Not the Usual Technique

When I read the article by Theere Umsawasdi about her unusual hybridizing technique, it immediately appealed to me for some reason. I can’t wait to try it next summer. My question is, what technique does she use for collecting, storing, stratifying, cleaning, (etc.) her seeds? I’m very interested in any suggestions in that area because when I followed the “Hybridizing for beginners” directions, maybe I did something wrong (like not getting enough of the pulp off the seeds, or collecting too late in the season), but all I managed to grow in my trays was MOLD! I’m ready to go out and collect more OP hips this weekend so I can give it another go, and I’m feeling like I need some HELP!

Any advice appreciated,

Kate Wuertzer

Dont give up :slight_smile: Seeds can be frustrating. It just takes practice. And a lot of patience.

Kate, I’ll second Jadae’s “Don’t give up” statement. Two years ago I gave my first attempt to growing roses from some OP hips…and like you, I pretty much ended up with nothing. Very frustrating. Last year was my second go round with seeds…this time however I actually had a large number from my own crosses. Fortunately I had much better results the second time around and ended up having around 300 seedlings.

So now…let me ask you some questions. What are you storing your seeds in? A soiless mix, paper towels? Next, do you stratify your seeds with a cold period? While there are some rose seeds that will germinate without any period of cold, most seem to need at least a brief period (2 months) of cooler temps. As for mold…did you use anything to try and curb at least some of it? While there is thought that mold actually helps break down the seed coat (which I happen to believe as well to some degree)…as I am sure many of us have seen, too much mold can be devestating to germinating seeds. You might want to consider using a little hydrogen peroxide to curb excessive mold growth. And finally…did you plant your seeds in trays immediately or store them in some other container for awhile? As a “newbie” I found the process a little easier to get a handle on by keeping the seeds in petri dishes until they started to germinate. This helped me keep the medium at the right moisture level (not too damp, and not too dry) a little easier than trays (again, until I sort of got the hang of it and more familair with how well my growing medium held moisture). If the storing medium is too moist there is the possibility of causing the embryos inside the seed casing to basically rot once the seed casing starts to crack, too much moisture seeps in, and then gets trapped around the embryo…resulting in the embryo never shooting out a tap root (I’ve definitely done this myself when I first started).

And now finally…if you have only the first addition of the Hybridizer’s Handbook…you should consider getting the second one as well. It contains quite a bit more detail for the whole process, and I found it very helpful and giving me a clearer picture of what to expect.