A success?! What now?! Please help!

Hi there, I’ve posted a few times before and I’ve appreciated everybody’s advice a lot concerning rose hybridization. As you may or may not know I am very young I guess to be doing this

( I’m 17) and I’m really not sure at all what I’m doing, so all your guys input has been really helpful.

So,the seeds from the hip I collected off of Queen Elizabeth ( which may or may not have been pollinated by Crepuscule, I put some pollen from it on Elizabeth, but it might have polinated itself by then because it was a last minute thought) but anyway those seeds have been in the fridge since December and I’ve been occasionally dampening the paper towl and baggie they’ve been in with diluted hydrogen peroxide, not alot…more water than not, so just today I checked up on the seeds and three of them, the outer shell of the seeds have cracked, exposing the seed inside, no roots or anything, just cracked shells and exposed centers…and I’m wondering do I take them out now and plant them now that they’re showing signs of life or do I keep those in the fridge with the ones that haven’t opened yet for a little while longer?

Also, all I currently have in terms of planting material are those jiffy peat pellets…would those be acceptable? I know seedlings are suceptible to rotting and the medium needs to be light. Should I rip open the peat pellets and mix them with something?

Anyway, along with the jiffy pods, I have a plastic greenhouse tray that came with it and I do have this certain light I used for when I had a pet turtle, which I guess would be just as good for giving them heat and light too right? should I use those too?

I haven’t seen perlite at Home Depot or anything, so I’m just wondering what I should do now…this is my first successful " birth" from seeds of any kind other than morning glorys and some houseplant citrus…so any advice is welcome.

Thank you all for your advice,

Max. Eber

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cool! Dont worry about age. I joined my first rose society at 14 or so. I started hybridizing at 21 or so. Im not that old.

I dont really recommend using the peat pellets or the reptile light.

What you could do is buy a clear plastic storage box. Theyre always on sale. Drill 4 holes in the bottom and use the lid as a base. Mix your own soilless media. You can make a mix out of numerous combinations from local supplies. You can buy a clip lamp and grow-light light bulb at Home Depot for a 10 or so bucks.

That should be usable for multiple years. If this costs too much then maybe someone else can think of alternatives.

My procedure is to wait until the root sticks out about 1/4 inch; use tweezers to transfer that seed to a pot full of a moistened mix of 1 part perlite plus 1 part of seed-start mix; good drainage is ESSENTIAL. Plant the seed about 1/4 inch deep with the end where root comes out pointed upward (this is counter-intuitive).

A “shop light” with two 4 ft fluorescent bulbs workd weell; keep top leaf about 1 inch below bulbs.

Seedlings grow best in COOL temperatures, 60 deg or so, as in a basement; no heat.

I would agree with what Jadae and Dave have already said. I’ll just add a few thoughts…

I too would not recommend the peat pellets but some other regular potting media…be it a custom blend or pre-mixed potting soil. If you can’t find perlite, vermiculite also works well for making a soil mixture a little lighter (doesn’t hold moisture like perlite though).

Whatever you use, don’t pack it too tightly in the pot. You want it to be more on the light and slightly airy side (not caverns of air pockets mind you…but not hard packed in there either).

I usually wait until the root pokes out of the seed casing before transplanting. However, once a “group” of seeds start to split the seed casing, I do take them out of the refrigerator. This usually causes a mini “explosion” of germination if they were already showing signs of germinating while still in the fridge.

As for the lights…I use fluorescent shop lights as Dave suggested…but the single clip lamp could work as well for small numbers of seedlings. However, if you have a good window sill that gets a lot of light, you can just as easily put the seedlings there.

Thank you guys…Michelle, what constitutes a " group" in your eyes? About three of the five seeds I have have split open…

I’ve found Perlite in the garden section of Walmart, if you don’t have a local nursery. They seem to have a lot of stuff there, almost everything except agricultural sand and vermiculite, which you don’t absolutely need. I have grown seedlings out of peat pellets before, so I know it’s not impossible. However my reason for doing that is that I really don’t have ANYWHERE I can put my trays that can be 100% cat proof…my cats are rotten sneaks adept at shooting past legs like silent shadows to get into where ever and hide, and as someone else mentioned in another thread cats have a tendancy to see seedling trays as catboxes, which means having to catproof the tray itself, not fun, a pain in my butt, and time consuming. So if I have extra seeds beyond what I can put in my cat proof trays, I may put them into a tray of jiffy pellets, because it’s easy for me, though it is not be ideal. But I am not perfectionist about everything, especially not my nonspecial low priority seeds, so if I get some germination with something low maintenence and easy, I am fine. But, many people would not take that attitude I think. And it may have been coincidence that what I grew before germinated ok, I have another tray this year and I’ll see how it does compared to my regular trays.

However if these are your special babies you will probably want to do something better. By calling around though to a couple different large garden centers though you should be able to find what you are looking for, unless you live so far out in the country there isn’t any nearby. But, if you live out away from everything and absolutely can’t find anything else, I suppose planting them in those would be better then not planting them at all.

Thank you for the tidbit about the cats, we have cats too and they are a bunch of misfits when it comes to projects of all kinds, so that reminds me to catproof the area of our basement where I’d be growing them!

Also, I just bought yesterday some Miracle Grow seedling starter mix, has anybody ever used that before? Should I add anything to it?

  • Max. E

My recommendation is to mix the Miracle Gro seedling starter with an equal amount of perlite.

Just my opinion.

Ha ha, yes that is something you don’t want to find out the hard way. For whatever reason, I’ve used to jiffy pellets for years to sprout other things, like herbs, and the cats always leave those alone. But a seedling tray for whatever reason, NEVER remains unmolested for long.

I would stay away from Miracle Gro…

It kills off rose seedlings.

I made that horrible mistake when ALL of my rare seedlings of Secret X LaFollette died.

I haven’t been able to reproduce the cross last year, and I’m hoping that this year I will be successful.

Such a terrible loss for both roses are utterly romantic, and I was sure I could get something similar to LaFollette but in Secret’s bi-color pallette.

I was suprised when I saw the parentage of John Paul II. It is a seedling of Secret. I could never get Secret to set!

Considering that Max is a teenager, he probably doesnt have a lot of resources (read: $$$). I’d suggest mixing the miracle grow seedling mix with a blander seedling mix with zero fertilizer in it.

Enrique…do you mean the seedling starter mix or regular miracle gro? I’ve been using a way watered down solution (of miracle gro) on my seedlings after a week and a half to two weeks. So far it’s seemed ok, but I definately don’t want to kill delicate ones.

Miracle Gro seedling starter mix…

Killed all my poor Secret seedlings. I like to use cheap Orchard brand potting soil.

I’ve even mixed Hyponex with Orchard brand and left over perlite and peat moss. Did it just to put everything in a single bag… Don’t know if it had a positive or negative effect.

Oh geez, not good then. Jadae, I’ll do just that, mix it with plain old stuff I guess. I’ll need to check the garage. I asked my dad if the fertilizer in it would prose a problem and he said I shouldn’t worry, but then again he never grew roses from seeds so you know…oh well. At least they’re still in the “cracking” stages, I have some time.

Hey, just had a thought, what about putting more than 50 percent perlite to the soil mix? Like have it more like 60 perlite to 40 Miracle Grow seedling mix, would that be a solution? Not as much steroid soil and even lighter…

Any good seed-starting mix or plug mix should work. If you can get it, try RediEarth plug mix. Fafard #3 is much liked, and some of the Sunshine mixes have been good for starting and growing. You might take a look at George Mander’s web site to see what hee recommends.

Don’t add any dry fertilizer to the mix since it probably comes with some slow-release stuff in it–and it’s hard to tell how much dry fertilizer to add, and harder still to get it distributed evenly so that nothing gets overdosed. I do sometimes water the seedlings in with half-strength water soluble fertilizer (20-10-20) when I first transfer them to pots, and I’ve never had problems with it.


I’ve been using Miracle-Gro regular potting soil (not the seed starter kind) for a long time, but not out of any kind of loyalty or love for it. I’d try some of those others if I could find them locally. Miracle-Gro’s just what’s always available around here. Admittedly, I haven’t always had the best of luck with my seed germination, but I don’t think I can blame my difficulties on the mix.

And right now, I’ve got my only seedling growing in it. It’s doing really well so far, “Knock on wood” ;0)

Good luck with your seeds, Tom