Good Breeding Parents?

This is long I apologize, but I’m really torn!

As you can tell by my numerous posts here and there on this forum, I am very interested and particularly curious in breeding roses, I love the feeling knowing that I currently have rose seeds showing signs of life (and possible germination) right now in the refrigerator! It’s addicting.

I asked a while back about certain gallica shrubs or other miscellaneous OGR’s that would be good for breeding, since I have a limited amount of roses in my collection and I’ve been wanting to add some more ( to my parent’s dismay).

I am really focusing on purchasing varieties that not only will be healthy in Maryland, but could contribute towards a breeding program. It’s a shame because that cuts out certain sterile but healthy individuals… but with MD’s blackspot and RRD pressure, I want to be able to try crossing as much as I can while the bushes are there and all, for all to be useful.

Currently I have an okay amount of breeder ready individuals such as Crepuscule, Queen Elizabeth ( who is forming lots of new canes after years of single canedom) an unfortunate baby Tuscany Superb ( eaten down to ground by deer, so no blooms this year, I hope it comes back) and last but not least Darlow’s Enigma and Mutabilis, which I assume are both “flip of the coin and cross your fingers” kind of roses that may or may not deliver in terms of breeding, at least that’s what I’ve heard and what you all have told me, which I’m grateful for!

I am getting Charles de Mills this spring courtesy of a very kind individual and am planning on buying a Duchesse de Montebello this spring at a local specialty nursery.

However, I’m really stuck between choosing varieties that will be pretty but could not contribute to my fledging efforts, and others that possibly could. It’s really affecting my purchasing because there are only so many roses that my family will let me fill the yard with. Also once again, the disease pressure as well.

Anyway, I guess in the scheme of things what I’m really looking for suggestions for healthy roses ( I’m trying no-spray) from across all the rose groups that are dependable in being fertile either in pollen or hip setting and are good " building blocks" so to speak. I’d really appreciate the input.

I’d start with the Buck roses. For the most part they are hardy, healthy and easy to work with.

What color and size do you want to work with?

Any color really, I’m not that picky except for candy pinks, a color I’m not too fond of. However that’s not being open minded of me. “Earth Song” so far seems a good rose to include, but it’s color just isn’t wowing me…but I guess since never seeing it in person, I just haven’t been smitten. I’d like to try to work with yellows or apricots though.

As for size I currently have four roses that may become huge, and I was thinking in terms of anymore roses that come in or are produced in my yard should be a bit smaller and manageable, just to do whatever I can to deter RRD, and I know it’s not a picky disease it will affect anything, but large climbers and bushes are primary targets and I just don’t want that to risk it too much. This is why I’m reluctant to buy any more large but recommended roses such as “William Lobb”.

That being said maybe in terms of size nothing over 5 x 5, maybe even smaller…which I guess in that case the Buck roses really do sound appropriate.

Golden Angel is a yellow miniature rose that has a good reputation.

I’ve rarely used it (although, I keep meaning to.)

It always forms many OP hips with many seeds per hip. Many good hybridizers say not only germination rate is good, but it produces many quality seedlings.

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to make a Golden Angel X Baby Love cross.

This is because I’ve always wanted a more compact version of Baby Love. Since Baby Love produces many “look alikes”-- I’m thinking it’s not that hard to make in one generation.

Buck shrubs are really awesome. One that seems to be fairly avaliable this year is Distant Drums, which is in a really neat color that you may like, tan/mauve. However I don’t know whether or not it’s any good for breeding. I’m going to pick one up this year though and try it out, since I’ve been very impressed with the disease resistance and habit of other buck shurbs.

DD is good enough seed parent.

A double yellow seedling, DD X Carefree Sunshine, has good disease resistance

op seedlings seem to be bs prone.

Carefree Sunshine is good for seed or pollen, very disease resistant.

Get Living Easy if you want a healthy tropical colored seed setter.

Hmm, concerning Buck roses would “Earth Song” and

“Winter Sunset” be would considered good in terms of breeding potential?

Max, I assume you are familiar with HelpMeFind, no? A search through first generation lineage gives a pretty good feel of successful breeders, to my mind. Try both directions – search the parentage of roses you love and see which parents recur, and check descendants of roses you would like in your garden to get a sense of successful progeny.

Obviously, other factors sway the results – roses which are not of the high-centered ideal may be culled and never marketed hence not listed, and older award-winning roses will simply have been tried more often than newer, lesser-known varietals, hence more descendants for the former.

If you have limited space to grow descendants, but ample patience, I’d say, don’t necessarily rule out slightly more difficult, yet proven plants.

Mind you, others on the forum will have significantly more practical experience than I. And I don’t presume to know what your goals are.


Oh I know that site very well, thanks for pointing out that about the genetics. I was always weary about the listings there about the genetics in descendants because of the non marketing aspect which really doesn’t always say a thing about fertility all the time…I mean Crepusucle is highly fertile and on HMF there are only three first generation offspring. On the other hand Roserie de L’Hay is practically sterile in most cases (or so I’ve heard) and it’s measly two offspring is representative of that.

I guess I should divulge more on my breeding efforts then… Since I’m doing this more as a hobby and am not really focused on trying to create a shrub to market and all, though that would be nice, I’m really interested in trying to get yellows and apricots into the gallica family a la Paul Barden’s “Marianne” my own way and all, but other than that all I really want is to be able to create something not overly large, call it my own, and it be healthy, you know?


I’ve worked with Buck’s, Pearlie Mae since 2001.It’s a

good pollen + seed parent. It seems to pass on the yellow

  • apricot color you’re interested in. It also has good

disease resistance here in Iowa.


Max, you might consider some minis to try for your seed parents. There are several that are good hip setters and germinators, they don’t require much space and they seem to be good at carrying different traits forward.

Jim Sproul

Jim, which would those be?

I forgot about mini’s there for a little bit, thank you for reminding me. Well that certainly expands the list a bit I guess. I have this one supermarket mini that does rather well here, hardly looses leaves from anything, gets eaten to shreds by Japanese beetles, like completely defoliated and then grows them back, I think she’s rather semi-evergreen even in my 6b/7a zone. Unfortunately she’s a micro, not even over a foot and only has one flush a year.

I know that Joycie is supposedly excellent mini for breeding, but ordering from Sequoia Nursery is very expensive and that’s the only place to get it. Anybody know of some others

I guess the next best thing next to mini’s would be a polyanthas then. Perle d’Or has a few descendants, would it be worth experimenting with? What about Sweet Chariot and Caldwell Pink? Anybody ever try those in terms of pollen and hips?

I saw a Caldwell Pink at a local garden center late last year and it looked rather healthy compared to the frazzled Hybrid Teas and " Nearly Wild" shrubs. Has a few yellow leaves but nothing overly scary in terms of disease.


“Caldwell” Pink aka, ‘Pink Pet’ is infertile here. It has no listed descendants other than the climbing form

When I moved here I collected roses and observed them for awhile, collected OP hips and grew out seed before I began breeding.

If you have the space you might even just consider collecting hips from roses of known parentage that do well in your area.

You can select those with qualities you like and use them in your future breeding goals as proprietary breeders.

It’s good to practice growing roses from seed so you can know what works for you when you get seedlings you’d really like to to preserve.

You may attempt an exchange with other people on the net to get Joycie on (search for the roses section.)

I have several roses that came from such exchanges, one I’m especially fond of… a possible Swamp Rose hybrid that grows easily and blooms heavily. Don’t know much about it and I forgot who sent it to me, but I do remember was that it was discovered growing in the dirt between cement and a telephone pole.

I don’t do that anymore because I have limited space. But you will be surprised at how quickly you can extend your garden by exchanging cuttings or rooted plants although there is a risk of not getting the right variety.

However, it’s no worse than some of the worser nurseries who have reputations of mislabeling roses. (I won’t name them…)

Where do you come from, Max?

"Don’t know much about it and I forgot who sent it to me, but I do remember was that it was discovered growing in the dirt between cement and a telephone pole. "

Reminds me of a poem by the infamous, yet late, Tupac Shakur.


According to your first post you are in Maryland. That state is not on the list of destination states for which the State of California charges Sequoia an extra inspection fee, so I don’t think you can beat the price for Joycie from Sequoia. If you’re ordering only two plants, the $7 packing fee/destination charge (which is probably below the industry average) will add $3.50 each to your per-plant cost, but Joycie costs only $5.95 per plant, plus 50 cents per plant for shipping, so your total cost would be less than $20 for two plants delivered to your door. And as far as I know, Joycie is not being offered by any other nursery this year.

Just for a small comparison, one plant of Rainbow Knockout or Moondance or Strike it Rich (AARS 2007 winners) is going to cost you more than that (without shipping charges added) at Edmunds’ Roses. I know they’re not minis, but I seriously doubt that you can find minis, even the more common ones, available for a more reasonable charge than those at Sequoia. Of course, you might get tempted to buy a few others (this would lower your per-plant cost, you know), but that is not what we’re talking about, is it?

I will say, however, that if you have a serious blackspot problem and you don’t spray to control blackspot, you don’t want Joycie. For that matter, you’ll have problems with most roses, especially those that are low-growing and keep their leaves close to the ground. I live in Charleston, WV, and I know about blackspot. I’m guessing that it’s just as bad here as it is where you live.


  1. You can’t beat Sequoia’s price unless someone gives you a plant for free.

  2. Blackspot happens unless you control it.