Baby pic

I did an extended warm stratification this fall and got some early germinations. It’s fun to have some babies under lights for the winter.

There is a tiny bud on one of the plants in the center right pac. It is Midnight Blue x White Out. Fun. What color will it be…pink?

Yellow Brick Road was the main offender for germinating early. Here there are some YBR x Persian Yellow, some YBR x [R. virginiana x OPCSEG(is on HMF)] which are just a test to see if the pollen parent could pass on rebloom. By far the most vigorous seedlings so far are YBR x David’s ARK1. David, do you think there is any chance of ARK1 passing on rebloom? With it’s vigor and hardiness that would be awesome, and I remember you saying it had reblooming siblings.

I use YBR as a test mother to see if pollen parents carry any reblooming genes, because it makes lots of seeds that germinate readily.

Greenhouses in Minn. are wonderful for an advance peek at spring. Here I have about 50 seedlings that are toughing it out in the great outdoors. Of course we have not had a frost-I do not believe it has gotten below about 36F this yr., although a few have had those poor little delicate baby seedling leaves knocked off with some hail that we had about 10-12 days ago. But that is about as tough going as they experience this time of the year. And their rate of growth is rea-a-l-lly s-l-o-w. Your seedlings look like they are on speed or something compared to mine. But it is all good-builds in toughness and it is fun to see how the closest to species really outgrow the interrelated and incestuous hybrids.

They are under 24 hr lights, Jackie, inside a building, so maybe that’s why they’re growing. We have a dearth of natural light this time of year and heating a greenhouse would be impractical with outdoor temps down to -30 F. I hope your little seedlings are busy putting down roots to prepare them for the heat to come!

Great picture Joe.
It looks like some of the seedlings have been growing for a while. When did you plant the first seeds? I’ve been doing warm strat before cold strat for a while and some years I’ll have seeds germinating in mid to late November. I’m not crazy about that because I don’t like growing seedlings under lights for 6 or 7 months.

Because I moved this summer I didn’t do any crosses but I collected seeds from one second year seedling this fall. I’m doing an experiment to see how well the seeds will germinate if I delay warm and cold treatment so the seeds don’t germinate so early. Well these seeds apparently don’t need cold strat since they have 30% germination already before they’ve had any cold treatment. So I’m not going get the information I was looking for and these seeds are germinating about the same time as my seeds have in the past.

I’ve read that it doesn’t hurt the plants to leave the lights on 24/7 but I haven’t tried it, I’ve always used a timer so the lights are on for 16 hours, off for 8.

Hi Everyone,
Just got back from visiting my 102 year old mom in the islands. From plus 30 minus 30 one day is not fun.

The Canadian Prairies and I would imagine the American Mid-West have more sunny days in winter the the coastal regions.
Today, a very sunny day with no heat in the greenhouse the temperature is plus 15 C.
This is way too early to start my roses growing. I’m looking forward to doing so maybe in mid to late April.

yay baby pictures! I think I’m going to go mad waiting for spring… I need green! Jbergeson its so nice to see yours :smiley: I’ve been super impatient this year and luckily I have exactly one seedling of OP Pretty Lady that has sprouted so I’m satiated for the moment. Yours look great!
I wonder if I need to do more for some of my cuttings I overwintered this year because even though they keep growing some of their leaves dry out, I should probably get a saucer of pebbles and water near them.

Lafllin, the same has happened to some of mine…I don’t really know why.

Paul G., I think I planted them some time in early November.

Hi Chuck,
Could you describe your seed collection, germination and seedling growing process? How large do your seedlings get the first year when you start them so late? Have you had any problems with them surviving the winter?
One problem I’ve had is the small young seedlings not doing well or even surviving when planted outside in spring.


Thanks Paul.
I went through a period of about six when years when I didnt germinate seeds but I still hybridized. I didn’t want to waste the time or the precious blooms. I estimate I had 40,000 seeds in storage. I’ve whittled down that number to about 20,000seeds.
Some of these seeds are Op seeds that I’ve collected but most of them are planned crosses.
In my zone 3 environment, it’s important for me to get my seeds extracted and stratified ASAP in the fall. The pressures of getting the seedlings in the ground early next spring is real. I think the survivability of the seedlings can be directly related to how early the seedlings put in the ground.
If I had my way, my seedlings would be planted when I plant the vegetable garden at the end of may.
To get my seedlings to put on as much growth as possible, I fish the sprouting seeds from the Ziploc baggies with about 150 gas of slightly dampened soil less starter mix. These baggies are then put on the kitchen for 3 months. This is followed by 3months of cool treatment in the fridge. I plant my seedlings out of the six pack plastic,an early recovery before the stems elongate is the best. The seedlings are then put under florescent light with a transparent plastic dome for a few days. This gives them a chance to put out new roots
and get established.
This work is tedious, but it gives each seedling a chance to put on maximum growth. The trays hold 72 plants. I’ve started re-transplanting these seedlings into 3"pots at a later date. By this time many of the seedlings are growing rapidly and putting out some interesting first blooms. Mixing in a little water soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer helps.
In my experience, I’ve never had trouble with excessive mould or fungal diseases.
I consciously try to practice good hygiene. I reuse my planting utensils. Following a strict protocol to minimize the chances of bringing diseases or insects to the seedling table by washing the pots and trays with a Javex solution,and rinsed with mild solution of dish soap.
One of the positive things that may help in the control of diseases in the new seedlings, is the fact that Manitoba homes are very dry in winter.
By April, I’m utilizing all the sunny spaces in the house for seedlings. Every window facing south or east is cramed with plants. Thus the importance of good hygiene. A few aphids or spider mites can spread through the seedlings in no time and create a big headache.
Last summer, I was able to get my seedlings all planted out by the end of August. The summer was long and hot with a few good rain showers. The seedlings had a great chance to establish roots and some even put on a nice display.
We’ve have a decent snow cover, even though it came late. It’s going to be interesting to see what makes it through the winter.

More pics of my effort.
2015-05-18 16.03.06.jpg

Thanks for the pics, Chuck!

yes thanks Chuck, lovely seedlings!

Hi Chuck,
Great pictures and thanks for the description of your procedure. Your seed starting really isn’t any different than mine except for the length of time in warm stratification and that you start cold treatment later than I have.

In the past, like you I removed the seeds when I harvested the hips but I placed them in moist paper towels instead of sphagnum moss. I kept them in basement until I put them in the fridge for cold treatment, usually mid to late November. So the earliest harvested seeds got around 3 months of warm treatment but the latest seeds only got 1 month. Last year I kept a running total of how many seeds I planted and when. The first seeds were planted in mid November even before cold treatment, with the first planted with cold treatment in mid December after 1 month and the last seeds planted in mid March after four months.

The last frost here is can be anywhere from late April to mid May so I usually plant my seedlings outside around May 1st after any danger of frost. I made the mistake one year of planting them too early right before a three day cold snap where it got down to 27F and 28F. That set my seedlings back a good 6 weeks.

But that was at my old place. I think I’m in the same situation now as you are in that I have little room to grow my seedlings. One of the things I would like to try is delay seed starting like you do. This fall I started a little trial where I didn’t place the seeds in moist paper towels right after harvesting. I split the seeds into three groups where they got 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks of warm stratification. They were then placed in the fridge in mid January; about two months later than I have in the past. The problem is these seeds have been germinating like crazy with just warm treatment and 30 % of the seeds have germinated so far. So I learned that delaying warm treatment doesn’t seem to hurt germination and the seeds of this plant germinate very early and very well.

I don’t have room for a green house but I might build a cold frame on the south side of the house to grow the seedlings in. One of the things I was concerned about was how the delayed start might affect how large the seedlings get and how well they survive the winter. But my seedlings seem to be set back every spring for one reason or another. The last couple of years it’s been downy mildew, one year it was powdery mildew. And every year they get sunburned when I harden them off and they lose quit a few leaves. If I can control the factors that have set the seedlings back in the past then I think the seedlings will do fine.


Thanks everyone for your kind words, since joining the RHA I’ve learnt a lot about breeding roses. My method of handling
seedlings is a sum total of all the information I’ve gleaned fellow members.
I just hope any member struggling with their seeding can learn something from my practices.

In Joe Bergeson’s pics that started this thread, I noticed that his seedlings are planted about six in a shared tray.
I’ve seen other members used this method. Does this method not result in tangled roots that must be separated
before planting?
What happens when one or two strident seedlings try to take all the moisture and nutrients at the expense of their
weaker siblings?

Hi Chuck,

I do open 4-pacs. This is how our greenhouse sells all of our multi-pac plants like petunias and it is a little different from most that use the pacs with individual little cups. My theory for roses or any other plant is that it forces you to rip apart the roots, disturbing them significantly. This may result in a slow-down of top growth for a while, but ultimately it helps the roots to find their way out into the soil and become stronger than if they had been undisturbed in a little cup. If the plants are excessively tall I will cut them back at planting to offset any root loss. You just break the communal root ball into quarters and plant. Often plants grown in a individual cell pacs will be solid white with roots when you pop them out…it is hard for those roots to find their way out into the soil. The plants get more total soil per plant in an open pack than they would in a cell-pack. We’ve sold and planted thousands upon thousands of plants from these open packs and are convinced that it is a better way of planting.

In regards to the weak and the strong, I don’t worry about that too much. They have enough time to settle in their roots and if they’re too weak to compete they will be unlikely to have the vigor to thrive outside. I avoid putting seedlings of widely different backgrounds into the same pack, though, because it wouldn’t be fair to have a vigorous species cross growing in with a modern miniature seedling.