Complete newbie at hybridizing,would like advice.

Hi,like I said I’m completly new at this and have some questions. Ok here goes,can I use any rose I have in my garden to hybridize or are there some that are not allowed? Would it be possible to cross an English rose with say a Grandiflora? Should I cover the pollenated rose with a plastic bag or leave it open? I’ve tried this once before and was starting to see the hip swelling but then it rained and the plastic bag I had covered the rose with got too heavy and broke off so I never got to see what the result of the cross was. Would really appreciate some advice. Thank you.

Hi Erin:

It would be very helpful for you to buy a copy of RHA’s “Handbook for Beginners”. It is a 34 page soft cover booklet that sells for $5.00 (ppd) and covers all the various aspects of beginning a hybridizing program.

You can get all the information you need by clicking on the information section of this web-site.

Hope this is helpful.



There is no legal reason that you can’t cross any two roses that you have, although there are genetic reasons as to why some crosses won’t work. I’d agree with Meg, get a copy of the RHA beginners handbook. I found it very usefull. (Most modern roses, Hybred Tea, Florabunda, Grandiflora, English, Romantica, etc, should cross fairly easily.)


Thanks both of you for the advice, it was helpful. I think I will get that book you mentioned. Again, thanks.

Hi Erin

Go to the home page of this site. There is plenty of information to get you started by clicking on some of the links from there. If you have questions there are lots of really smart people on this site. They’ve all helped me quite a bit.

Above all, have fun with it!

paul e

I can’t wait to try this,but it looks like I might have to. The roses that I want to cross are in bloom right now but as this is the second flush this year, and the information on this site says to cross during the first one, I might have to wait till next year(horrible thought). Do I really have to wait till next year?


Rose seed takes about 5 months to ripen, so unless you live in Florida or SoCal, you should wait until next Spring to start your work. Blooms pollinated now will not ripen before hard frosts if you are living in zone 8 or colder.

More info at the URL listed below.




Hi Erin:

Don’t give up. At this stage in your hybridizing career, it is probably best to experiment with open pollinated hips (the bees did it) that you will find on some of your roses. Growing roses from seed can be a bit tricky to start with, so it is better to develop your method of successfully growing new roses with these open pollinated seeds rather than your own crosses. You might even find something worthwhile! Also, you will find out which of your current roses set seed (information that will be useful next year) and how well seeds from a particular rose germinate.

Good luck!