Involving Kids in Rose Breeding

Here is a seedling that my 11 year old son produced. He was very excited that I put a photo of it on the internet. The neat thing is that he also did the cross that resulted in the “mom” of this seedling - so his has done two generations. His seedling rose below is from a cross of [(‘Orangeade’ X ‘Abraham Darby’) X ‘Midnight Blue’] X ‘Baby Love’.


Tell your son for me, that I really like the red filaments, against the light center. Nice looking. And I think it’s great that your sharing the fun (and wonder of it all) with your children.

Great job, Sproul family.


Though personally, I’m not usually a fan of single roses, this one is very attractive. I think your son is to be commended on producing a rose many of us elders would have been proud to have produced.



Great job at being a super dad! Most youngsters wouldn’t have the patience to wait and wait and wait to see the results. That is a gorgeous rose – very striking coloration on the petal edges. Hope he keeps going.


Jim, Hi there, my daughters say to congratulate your son since they think it is beautiful. They plan to do a few crosses of their own next spring when I try my first ones too. They are inspired about your son achieving such a pretty one in the second generation!


Thanks for the very nice comments. My son, Silas, liked the nice things that you all wrote.

He has a couple more nice seedlings this year, but they will probably be used for breeding the next generation of seedlings for him.


Jim, your son has produced a fabulous seedling there…just beautiful and he should be extremely proud (as should you!). I think it is fantastic that his interest has held long enough that he is now into several generations of seedlings AND using them to breed with. He’s actually further along than I am at this point! LOL (only in my second year here).

Now, I just recently discovered that my niece may actually be interested in trying some breeding as well. My brother’s family was over here for the 4th of July and she was just full of questions about the seedlings and how did I “make” them. She is in 4th grade and I was really surprised at her interest AND how quickly she seemed to understand some of the basic concepts. She even took one of my rose “picture books” out to the test bed and started looking up the parents (which I have written on the labels) to see if she could find any similarities in the blooms! LOL I had some basic rose chores to do that day and hip “counting” (checking to see what is still there, what is maturing,etc.)…she followed me around, asking questions and helping. I am thinking I need to get her over here in the fall when I harvest the hips and see if she continues to show interest. If so, I’ll bring her over for a few weekends next spring and let her make some crosses of whatever she chooses.

Boy, what a great idea to introduce into the schools! Fantastic way to teach science, math, etc.


Hi Pierre:

Thank you for the encouragement to my son! I will share your comments with him.

Jim Sproul