Germination of first cross efforts!

Last year I stratified only OP seeds. This year I have done my own crosses! 2 of the germinated roses in the picture are Indigo x Duchess of portland and other is Indigo X Stanwell perpetual

Thanks for all the advice, I am a happy man!


Interesting choices. Do you grow many old garden roses?

Did you know that Andrea Braun’s ‘Indistan’ is Indigo x Stanwell Perpetual? Pretty rose.


Well this year I only had Portland’s, one Gallica and the Stanwell perpetual. Since then I have got some niche Spinoissima which I imported from Belgium to the UK and some more Portland roses. I have seen the rose in question, I only donated to helpmefind once I had done the cross and was excited to find someone else had success. Then when one of the 3 I tried of that cross took and produced 12 seeds I got quite excited


Congrats … will be following ur efforts with interest as the Duchess is the only portland of a half dozen l tried to grow that l should not of tried in zone 4A Cdn.

After 10-15 years it keeps coming back with small blooms from small canes that survived buried under snow in winter. It suckers well as an own root - was from a British Columbia nursery. A couple of tries with lndigo failed after their first winter.

Been ruminating crossing the Duchess with hardy roses for last few years.

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I am aware that they are reasonably cold hardy but that’s amazing to hear! I have 1 seed from Charles de mills x DOP. Hoping to use the pollen from my slowly increasing gallicas to make new Portland’s. Big fan of their compact nature, upright flowers and fragrance. Also very healthy where I am

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Same here, portlands and bourbons were my favourites back when l was out of zone testing.

l tried quite a few of both (P&B) … 100% of the varieties offered from a now out of business nursery, of good repute.

DOP is the only “survivor” of both types in the colder north facing garden. Hence my interest in carrying on with crossing.

Managed to see an in-zone example at Kew this summer - where it should be. ‘

Hardy gallicas and “turbinatas” have taken their place. That they exist was a pleasant surprise find over the years.

Succeeded in crossing a couple tall hardies with a tender super seed parent gallica.

Still waiting for a bloom to see if the purple crossed and whether a pseudo climber or rambler comes out. Repeat cross over unlikely but don’t know yet.


Which Gallicas and turbinatas do you have? I only have Charles de Mills and Ipsilante.

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Listing would be:

Empress Josephine (tender covered for winter)

Apothecary Rose - very tender - disappears but pops up to bloom once every ~ 5 yrs

Rosa Mundi - very tender - pops up to bloom occasionally

Agatha (pink - full hardy - no hips)

Agatha Incarnata ( white pink - no hips - semi hardy)

Splendens (profuse hips - full hardy)

Alika (full hardy - profuse hips - different hip sepals form from Splendens as known in Canada)

Dr Merkeley

Merveille (very tender- covered)

Auli (tender - thornless)

Olkkala (mispelt? - hardy-species)

Macanthra (mispelt? - white single species) semi- hardy)

Ruth a Cdn hybrid - full hardy robust giant)

Okkalla- (hardy robust species)

and like to include in group;

Francofurtana - terrific red and full hardy


So Agatha flowers well and doesn’t get bad cane damage in your zone?. Is it a good pollen parent?


In my opinion both of my agatha’s bloom okay to good - not smothered in blooms.

Very few basal breaks in 15 plus years. They are 6 to 8 feet high and l trellis with 6 ft high trellis’ for space economy and faking a climber (it’s not). Got mine from Petrovic’s Roses (Serbia).

Not succeeded in getting cross as a pollen parent but not given up as hardiness is too good to be ignored and it takes the right two to tango.

ln terms of winter cold (extreme max single night -30 to -34C) no significant damage like l have seen on tenders even with protection.

It does practise self pruning of parts of main canes that l call normal - not whole canes to crown - during growing season. Branch begins to turn yellow and then dies.


put photos requested of special germinations as an edit in thread where u asked for them


I had 6 up, however I killed one of them trying to remove the shell casing from it… Will they eventually break themselves free if they get a “Helmet” or do they need a hand?


It can be very tricky to remove the seed coat and/or achene if it doesn’t want to come off naturally, and there are occasions when it won’t come off and the seedling will die without help… sometimes it works to give it a manual assist (very, very carefully) and sometimes it doesn’t. The seed coat is usually a bigger problem. You can help it along more gently by moistening the top intermittently with gentle sprays of water, and even enclosing the seedling in its own tiny humidity tent (such as an overturned clear plastic mini-cup) afterward; doing that can help to soften and lubricate the stubborn casing so that the seedling can cast it off naturally. I try to leave more drastic manual extraction as an option of last resort for important crosses.



I learned on the forum to use tweezers to help remove the seed coat. With a bit of practice, it’s become easier. I first try to just grab the very tip of the coat and see if it will slide off. If not, just some slight “scraping” will usually loosen it.


Anyone have recommendations on when I should pot them up

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James_D, I recommend separating the seedlings after the first 3-4 weeks. When you see that the distance between the seedlings becomes significantly smaller, it’s time to transplant them. Usually I’m dividing particularly beautiful and interesting looking seedlings, hybrids from my very favourite crosses or vigorous specimens a little earlier so that they are better supplied with nutrients.


Did mine yesterday or just shy of three weeks. I transplant into seedling trays using a widger.

l use that very small plastic green dibber and widger combo picked up in a UK garden centre … though pretty much anything will do.

Tightly packed clumps needed to be separated.

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I have 19 up and alive. I have lost 3 seedlings, some of them had a second cycle which seems to have helped. It’s going better than I had expected. Will post pictures in the future


Update, I have another 4 to be potted on!