely transplant them after germination until "winter", hence the size and depth of my planting tables. The soil is four to six inches deep and with the wooden sides and mass of soil the tables contain, they can grow quite large their first year and be safely transplanted into individual pots just prior to setting up the tables for the next batch of seeds to be planted. If you're using individual "pots" (plastic cups, bands, etc.) indoors, you won't have those issues or needs to deal with.

MANY techniques work. There is no one true way to accomplish raising seedling roses, other than you need something light enough to permit germination of small plants, yet heavy enough to hold enough moisture without water logging. What that medium is depends entirely upon your conditions. Sequoia Nursery planted their seeds in nursery flats, in just a few inches of their potting mix heavily amended with perlite. The flats sat on wooden tables inside a green house and were watered by overhead misters as needed. They could transplant any time desired, then place the seedlings under mist or inside a very humid green house to harden off so few were lost to transplant shock. I'm sure others use quite different methods and have great success. You just have to keep experimenting to find what works best where you are, with your conditions.

I hope I've given you some ideas which help you figure out what works best for your conditions and situation. Just don't let them intimidate or frustrate you. You'll find what works for you, and you'll have a real ball doing it! Good luck. Kim

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:36AM
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here are a few more :D

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:36PM
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Ok so continuing with the trend of always asking you questions Kim....I looked up the Story previously mentioned, is there an available article on the web?....I searched Sean McCann and Nozomi but ended up back at the rose hybridizers forum....of course I found other links but I don't think they are the same people you were referring too.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:44PM
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I'm not aware of the story being on line. He wrote it in one of his Roses Abroad articles for the ARS magazine back in the eighties or nineties. It's a tear jerker. Kim

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Your very double white is a very lovely flower.

I'd mentioned earlier about storing the seed until planting and wanted to share a fast, easy way to shell a lot of one type. These are hips from my mini X R. Hugonis hybrid. I pollinated a few of them and decided I wanted to raise a population of self set seed to see what, if any, variation there might be in them.

I collected all the hips this afternoon, and just in time! Many were beginning to fall off by themselves. The stems came off with the hips, so they were ready.

I manually pulled off the stems and dried sepals to make the next step faster and cleaner.

Remind you of cranberries?

Because these are all from the same "cross", they're all the same seed, I can clean them by blender, instead of having to cut them open, pry out the seeds and clean them. I dumped these into the blender jar, just covered them with water and liquefied them until it appeared the gunk washing up on the sides of the jar appeared finely chopped.

Once I was satisfied the pulp and fibers should be sufficiently fine to pass through a screen, I dumped the whole mess into a large strainer, rinsing the jar and inside of the jar lid into the strainer to capture all the seeds which washed up on the inner surfaces of the jar.

I did this outside so I could wash the pulp into a flower bed to get a second use from the water used and add the rose hip pulp to the mulch. You can do it indoors, but then the pulp goes into your drains and you only get one use of the water.

I turned on the hose to a very light flow so I could hold my finger over the end to give it pressure and washed the pulp and fibers through the screen.

You can shake in a few shakes of Comet or Ajax to sterilize the seeds as you liquefy them, but then you need to rinse them over a drain. You wouldn't want the bleach from the cleanser flowing into your flower beds as it may cause some problems.

I left the seeds in the strainer and put it in the work room where I know I can prevent any vermin or birds from eating the seeds while they dry over night. There are a few small pieces of pulp in the strainer, but those will be easy to pick out tomorrow when I package the seeds to put in the refrigerator. I'll write a label, insert the seeds and seal the bag, then put it in the refrigerator in the garage with the othes.

This method works very easily for large batches of all the same cross, or self set hips. If you don't keep track of what made the hips or from which roses they came, you can just dump them all in together to process. I only used this method this afternoon because these are all the same and I wasn't looking forward to hand opening and hand prying the seeds from each hip. The seed will be safe in the refrigerator for the next five to six months until the weather allows me to plant. Kim

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:44PM
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Thank you Kim :D I really love the quartered look and the ruffly petals.
Thanks for sharing all of the great photos and your seed collecting process! I always seem to pick up a few new handy tips I hadn't thought about before, and Those hips look tasty by the way!
The bit about using commit is definitely something I'm going to try in the future. I was changing the damp paper towels like every three days to stave off mildew. I'm defiantly going to keep the seeds dry this year.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 4:46AM
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You're welcome. You could use the Comet or Ajax, but then you need to make sure you rinse them very well. The chlorine residue may kill sprouting seedlings. Some people also use hydrogen peroxide to rinse them with. As long as they're dry, you won't have any mold. However, storing them dry will result in none of them germinating in the bags in the refrigerator. Traditionally, when it wasn't thought of as dangerous nor otherwise limited by regulations, you would dust the seeds with Captain, a fungicide, which prevented mold. I shudder to think of how many times I had that junk on my hands planting seeds.

If you're counting on germinations in the refrigerator, use the cleanser or a very mild bleach solution to sterilize the seeds. Rinse them extremely well so you can't smell the cleanser. Dampen your toweling and squeeze every drop of water possible from them before inserting them into the bags. Just like with wrapping cuttings and mailing cuttings and bud wood, you want DAMP for humidity, not drops of water. As long as they are sealed without any punctures, the bags won't lose moisture. Too much and they will easily mold. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:23AM
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Beautiful flowers and nice detailed process pictures. May I ask how long it takes a rose seed to grow until bloom? Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 2:53PM
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They cover a very wide gamut. Some flower after only a few weeks. Some never flower. I have a nearly ten year old climbing seedling which is healthy, vigorous, thornless; it roots easily and grows very well own root. It has NEVER flowered. I'm trying it as a root stock. Being a seedling, it should be fairly free from the main plant viruses. It depends upon the genes the plant contains. Most are going to flower within the first year, as long as you are only planting seeds from modern, repeat flowering roses (HTs, floribundas, minis, modern shrubs). If you begin working with species and other, once flowering types, you begin dealing with genes which require time, maturity, more specific climate and weather conditions to induce flowering. I have a miniature X (miniature X species) cross which flowered its first year. I also have many of its sibling seedlings which are going on their second year of growth with no flowers yet. Kim

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:23PM
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