More germinations and an interesting experiment

I’m up to about 80 seedlings so far this season but that’s not what I’m posting about.

Cliff Orent found a bunch of seeds that had been removed from their hips by his helper and put in the freezer. There are 10,500 seeds in the various batches consisting of about 140 varieties - all open pollinated. These seeds were harvested in 2005 and 2006 put in the fridge and then put in the freezer. Frozen for at least 8 months. I’m guessing the 2005 seeds were probably frozen for more than that. Since he was going to chuck them (no time to deal with them) I took them. They were fairly dried out, so I soaked them in either water or H2O2 overnight before I worked with them.

I prepared them between Dec 24, 07 and Jan 7, 08 by putting them in plastic baggies and wet paper towels. I didn’t expect much to germinate, but germinations have begun and I have seedlings already from 2005 and 2006 batches. Two really good germinators have been Belle au Bois Dormant and Berries n Cream. I also have germinations from Sweet Chariot and Red Fairy.

I’ll let you know if and when others germinate.

Impressive Judith!

Surely you will get plenty of seedlings this season :slight_smile:


This is good to know. I’ve heard frozen seed will germinate. I inadvertently let my seed get too cold in the back of the refrigerator this season. I guess I needn’t worry!


It is good to know and judging from what I’m seeing, I wouldn’t worry about your seeds Robert.

Another interesting thing to me is the heavy mold quickly taking over some of these batches after putting them in warmth. My guess is that long periods in the fridge (not the freezer) with certain molds have killed off some of the embryos in some of the batches. Some moldy batches have just fallen apart with mushy embryos inside. Of course, it’s also possible that the embryos were already dead and the mold is just growing well on those batches. Chicken/Egg question.

Most of the batches’ seeds however look remarkably good, like fresh out of the hips.

I may try spraying some of these with Serenade or resoak them in Oxyclean to keep the molds to a manageable point. I certainly have enough to experiment with!

Judy, experimentation is exactly the reason I sow OP seed. It helps to see what one can expect, before vesting too much time and energy into any one method or potential parent.

Exactly, Robert. And sometimes you get surprised and get a wonderful seedling!

I’ve kept very few OP seedlings considering the number of seedlings I’ve grown out over the years but I have kept a few.

Now I am using those as breeding stock. It is fun to have something unique of one’s own to work with.

Judith, I did a “sort of” experiment similar to yours (though not intended) but with fewer seeds my second or third year of trying to grow roses from seeds. Not knowing what I was doing, but having read that rose seeds required a cold period, I put half of my seeds in the fridge and half in the freezer. Not long after putting the seeds in the freezer, I learned that you are not supposed to let rose seed freeze! Well, since the experiment was already underway, I kept them in the freezer. I was surprised to find that I had several germinations from the seeds that were frozen - though not as many as from the seeds that were kept in the fridge. Something that I did notice among the frozen seedlings was that there were more white or lighter colored seedlings (though that may have just been coincidental).

Jim Sproul

Interesting. I’ll watch for that, Jim.