None of my pollinations

I did a few pollinations earlier and none of them took.

I really didn’t think it was rocket science, but obviously I did something really wrong. I picked a variety of “parent” plants… some I know to set hips very easily and failed.

When I collected the pollen sacs, I had posted before a lot didn’t seem to release any pollen. So I ground up the sacs and spread whatever I got onto the parent plant. I am wondering is the pollen so fine you cant readily see it? I am thinking this is probably the case, or wondering if I am totally wrong and basically was working with nothing or a very minimal amount of pollen.

You would think that a grass seed farmers daughter would have the pollen thing all figured out, but not when it comes to roses :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance,


Marleah, Sorry to hear about your bad luck with hip set. Some roses for me are pretty terrible pollen parents. I have to admit I do not have the patience to work with those roses that are reluctant to release pollen and that I have the tendency to be rather generous when applying pollen. What were your pollen and seed parents?


oh let’s see… .

I tried using Clementina Caboneri pollen on

Kiss of Desire (Harlekin)

Golden Buddah


Spanish Enchantress (when that one failed I know I did something wrong)

I did one or 2 others, but the names are escaping me right now.

I also find I collect pollen and then forget about it… typical me, so it never even MAKES it to the parent plant for a fertilization attempt.

Just sort of frustrating… but I will give a few things more tries. Probably just use OP hips again this year to try to figure out stratifying and getting the seeds to germinate and survive damp off :slight_smile:

Thanks for your time Liz- It is much appreciated,


Awww, Im sorry. Do you have a list of your roses available? I can usually pick out easy seed setters.

Do you have any rugosas? It only takes 2 months for them so it is not too late!

‘Clementina Caboneri’

I suspect it isn’t fertile. Triploid perhaps?

Yeah, my suspicion is that your pollen parent or pollen is the problem.

I almost always use generous (very visible) amounts of pollen in my crosses. I want to see the stigma pad coated in it. I’m guessing that, if you didn’t see any pollen, there’s a good chance there wasn’t any.

I’d try some other [test] crosses with any abundant fresh pollen that you have – that way, you’ll know that it’s probably not your technique.

Thanks for the feedback.

Now I have some learning to do… diploid, triploid, etc…

I read posts referring to this type of thing all of the time, and understand it has to do with genetic makeup but that is about as far as my knowledge goes. I am imagining that some types are typically infertile or maybe with types that don’t match (Pollen and seed parents?)

I haven’t been getting a lot of pollen. I get excited when I see a lot of pollen sacs when I am collecting… but beginning to figure out it really doesnt relate to the amount of pollen released. If I am wrong please correct me.

I haven’t yet ordered the handbooks from RHA-- are these sort of questions answered in it?

Jadae, I tried to email you a list of my roses that I have to see about good seed parents etc… Not sure if you received it as I sent it privately thru this site.

Thanks again to everyone for chiming in their thoughts and ideas,



You are right that the amount or appearance of the anthers themselves has very little to do with the amount of pollen that they release.

The RHA booklets will be very helpful to you.

Jim Sproul

Marleah, I have not had good luck with grinding up the anthers when pollen isn’t released readily. For best results, you should see plenty of pollen. If not, try removing the stamens at a different time or keeping them warmer/colder etc. I find best release is on top of my hot water tank.

Try a few other fathers. Or even wait til the bloom is just opening and get the freshly released pollen directly off the bloom.

Harlekin is an easy mother. Keep trying! Sometimes it takes a few tries until it clicks.

If the pollen does not release on its own, I use a flat blade chromed screwdriver to crush the sacks. If pollen is then released it shows clearly against the chromed surface of the screwdriver. I then pollinate using the screwdriver to deliver the pollen.


Hi Judith Singer:

You say that Harlekin is an easy mother. My daughter and I find that it forms hips more readily than anything else in our garden, but they are all OP as we have to wait until spring 2009 to perform our first crosses because all of our bushes are new. Could you kindly describe what kind of seedlings Harlekin tends to produce for you and how good it is at germinating. We are new and are part of the Hybridizing for Dummies school and are looking for some easy breeders just to be sure we don’t get too discouraged from our first efforts.

Thanks, Bob in New Orleans

Hey Marleah,

Do you have an update on what worked this year? I hope that you had some success! My first two years of attempts failed. Once you get the parents matched up well (with good seed parents) the whole thing falls into place.

Jim Sproul

FWIW, Clementina Carbonierri can be used for pollen. I have word that it has been used successfully. FYI

Bob, I only used Harlekin my first year hybridizing so my experience is limited. The seeds germinated like crazy, producing lots of climbers. Seedlings generally very healthy as I recall. I still have one growing in my garden. No disease but the petals are thin on substance on that one plant.

Hi Judith:

Many thanks. Your info is most helpful. We love climbers and it sounds like Harlekin will give us some beginner’s luck. Now that you mention it I notice that Harlekin’s petals are not long on substance. Its neigbor in my garden, Compassion, seems better in that regard.

Appreciate your taking time to answer. Bob in New Orleans