Harvesting, stratifying, planting

Kim Rupert suggested that in my climate zone (USDA Zone 10),I might forgo stratification and just plant the seeds when I’ve harvested 'em all. I’ve been storing the hips in the coldest part of my fridge as I’ve been harvesting them.

I’ve heard that it’s wise to harvest hips when they’re just starting to turn orange so that the seed coat isn’t too hard and thick. I’ll have them all by the end of August.

Kim also suggested that my previous practice of a 10-second dip of the seeds of 1 part clorox to 10 parts water may be unnecessary, maybe even detrimental: killing bacteria that help break up the seed coat.

Perhaps that information might be of value to you. Or perhaps you have a concurring or dissenting opinion on any of the above, which I’d welcome.

I second Kim’s suggestion of looking at your your winter climate temp for stratification compared roses’ crossing origins.

I got better results switching to “life just below 0 C degrees for 4 to 5 months of stratifications” to mimic winter soil conditions ( frozen at ~ - 0C with some snow cover). The kind found in my local and one or both parents. Results good - but not astounding - unless you compare to my sometimes zero germination results.

Nearly had a seizure for one rose species when l got 9 seedlings. This rose is apparently hardy in north Saskatchewan which is a bit cold.

It took me a few years of extreme frustration (low patience level) at zero progress to find a empirical observational sort of quasi scientific based wall of voodoo recipe method that works better for me. As in for cold hardy rose varieties, vs the status quo methods.

Some apply to your questions and request for input - so don’t view it as thread hijacking (dgase).

l will give few notes for the coliseum stands occupants target practise cravings. Ooops sorry l mean “peer review”.

I don’t chemically wash to sanitize seed outer covering as l do not believe nature does. Put seeds in baggies and add pearlite (minimal) until seeds appear 2 dimensionally separate from one another (personal bias based on scandanavian cultural rearing background).

Switched from vermiculite to more organically inert white pearlite as color contrast allows me to see seeds during all stages. The color contrast allows the eye strain less option to pick them out after stratification period complete and place them on top of moistened real soil - just in case organic chemicals and moving carbon based greeblies required to catalyze the rupture of the seed cover.

Moisten pearlite + seed mix in baggies but not drench. Leave above 0C for a couple of days and add water until satisfied a slight excess as in baggy walls look damp, but not dripping.

Then put into mini fridge and adjust to just
below zero C. Check to see mix freezes solid like my outside soil - so checking for germination is pointless while below zero. As is the sanitizing if the seed cover.

I use to stratify at between between 35-40 F (units change). Never really had much to zero success.

Frozen time soak mimics length ground frozen outside - probably don’t require that long. When reached, l jack fridge temp slightly above zero for a couple of day for more moisture soak from melted ice.

Pick seeds out and place on recycled cutting soil full of organics except fungus gnats - smoked those using Stefan’s suggested additive.

Cover with pearlite for aesthetics and to allow moss growth moisture level colored warning to work.

Then l put on a old vinyl 33 1/3 rpm voodoo album l inherited from my father. Great drumming. Hear plants like music and talking to each other through their roots.

Last fall the failed seed pots (no germinations from the above 0C stratification discarded old method) were put outside and buried in the ground to go through a natural winter cycle. Got a number of germinations from second cycle BUT at below zero … proof of the pudding imo… and one from an OP Lillian Gibson, that l am told is rare.

This method was not pulled out of the seat of my pants but based on snippets of technique info about how some prairie pioneer hybridizers treated their seeds as well as one Finland hybridizers facebook post.

Hopefully this helps those in the cold zone black hole of germination frustration. It is possible to pull out of this type of event horizon.

Perlite also remains more “airy” than vermiculite. The latter can remain too wet, too heavy. It’s great for adding to sand to provide more water retention.

Kim, in my Zone 10a, are you still okay with the method I described above–e.g., planting the seeds now, right after harvesting them?

As long as you can keep them appropriately watered and you’re not expecting extreme heat events. Regular moisture and varying temperatures (forties to low/middle eighties) and protection against being fried by too intense, direct sun are what I shoot for here and it succeeds nicely. 9b, nine miles of flat land from the Pacific and the only “heat” periods are mid day, full direct sun, then the refrigerated breezes come in off the ocean with the associated fog.

That’s pretty similar to my climate except it only reaches around 60 at night and upper 80s, low 90s many mid-afternoon. But the days are getting shorter, so the number of those quite warm hours will by the time germination occurs (mid-to-late September) will be shorter. I’d keep them in shade until germination and then half-day sun, protected from those hottest hours, during the day. Then in October, when the sun is lower, temps start to cool, give them full sun. Sounds like it’s worth doing. What do you think?

That’s up to you. Mine receive a great deal of full sun, but small seedlings are fragile in extreme sun. I plant under plastic hardware cloth to provide some sun buffering and protection from hungry birds, etc.

Yes, shade cloth on hot afternoons. Good idea. Will do. Thank you, Kim.

You’re welcome, but you should consider elevated plastic hardware cloth. “Critters” of all kinds LOVE rose seeds. If the hardware cloth is installed as an elevated cage over the planted seeds, they are protected and can get air, light, sun and rain without your having to constantly baby sit them.

I used old window screens. That would seem adequate. Alas, it has been almost 4 weeks since I planted the just-harvested ~three flats full–and so far I’ve gotten a total of one, yes, just one seedling. Should I give it more time or should I throw the flats in the fridge?

Give it time, Marty. That one is early! Those seeds need more temperature changes and rains to start sprouting as they will. Go pay attention to other things so this “watched pot” can boil in its time without your going nuts watching it.

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Thank you. One of my many failings is impatience–and rose breeding is not for the impatient!

Cheers, Kim.

Give it a chance…it will teach you patience!