Hybridization for beginners

I’m a beginner and only got interested in roses last year. Reading the home page of the Rose Hybridizers Association and forum really got me hooked. Very interesting stuff. Last year I got myself a garden. I live in Germany in Dresden. I don’t know what zone that is but it is as north as one can get in Germany and still commertially grow wine (only white wines, red requires a warmer climat).

When I got my garden in March 2009 one of the first things was to order 2 old roses, a friend told my to buy theese 2 lovely roses

Mdm Hardy

Gloire de Dijon

Later in spring a bought a few more:

Teasing Georgia

Gertud Jekyll

Graham Thomas

The Generous Gardener

Winchester Cathedral

Amber Queen.

There were already a few roses in the garden which I don’t know the name of, but most of them have almost no sent, and some suffered very bad from blackspot, to the point that they lost all leaves. I’ll probably remove most of them. All of the new ones were perfectly healthy, though the old Glory had a few leaves with spots. The sommer 2009 was warm but unsusually moist. Even my tomatoes suffered from something simular, browm leaves and the tomatoes dropping before getting ripe.

I did some propagation with cuttings on the Gloire de Dijon. From 10 cuttings I have 6 plants that grew to 1 meter (3 feet). The mother plant grew more than 3 meters (12 feet)the first summer. I planted the cuttings directly outdoors under glass in the half-shadow of my big peach tree. I also did some other cuttings but they failed. Are climbers easier to propabate by cuttings than other roses?

Reading your forum I got so interested that I would like to try some hybridization this year. I will get delivery of a few more Austin roses in a few weeks:

William Shakespere 2000

St Swithum

Golden Celibration

Claire Austin


Gentle Hermione

Brother Cadfael

So this is the starting material.

I think I would like to get a climber…with a strong sent…rather big flowers… with the excellent rosette flower shape of Teasing Georgia. Color is not that important. Perhaps a bit optimistic, If I get anything I should be happy, I understand that hybridization is like lottery, the odds of getting something really nice is very low, and you need patience.

I’m planing to do 5 - 10 different crossings as a first try. Where should I start? Can I use

Gloire * Teasing Georgia?

The Generous G * Teasing Georgia?

Falstaff * Gloire?

Gentle Hermione * Gloire?

Or something else, using the material above? Gratefull for some tips!

By the way, I’ll buy the handbook to get the procedures correct.


Madame Hardy doesn’t produce hips or seeds. Grow it for its beauty. If you’re a beginner, get a few roses that are easy to work with and produce lots of interesting plants.

Queen Elizabeth, Little Darling, Orangeade, Golden Angel are roses that are very fertile both ways.

I think ‘William Shakespeare 2000’ is going to be very difficult to use, anyway dont be scared to experiment, you might get surprises also! Good luck.

Hi Erik,

Jude the Obscure is a good breeder of the Austins. I recommend that one. If you want heavier petalage, use it as a seed parent and cross it to something with a higher petal count.

Amber Queen is also a good seed parent.

Falstaff bred once-bloomers for me, sadly. Be sure to cross it with something that is well-branched, highly repeating and non-climbing. Crossing it with anything less is asking for a waste of time.

I’ll br trying out breeding with Jubilee Celebration this year. I have grown it for two years. It is an excellent plant compared to most Austins. It is compact, very full, scented, colorful and healthy. I am guessing that it is the reverse cross of Christopher Marlowe. It is a lot fuller and appropriately colored than CM though. They both descend from Golden Celebration, which has a lot of other descendants as well.

Hi Jadae.

I have been meaning to ask you for quite a wile now, what types of fragrance (if any) has Jude The Obscure passed on in your crosses?

Erik, welcome to the best hobby that there is!

If you have a chance to plant open pollinated seeds this year, it would be to your advantage as success in germinating and growing new seedlings to maturity is an important first step.

Yes, get the RHA booklets. They are a great place to start!

Best wishes!

Jim Sproul

Jude the Obscure passed on, to the one seedling I have kept from it (JtO x Purple Heart), a strong myrrh scent. It might be the first true mauve myrrh scented rose, lol. It’s a rather weird seedling o_O

Thanks everybody for interesting replies.

I’ll try to get a plant of Jude the Obscure ASAP.

What about crossing it with The Generous Gardener (both ways). The Generous Gardener does produce hips. Or Amber Queen * The Generous Gardener (both ways)?

What about Teasing Georgia? Mine had some hips. Did anyone try it?

Unfortunately I don’t have any OP seeds. I guess you are not allowed to send seeds from US. I’ll try to get something via ‘Verein Deutscher Rosenfreunde’

Happy pollinations to all of you


Thanks for your reply, Jadae (very cool).

I dont know much about Teasing Georgia, but if it actually has pollen, I’d use it as a pollen parent. The blooms look beautiful. A huge problem with these super double types is actually finding the reproductive parts, lol. Sometimes warmer weather helps.

Woops, finding the reproductive parts. That was something I didn’t realize could be a problem…I guess I’ll will need to examine my roses very closely with a magnifier glass when they start blooming in May. I really like the double rosette shapes. Thanks for the info Jadae.

Today I collected some unknown hips in a nearby public rose garden, just to get some experience germinating and growing new seedlings. The hips were still on the plants. As the winter was very cold in Dresden this year (we still have frost and some snow, very unusual) the hips have been exposed to -15 deg Celsius (almost Zero F) Could they still germinate?


Erik, if it was me, I would try sowing them, as it can be fun to do such experiments.

It will be interesting to see what you can discover about how such achenes germinate in your local conditions. Maybe if any of them do germinate they are good ones to select out for your colder climate?!

Caution: breeding with ‘Gloire de Dijon’ will give you a lot of weak growing seedlings that are very prone to both Mildew and Blackspot. While the occasional seedling might be found that fares better, you have to grow a lot to find one.