Finally, optium method to germinate rose seeds!




I couldn’t open the file. Any chance you could give a brief summary of the procedure?

Does it significantly increase germination?



It involves feeding the hips to cattle and then, umm, reclaiming the seeds.

Oh dear. I suppose now I have to make room for a ruminant.

Seriously, the effect on germination was significant. None of the 2400 control seeds germinated. Germination of the seeds fed to the cows depended on how early in the season they were fed, whether the seeds were stratified, and whether the seeds were left in the droppings or washed. The earlier in the season the seeds were fed, the better they germinated. The unstratified seeds germinated better than stratified ones. Seeds left in the droppings germinated better than seeds that were washed. The unwashed unstratified seeds in the first batch of the season had 53.2% germination.

Since seeds left in the droppings germinated better than washed seeds, perhaps exposure to the droppings is more important than passing through the cow’s digestive tract. This could be tested by collecting fresh cow droppings and planting rose seeds in them. Anyone want to do the experiment?

Wow! In an earlier post on the “old” forum, there was discussion about passing seeds thru birds. Sounds as if going with a bigger “critter” improves the lot. Anyone want to go for an elephant? LOL I don’t have either a bird, a cow, nor anything bigger. Sorry, Jim - can’t help you out.

Those of you who are not “conditioned” to working with the media under discussion by changing baby diapers, may want to try digestive enzymes instead.


Henry - yes I had heard of the enzyme efforts. Wasn’t there an article in an RHA newsletter several years ago about this? If I recall, the tests tried all sorts of them - one of them was Drano. Does this ring a bell?

John Moe, please follow the link that I have included in my earlier Thursday, April 4, 2002 response.

You will find:


by Dr. Henry Kuska.

Originally published in the Rose Hybridizers Association Newsletter,Vol 25, spring 1994, pages 7-9. …"

Henry - you’re right. Sorry, I didn’t follow it all the way through. Good article.

Perhaps a “virtual” manure would be easier to work with. If you pile grass clippings and let them rot they smell a lot like cow manure. Adding a small amount of blood meal may make this more like the real thing.

Because bird droppings are very high in nitrogen I was thinking about soaking a few seeds in a water/ammonia mixture. Allowing the ammonia to break down naturally into nitrogen before getting the seeds out.

Wow, I never thought I would be making fake poop.

paul e

Paul E, the British Hybridizers Association had an article about using a compost activator.

It may be save to assume that the people interested in the expiriments with cow droppings weren’t too worried about the effects of dampening off. Perhaps using chemical fertilizers instead of the real thing would be a better idea.

Thanks for the information Henry. I’m thinking of trying the compost activator with blood meal on some open pollinated rugosa seeds. This may simulate manure without increasing the chances of loosing the seedlings.

paul e