'Baby Love' Crosses

Well, I am still following along using ‘Baby Love’ (always as a pollen parent) and its seedlings in my breeding program.

Last year, I crossed it onto ‘Gemini’ and ‘Stainless Steel’, to move its health into larger exhibition type roses; ‘Fairhope’ and ‘Sam Trivitt’, to move it into exhibition mini types; and ‘Geisha’, ‘Marmalade Skies’, and some of our seedlings to get nice shrubs.

Several of the seedlings of the first generation are nice. I think that you have to be patient though using ‘Baby Love’, because it tends to produce single bloom types with pastel colors that tend to fade quickly. Cleanliness though is fantastic! This year, I am doing back crosses with each of the above groups to get more of the classic HT, mini and fully double shrubs.

If you haven’t tried ‘Baby Love’, do it and you will be pleased with the health of its offspring!


I did a cross of this with Harrison’s Yellow a few weeks ago. I’m hoping for strong yellows with good health. I used Baby Love as the hip parent, so I’m not going to get a lot of seedlings this year…

It’s good to know that Baby Love can give nice seedlings. I did some crosses with it this spring and am looking forward to seeing what they produce.

Enrique, I used BL early on as a seed parent. You can get some hips, but usually no more than 3-4 seeds per hip and germination is low (about 10% or less!)

With some crosses where the other parent is even a poorer seed parent than BL, you just have to use BL as a seed parent. What I am looking for are F1 seedlings that have the cleanliness of BL, but are improved seed parents. Then I can use a wide range of pollens on these seedlings to hopefully improve on color, petalage and size.

It is a fun rose to use. I cannot believe the cleanliness in my greenhouse. It is definitely because I used BL so extensively last year in my crosses. When I do find powdery mildew (which isn’t that often) I eliminate the diseased seedling, but then flick off as many powdery mildew spores from it as I can, to try and spread the disease around to any remaining susceptible seedlings. I know that sounds crazy, but that is what I am doing!


You can’t get natural selection without a challenging agent!

Sounds like BL is a must add to a breeding program!

How does it do in extreme heat (…she asks from Tucson where it’s 100+ for 4 months of the year)?

Okay, does everyone find Baby Love to be a great plant? I’ve never grown it myself, but I’ve been watching for about a year and half at the local rose garden, and it always has looks rather scrappy to me – hardly any flowers, no blackspot or midlew, but still a generally unhealthy looking yellowish foliage. Is that just a peculiarity of this particular garden, or perhaps my climate? And it isn’t that they aren’t caring for it – all the generally much more delicate hybrid teas and so forth around it are kept in tip-top shape all the time.


Perhaps it’s the nursery… I find the plant itself a wonderful addition to the garden. Although I don’t get a lot of BS, I do tend to get very terrible mildew, and Baby Love, crowded in a cottage style bed, hasn’t gotten any mildew unless the leaves are very old. But these tend to drop, leaving the newer ones perfectly clean.

Here is a photo of some of my 2004 new seedlings where ‘Baby Love’ is the father. What they have in common, is a tendency for lighter pastel colors that fade quickly, and fewer petals. The up side though, is excellent disease resistant foliage and attractive open blooms.

Seedlings from left to right and top to bottom are as follows:

(‘French Perfume’ X ‘Singin’ in the Rain’) X ‘Baby Love’; {‘Halo Today’ X [‘Geisha’ X (‘Tobo’ X ‘Singin’ in the Rain’)]}X ‘Baby Love’; ‘Gemini’ X ‘Baby Love’; ‘Geisha’ X ‘Baby Love’; {‘Halo Today’ X [‘Geisha’ X (‘Tobo’ X ‘Singin’ in the Rain’)]}X ‘Baby Love’; [(‘Lynn Anderson’ X ‘Tournament or Roses’) X ‘Angel Face’] X ‘Baby Love’; ‘Geisha’ X ‘Baby Love’; ‘Geisha’ X ‘Baby Love’; [(‘Orangeade’ X ‘Abraham Darby’) X ‘Midnight Blue’] X ‘Baby Love’; [(‘Small Miracle’ X ‘Midnight Blue’) x ‘Baby Love’; {‘Halo Today’ X [‘Geisha’ X (‘Tobo’ X ‘Singin’ in the Rain’)]}X ‘Baby Love’.

I continue to be amazed at the cleanliness of ‘Baby Love’ offspring.