Germinations after 12 months.

A while back I posted some notes on the Fall germinations I was getting last October from seed flats sown in March. Well, I left those seed flats in an unheated greenhouse all Winter, where ,at one point, they were exposed to a week of temps that dropped to between 16F and 14F each night. Those seeds froze hard, guaranteed. Well, this week I have seen a small rush of new germinations again. Most of them are from crosses involving a Gallica as the seed parent. (Mostly ‘Charles de Mills’ crosses) Can we infer anything from this information? Are we wrong about the frost hardiness of un-germinated seeds, at least as far as some classes of rose is concerned? One of the ‘Charles de Mills’ crosses gave ZERO germination up until a week ago. I am thinking that some of these Gallica/Old European hybrids actually NEED some colder temps to initiate a germination response. Thoughts?


Hi Paul, my friend in upstate NY gets germination from seed that freezes outdoors every season. I think it’s typical for roses with certain pedigrees. I’ve gotten many germinations the second season.

My friend brought back some hips he picked from an unidentified rose in scandanavia. He removed the seeds and put them in his freezer when he got back home. 5 years later, he gave those seeds, frozen for 5 years, to me. I sent them to Jim T. They germinated fine for him. Jim, do you still have any of those seedlings?

So I guess if you have some seeds which have not germinated after a couple of years and various attempts to induce germination, a person might as well give the freezer a try before tossing the seeds…

I realize you are not saying that this is likely to work for the modern HTs and FLs, but if you are just going to toss the seeds anyway, it’s worth a try!

I did a Eglatine X Applejack cross that rippened up very quickly (i harvested in late July because many were drying up suprisingly…)

Yet they haven’t germinated yet. Perhaps this is because Eglatine is a once bloomer and Applejack might as well be one-- but then again, OP seeds of Greenmantle germinated quickly before.

I was really glad to read about second year germination because 3/4s of my very first seedlings germinated after 12 months. They were also neglected, dried out and sprouting in a nice carpet of moss, in spite of the layer of sand I had covered the seeds with! Since i didn’t get much crossing done last summmer it is great fun to be getting sprouts now anyway!

After the snow clears in spring I often find hips that I missed the prior fall. These hips have gone through sub zero temperatures and the seeds have still germinated. I can’t say if its variety dependent.

Also looking at the abundance of multiflora’s popping up every year it’s a good indication that seeds do survive the winter.

Yes, Judith, I still have eight or ten of those seedlings. They appear to be pure rugosa. Some of the seeds germinated shortly after I got them. Then I stratified them, and nearly all of the seeds germinated. I have no idea why they should need to be stratified after 5 years in a freezer.


When I first started growing rose seeds, I had heard that they needed a simulated winter. I experimented by putting some seedling flats in the refrigerator and a couple in the chest freezer. I noted that although germination seemed reduced in the freezer, there was significant germination. Roses being a diverse lot, surely capicity and/or temperature preferences during stratification are variety specific - some probably can’t take freezing while others might prefer it a bit colder…

Jim Sproul

Paul, I was surprised about the faster than expected germinations of my “Charles de Mills” (as seed parent) crosses.I placed on the 5th of September the 16 seedpods (9 different crosses) in the refrigerator at 35F. I sowed on the 5th of December 116 seeds in the heated glasshouse (5OF). Germinations started around 15th of January. Today 64 are germinated and 40 of them already transplanted. This is a far better result, also for the % of germinations, than with other Gallica crosses in the past. Perhaps CDM is also an easyer seed parent?

Martin Vissers