Need your suggestions...

I have a seedling that is very beautiful, but is also very mildew prone. I’d like to preserve the bud and bloom beauty and size but increase the mildew resistance. She’s a cross between Louise Estes and Color Magic (two not very mildew prone parents, at least in my garden). Her buds are beautifully colored and her blooms are very creamy, semi-double, quite large (to 5") and have a “Dainty Bess” style to them, with outstanding pistils and stamens. Should I self her? Cross her back to her parents? Or should I just try this cross again? Other ideas? I’d hate to lose the size.


I think you should self her, repeat the cross and use this seedling with other roses that strongly resists mildew. If you use all three methods you’ll have a better chance at success.

If she sets hips all the better.

Thanks Robert, that seems reasonable. And yes, she does set hips.

Nice! There are some wonderful pollen parents out there to play with. Now you have a proprietary breeder, not that you couldn’t spread this one around anyway. What rose is perfect?

It looks quite a young plant. You may find that the disease resistance improves with age.

When such a small plant has to put its energy into producing such a large bloom it can leve little for fighting off disease.

Jinks stated what I was thinking but did not get around to state.

Thanks Jinks and Henry. The plant is now about a year old, though the pictures I posted, as you correctly noted, were from when the plant was quite young. It would be nice if she grows out of her mildew prone state, but I’m not too hopeful at this point.

Judith, you would clean it up very rapidly using ‘Baby Love’ pollen on your seedling. I have seen some large singles coming out of ‘Baby Love’ in the first generation and it is excellent at producing powdery mildew free seedlings.

Jim Sproul

Ok, guess I’ll give it a try, Jim. How is Baby Love as a seed parent?

‘Baby Love’ does set hips, but only 3 or 4 seeds per hip on average. Also germination is not that good. That is why I only use it as a pollen parent (though if you have a seedling that you’d like to use that doesn’t produce hips, I would try it the other way).

Jim Sproul

May be a few years, then. My seedling is only a year old, so if I want to try a bunch of crosses, most will have to be using her as pollen parent. I was thinking Playboy might be a good match. Also Pink Knock Out. And on a more exhuberant note, Mermaid!

“My seedling is only a year old”

That’s not right! She’s 2 1/2 years old! I guess that’s enough time for her to overcome her mildew-ness.

Somehow the numbers got mixed up on the photos. Sorry.