It's that time of year again... Unloading the greenhouse.

Yesterday we started digging the 2009 seedlings out of the greenhouse seedling benches and potting them up for evaluation outside. With only 1/8th of the work done, we have potted up 62 seedlings so far. Because of time and space issues, I usually try not to keep more than 200 seedlings each year. Over the last 2 or 3 years though, I have seen that some of the more “middle of the road” seedlings with respect to greenhouse evaluation, are looking to be superior to most of the others when grown outside. So, I am being more cautious and will end up with close to 500 seedlings from the 2009 batch that will get another chance to “show their stuff” outside next Spring. I’m not quite sure how I am going to take care of them, but we will see… Outdoor evaluation is critical to determine how roses will do in the usual garden setting. And outdoors, in the ground, would be even better - but I know that I don’t have room for that!

Jim Sproul

We finally got the greenhouse seedling benches completely unloaded today - lots of work! Though I don’t have a final count, I’m sure there were at least 500 survivors.

Over the course of the growing season, one becomes familiar with the location of each seedling in the greenhouse. Transplanting them to pots and moving them outside changes all of that making it more difficult to remember each seedling the next growing season. This is made more challenging by the sometime dramatic changes that occur with maturity and outdoor conditions.

After removing the seedlings today and re-working the seedling benches for replanting the new seeds, I remembered special seedlings from years past - where they had been located in the seedling benches. I can still remember the location where ‘Honey Dijon’ first grew. That sort of reminiscing is not unlike remembering your kids when they were younger - it takes you back.

Looking forward, I wonder what seedlings will be growing there in the next few months, and wonder whether any of them will be special…

Jim Sproul

I envy the space and labor devoted to mass seedling production. Right now I only have some 20 odd seedlings of Carefree Beauty that have germinated. Five of those already have buds and three of those are already showing color. All three appear to be yellows. One appears to be a strong yellow. The other two lighter yellows with maybe some red striping or blushing.

I used four yellow pollen parents on CB:

Golden Showers

R. foetida

Golden Chersonese


(and I can probably rule out Golden Chersonese and R. foetida- at least for the ones that have buds right now… I do have two seedlings with tiny foliage though). I wouldn’t think Golden Showers to be precocious but I know Redgold is- so I’m calling that my pollen dad for now:)

500 survivors -awesome job - Oh by the way - I have a few unplanted acres here in the south east if you need a little extra space :slight_smile:

Kidding - good luck, hopefully you’ll have something really special in them.

Jim, I don’t know how you manage so many seedlings. I’m tired just thinking about what you transplanted. LOL I typically only have about 500-600 new seedlings total any given year. I went up to almost 1000 one year and that was just too much for what I felt comfortable managing. I tend to only take about 25-50 seedlings outside of the 500-600 seedlings that germinate. I should probably find a place to set up an area where I could water the pots with an irrigation system to handle more outside (right now I just stack them on benches and water by hand until I decide to plant them or toss them). Anyway, I digress… LOL

I know exactly what you mean when you mentioned getting used to seedlings and where they were on the benches inside, etc…or remembering certain seedlings from the very beginning. One of my favorite seedlings (‘Supernatural’), I can remember the first bloom, where it was on the bench at the old house, the first time it bloomed outside, etc. Certain seedlings like that really do stick with you, even with so many other seedlings along the way. And YES, when you first move seedlings outside it really does shake things up when trying recall how they were inside, etc. It can be a little disorienting almost. LOL Only a select few manage to really transcend the move and stick with me clearly. Sometimes they are disappointments once they are outside and I wonder what I saw in them indoors. LOL But, the most baffling are those that become beauties outside that I can’t remember a darn thing about from when they were inside. LOL Sort of like, “now, where did that come from”. Clearly I saw something in them to have kept them that long…but, nothing astounding to really make a major impression that I could remember. I never get tired of those kinds of surprises though. :astonished:)

“Only a select few manage to really transcend the move and stick with me clearly…”

Same experience for me and I do not care much for the numerous evanescent ones. The later revealed are much more interesting as plant quality often go along. They somehow superseded an initial handicap.

Hi Jon,

Best wishes on your new seedlings!

Hi Hayne,

Welcome to RHA! It would be nice to have that kind of extra space!

Hi Michelle,

The roses potted up for outside conditions will hopefully be “thinned down” by 50% after the first bloom cycle this Spring. For many of these, I am checking for outdoor bloom and plant quality as well as disease susceptibility. But it is true - I do have too many seedlings to take of!

Today, we finished planting all of the new seeds in the seedling benches. Well over half of the seeds came from crosses involving Hulthemias or stripes. Did I hear that this is the “Year of the Tiger”?

Jim Sproul

Hi Jim.

I can’t wait to see your new Hulthemia and stripes this season.

All the best for your new babies.

Jim, there must have been something going around last year reminding all of us that 2010 was the “Year of the Tiger”. LOL The vast majority of what I have this year are from stripe crosses. Should be fun to see what comes from all of these stripes…and I am always fascinated by your Hulthemias.

Hi George,

Thanks! The season of new seedlings blooming for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere is fast approaching - I can’t wait!

Hi Michelle,

I noticed in one of the other threads that you indicated your 2009 crosses. It looks like you will have plenty of stripes coming along. Best wishes for interesting color combinations and fragrance!

Jim Sproul