Seedlings of 2014

weberriverJanuary 8, 2014

My "eldest" surviving seedling for this year has sprouted its first true leaf!!! (Sorry for the poor photo, my camera is not the best.) Unfortunately I do not know its parentage -- it came from a mixed bag of hips. Its seed parent was probably a miniature, however.

Anyone else out there have little rose babies to admire? :)

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seil zone 6b MI

Aw! I love baby pictures, lol! Nothing here yet. I just did my hips on Tuesday so it will be a few weeks before I get any germinations. Keep us posted on how yours does!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Sending speedy germination thoughts your way, seil! Just out of curiosity, how many do you usually try to grow per year?

I managed to get a somewhat clearer photo of this one today. The leaf has opened up more now -- I'm loving the serration on it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:04PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh how exciting!!! Can't wait to see how it turns out. My seeds are all in the refrigerator now.
Wow!! Good for you!!
Don't you just love that vibrant green!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Congratulations, Weberriver! I share your excitement! My seeds were planted beginning the week after Thanksgiving with the last batch completed about three weeks ago. To date, there are 28 seedlings, many with their first true leaves. It's been a very dry, warm winter so far, which should explain my germination began so quickly and is accelerating a full six to eight weeks ahead of "normal". Kim

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:10AM
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Ronn Bonites

Aww... Little seedlings are so pretty to look at. I can't wait to be able to grow some roses from seed someday. Hopefully I get hips this year! :D The only seedlings I have right now are basil, marigold, and lavender

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 4:47AM
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They are beautiful, roseseek!!! 28 babies, wow. Are they all your own crosses?

Even if I miraculously get 100% germination and survival, I'll only have ten seedlings. This is my first year growing them though and all are OP. There's really something special about being able to witness the beginning of a rose's life. I already love mine even if they end up having terrible blooms, 'cause they're my firstborns, lol.

canadian_rose, best of luck with your seeds!!! And Resolute_Noir, I hope you do get the chance to grow some! They take forever but are so worth it!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Thanks, Weberriver! Yes, they're all from my own crosses. I plant very few self set seed. Those are primarily from my own seedlings just to see what's possible from them. For example, I raised a seedling from Ralph Moore's breeder rose, 1-72-1, the sister seedling to his famous Rise'n Shine. It's yellow, semi climbing, continuous flowering; produces healthy seedlings and passes on yellow color, though Rise'n Shine passes on primarily pastels and white, and produces many thornless or nearly thornless offspring. The pollen I used was from R. Hugonis, not known for producing prickle-free seedlings. What resulted is a nearly prickle-free, Hugonis appearing shrub which flowers most heavily in spring, but with occasional repeat later in the summer to fall. It has thrown a few canes with bristles at their bottoms and one with huge, "winged thorn" type prickles lower down their growth. Oddly, it has already produced three flowers in the past two weeks, though no buds are evident on the smooth, reddish-mahogany canes. It is deciduous, like the species, though the seed parent is fully evergreen. My seedling (1-72-1Hugonis, or "17hug" as I record it on my tags using my shorthand "in the field") is also totally free from any disease issues in my garden.

I've raised seedlings from it using it as both seed and pollen parent. I'm also raising self set seed in hopes that some may continue the thornless, species look, but with perhaps repeat flowering. I've no doubt it IS a cross between the two parents. There is absolutely no way a self seedling from the miniature parent could possible have Hugonis plant characteristics without Hugonis genes. It's also highly unlikely for Hugonis to produce near prickle-free seedlings by itself and the seeds were harvested from hips pollinated on the miniature with the species pollen.

In all the seedlings resulting from crosses with "17hug", only one has flowered its first year, the rest flowering in their second year at the earliest. Perhaps something originating from selfed crossing might recombine the species look with the miniature repeat flowering?

Otherwise, unless there is little to no information about what created a rose, I see little benefit for me to raise self seedlings from it. Too many resemble the seed parent and the vast majority (not all, but MOST) are inferior to the original. Unless the seed parent originates from a cross between two widely unrelated parents, such as "17hug" does, there really is little to nothing to be gained by dedicating space to raising the seeds. That isn't to say it isn't worth someone else's while to raise them. I am convinced the best way for anyone to learn to raise seedling roses, particularly before they actually begin making their own crosses, is to raise seed from successfully self set hips from their own garden.

The easiest way to determine which roses make good seed parents is to permit them to form self set hips in your garden. The easiest way to determine which seeds germinate easiest is to try them. Why waste your time pollinating a rose to create seed if you don't know how to raise them in your conditions? Why waste time pollinating a rose whose seeds refuse to germinate, even when you know HOW to germinate them? Believe me, there are roses which easily set seed, but whose seed REFUSE to germinate the majority of the time. Better to use the willing mothers who make generous, willing seed.

I well understand being blind to your "babies'" faults. It'll be easier to overlook a few whose habits aren't really socially acceptable in other gardens. If you're serious about wanting to begin raising your own crosses, learn to be callous in your evaluations early. It is a real drag trying to maintain far too many plants which really aren't all that good in the garden, until you finally have ENOUGH. That kind of purge can feel good, but it makes real "work" of what should be fun. Good luck! Kim

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Thank you so much for your insight, Kim! Do you have your roses on HMF? I wanted to look up your 1-72-1Hugonis, but the site is down for maintenance right now. The thought of a species cross is actually what first got me interested in rose hybridizing. R. woodsii grows profusely around here, and its hips are so deliciously fragrant -- I couldn't help but wonder what a cross between it and some of my better garden roses could potentially produce. Although since then I've learned about the difficulties of crossing diploids with tetraploids, etc., so I don't know how far I'll explore that avenue.

One of my biggest hurdles to making my own crosses is that the identities of most of my roses are a complete mystery to me, and I hesitate to cross just any of them. (Like you said, I want them to preferably be as unrelated as possible.) I'm currently living at my late grandparents' home, and the twenty or so rose bushes here are all 30-50 years old. Fortunately they seem to be fairly hardy, as they don't receive much maintenance besides pruning and occasionally spraying for aphids. There's also a rose at my childhood home that I always adored, but whose identity is again unknown to me. I would love to cross it with one of the roses here, if only for sentimental purposes.

Once blooming season comes around, I'm going to try and see if I can ID some of these roses. And I'm thinking that for my first hybridizing attempt I'll use mainly mixed pollen. I don't want to get my hopes up about any particular cross. I've also read that mixing pollen can help diploid/tetraploid crosses take, should I decide to use R. woodsii after all. As for good seed parents, there was only one rose in the yard that was overlooked in the deadheading this past year, and that was an apricot that I believe is very likely a Westerland. It set lots of hips last fall, two of which I set aside for cold stratifying and some others for practicing embryo extraction on. I noticed that out of all its seeds I opened, there were only two dead embryos -- the rest were plump and healthy. This is in comparison to R. woodsii, which out of 60 seeds or so that I checked, more than two-thirds contained dead embryos. I'm still waiting to see what the actual germination rates are for the seeds I stratified though. (The one seedling I've posted pics of is from my neighbor's bush, they let me have some hips to practice on as well.)

And as for culling seedlings, I know I'll definitely have to be a lot more callous about that in the future. Lol. I think it'll be easier after I've seen several seedlings grow up and have already experienced the disappointment of a poorly-formed bloom. At least with my own crosses, I'll have an idea ahead of time of what kind of rose I'm looking for. I'll obviously want healthy, disease-resistant ones, first and foremost, but I'm also pretty picky about colors and bloom form. I hate most pink and red roses, for instance, and that will knock out a large percentage of them no doubt.

This post was edited by Weberriver on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 19:17

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Terrific thread!

Question: When do you cull those seedlings? As I understand, many first blooms are not representative of what the mature plant is capable of. I have seen the changes maturity can bring to the blooms of little bands like Crepuscule and others I have planted here.

Do you wait until you have seen a few blooms over time?

Personally, I could never cull anything that had a decent scent.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 8:04PM
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You're welcome! Yes, those which I have determined are "worthy" are on HMF. If they're still under consideration or haven't lived up to my expectations of them, they don't go on the site. Don't worry about any potential difficulties in crossing diploids, triploids or others. As Ralph Moore said for many decades, "the rose will find the way", and "just when you think you know the rules, the rose changes them". I tried forever to cross the tetraploid R. Fedtschenkoana with modern roses, with total failure. So, I figured the best possibility would be with the absolute most fertile rose in my garden, Orangeade. It worked. The next which worked was with my Dottie Louise, which was Orangeade X Basye's Legacy. That worked very well, too. Since then, Fedtschenkoana has worked with a number of things. The same occurred with Hugonis. At first, it seemed impossible to work with, until it worked. Now, it seems to be as much a "ho" as the rest.

That doesn't mean there aren't foliage, repeat flowering and disease issues, because there are going to be. It's the nature of the beast. The trick is to raise enough of them to select the healthiest, most productive result which does what you want it to do.

You might consider taking clear photos of all the pertinent plant parts, including buds, sepals and blooms of each of the roses in question, then posting them to GW and Help Me Find to see if others might be able to help identify them. You can still make the proposed crosses between the ones you want, you just won't know as much about whether you SHOULD cross them, or not. But, you would then have products of both of your homesteads.

One of the loveliest aspects of determining which make good seed parents is the imposed freedom from "having" to groom the roses all the time. Once I broke that habit so they could begin teaching me what I needed/wanted to know, seeing the spent flowers on the bushes was actually a very pretty sight. It was genuine freedom. A few community wags chided me about "not paying attention to the roses", which made it fun to return their comments, letting them know I WAS paying intense attention...letting the roses teach me something instead of attempting to bend THEM to MY will.

As long as the plant is healthy, fertile, vigorous, don't worry about bloom form or even color. Making a GOOD plant is the first step, period. Nature favors pink rose flowers. Study species and you'll quickly come to the realization that pink is the "default". Pink roses of all classes are generally healthier, more vigorous, more vital, more durable and often more fertile than any other color. Once you have a GOOD pink flowering plant, it's easy to change color. Again, as Mr. Moore said, "make a good plant first, it's easy to hang a pretty flower on it later". Makes sense. How many truly AWFUL roses have there been with heart stopping flowers on them? Imagine if they had been GOOD plants with those wonderful flowers....

I honestly don't blame you for not preferring pink flowers. I had a severe bout with chicken pox in the sixth grade. For two months, I was coated in Calamine Lotion...EVERYWHERE. I hate pink. I don't wear anything pink, though with my coloring it's a good color for me. Doesn't matter, pink turns my stomach. I won't eat anything colored pink. Naturally tinted pink, OK, but colored pink? Forget it. But, the best roses you will ever raise or grow are going to be pink, guaranteed.

You can cull seedlings any time. I created three, large boxes as tables to plant the seeds in. I can permit them to grow the full year before having to transplant them. Fortunately, the weakest kill themselves once it gets extremely hot. Many never generate the necessary root system under them to develop into vigorous, vital plants. If, by the time I transplant them to empty the tables for the next season's seeds, they haven't developed into suitable plants, I dump them. GW is preventing me from inserting the Flickr codes for two images, so you'll have to copy and paste. The first is a weak seedling, the second a much better one, both from the same cross.

Should the first one have lived, it's very likely to require budding to develop into a decent plant. The second is already a very decent plant. No brainer. Now, I'll watch the better plants to see which have disease or aesthetic issues which help eliminate them. Kim

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:33PM
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Both of these seedlings are from the same cross and both germinated during the 2013 germination period. Both were planted in the same seed table. The first was culled during transplanting as it would likely never develop into a decent plant due to its inability to generate sufficient, vigorous roots. The second was retained. Kim

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Wow, that is incredible! I just love how much variation exists even between sibling seedlings, it's so fascinating to witness them develop side-by-side. And of course it is one of the things that makes this whole rose-breeding business so exciting.

If it's true that "the rose will find a way," then I'm just going to go ahead and let my curiosity be the driving force behind my crosses. I'll never know if a particular one can work if I don't ever risk trying it.

As for pink and red roses... Well, the reason I don't like them has less to do with the color and more to do with the roses I grew up around. The pinks, reds, lavenders, and whites were always the ones whose blooms fell apart the quickest. One rainstorm and they were battered to pieces. So in my mind those colors are associated with a weak (and also scentless!) bloom. Meanwhile the orange and yellow blends could come out the other side of a thunderstorm and still look and smell glorious. Obviously I'm generalizing based on a very tiny sample of breeds, but nevertheless the impression is there. As for color alone -- I actually rather like the lighter shade of pink that you most often see on wild species, so if I can have that along with a good solid bloom, then great. But I honestly can't stand that really dark pink that's somewhere between pink and red, and is often marketed just as red. Blech.

Health-wise... It's going to take practice for me to be able to spot the healthiest seedlings. I honestly never knew that roses were considered "high maintenance" until quite recently. I have a lot to learn about rose diseases.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 4:26PM
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You'll find some plants of nearly all colors to be durable and decent if you grow enough of them. Most combinations of parents are going to give you a relatively high to total results of pink seedlings. What colors appeal to you is completely valid for your taste, but if you grow enough of them, you'll find pink is pretty much always going to provide you with the best plant. Finding as good a plant in the other colors is the chore. It won't require much practice to determine which are healthy, believe me! Some will contract whichever fungal issue predominates in your area as soon as their leaves unfold, while others seem like plastic..nothing appears to affect them. I don't worry too much about disease in the crowded, partially shaded seed tables as I know any infection is possibly as due to the over crowding resulting in abnormally high humidity; stress on the plant from competition from the other seedlings; stress due to restricted air flow and lower sun because of having to shelter the tables from the extremes of heat and sun of my climate; and the immaturity of the young plants. Very often, a seemingly unhealthy seedling will out grow the disease issues with maturity. Like an infant which is often sick becoming increasingly healthy as it grows and its immune system matures.

Very often, you'll find those which simply aren't vigorous, just don't make good root systems like the example I posted above. You aren't going to have a decent plant if it won't make roots. You should feel very satisfied dumping those ASAP. Many don't improve with age.

Unless you live where there are severe humidity related fungal issues, roses are as "high maintenance" as you care to make them. Much of their "bad rap" currently is likely due to too many wanting to make them seem high effort. That turns off people faster than just about anything else. I'm lazy. I want to enjoy them without having to WORK at them. Choose which ones work best in your climate and conditions and you have the best chances of being able to enjoy "lazy rose gardening". Kim

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 4:39PM
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I actually ended up having to cull one of my R. woodsii seedlings today. It had ceased all growth, and it turns out that it had almost no root system at all. Just taking up space. Kinda funny, considering what you're telling me about here -- a lesson in practice, I guess, lol!

Oh well, I'll hopefully have two new Westerland seedlings to watch over soon. It's fun comparing the current Westerland seedling to the older miniature one, as the Westerland is much pricklier along the hypocotyl and its coloration is darker. Do these hypocotyl prickles correlate with how thorny the adult plant will be?

Conditions-wise, roses here need to be able to tolerate drought, hot summer temps, and frequent freezes. I'll just let nature do the stressing when the time comes.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 3:10AM
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Here's my seedling today. From the base to the tip of the bud, she's about 5 inches tall. She turned two months old last Tuesday.

This post was edited by Weberriver on Fri, Mar 7, 14 at 22:47

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 10:02PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Looks fantastic, Weberriver! I can't wait to see that bud open! I have one seedling with a bud on it now too.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:40AM
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Wonderful, seil!

The sepals on this seedling's bud are now beginning to open, and the petals are a mix of yellow and pink. Very pretty! I'll try to get a decent photo in a couple of days.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 4:58PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh that looks so healthy!! Love that green!! Awesome!

I'm going to plant my seedlings (in Ziploc baggie) this week. Don't know how they'll do as this is my first itme.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:24AM
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Awesome, canadian_rose! Hopefully you will have better luck than me, as I only had just this one survive lol. Are they your own crosses or OP?

Speaking of which, here is my seedling today! I just love the splotchy yellow blending in with the pink!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:05PM
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Mmm, there's fragrance too! The bud has not yet opened, but I can already smell it. I'm no expert on rose scent, but it reminds me mostly of carnations.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:15PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Oh that is gorgeous!!!! Wow!!
Oh, you only had one survive? Out of how many?

Mine are just a about 5 hips from whatever self-pollinated from my yard. I tried to cross-pollinate - but nothing worked. Most of my hips are from my friend's rugosa hybrids selfpollinated. But I've left them so long in the baggie waiting for my husband to get my system set up - that the seedlings in the baggies look pretty pale and bedraggled. So I'm not sure if any of them will survive. But I guess, if I don't try, I'll never know! :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:35AM
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Hopefully they will survive!!!! I've never seen a rugosa in person before -- they have nice big hips, right? That would be really fun to experiment with.

This was my first attempt too, and I had around ten seeds, all OP. Most were from my Westerland bush, but few of them germinated, and those that did were very weak and died when only a few weeks old.

Then there were three that were from Rosa woodsii, but they were ones that I had practiced embryo extraction on, and I must've damaged the radicles because their roots never developed like they should have. (They were the tiniest seeds I've tried to extract from so far.)

My surviving seedling came from a neighbor's bush, and it was the only one from its hip that I managed to extract the embryo from without squashing. (I'm so skilled, lol.)

Oh, and a few weeks ago I tried yet again with another seed coming from a different neighbor's rosebush. But it was just my luck that this one ended up being my first albino seedling. :( It's too bad, because it developed an excellent root system before dying.

I'm fine with just one seedling though. So long as I have *something* to practice caring for this year while I make my own crosses and then wait for them to develop.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Petals are mostly open now! Looks like there's just the five. :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:40PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

Wow, that's ethereal!! Would make a lovely picture to hang on your wall. Since I've started with the hybridizing, I'm quite drawn to stamens/anthers. Those look so dainty on your little rose!!!

Great going!!

I just got the baby, wee seedlings planted (they looked really pale with long, long roots) and then did the seeds I had in the fridge, then I went to the garage and got the hips from the roses in the garage. These might not work, since they weren't ripe enough when I put the roses in the garage. I have 72 future roses (hopefully) planted and under the lights as of today! Yay!

But, I'm not holding out much hope - but we have to learn somehow!! Even if I get just one, it'll be wonderful.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 2:34AM
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Congratulations Carol! Those from the garage may work. They're usually ripe and viable after something like a bit under 120 days from pollination. Don't give up on them just because you think they may not be "ripe". They just might surprise you. I've had friends tell me they've thrown away seeds because they were "too old", yet some have raised viable seedlings from seed collected many years previously. The same holds with pollen. I know people who obtain actual crosses from pollen they've held off refrigeration for several months. Nature always has a way. Think of the centuries old Lotus seed they've raised. The best example is Methuselah, the 2.000 year old Judean date palm raised from a pit they unearthed in excavations at Masada, Israel. I would suggest it just shows we should try more "out there" things like this as they just MIGHT work! Good luck! Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Judean date palm

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:38PM
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