OP vs deliberate-cross germination

Hi, all, Happy-Merry To All,

Question for you. Prepared about 1,000 seeds last fall, some deliberate crosses and some open-pollinated (because why let a good seed go to waste?) Prepared them all the same way. Put them in the greenhouse under the same conditions. Waited, waited, waited…

Well, so far, none of my crosses have sprouted. The open-pollinated seeds, on the other hand, are sprouting like mad. I’ve got FMM, Tuscany Superb and La Belle Sultane seedlings galore (even got a couple of Nightmoss OP seedlings!) but absolutely -nothing- on my crosses.

Is this normal? Should I just wait for the others?

By the way, been horribly busy getting work-related projects done before the holidays, and I did see that some of you want FMM OP seeds. Just haven’t had the time to respond. If you still want some, please send a SASE to Spotted Rose Ranch, PO Box 41, Hygiene, Colorado 80503, and I’ll post you some. Not to worry, there are plenty for everyone!

Hang in there everyone, spring is coming. Eventually!


Are the Op seeds and the cross pollinated seeds from the same mothers?

It is good to see someone else from colorado? I thought I was the only one.

Happy-Merry to you to Fara :slight_smile:

I wonder what percentage of the OP hips we collect are self-pollinated and maybe… because they are self-pollinated they are more compatible and therefore easier to germinate etc

Aren’t you guys in the depths of winter now with a long time to wait until spring??? Do you normally sow your seeds in winter?

Hi, all,

Adam, the OP seeds are from three different mothers so far. And no, you’re not the only one from Colorado!

Simon, good point about self-pollination. And as for winter, yeah, we’re in the depths here, but we’re also at a fairly high altitude so summer ends early. I collect hips starting September 1, stratify for 6 weeks and then sow in the greenhouse. All the seeds are treated exactly alike, and I have had deliberate-cross seedlings germinate this way before.

Hello Fara, and Happy Holidays to you.

Yes, often OP seeds germinate more readily (and earlier) than crosses you make by hand. Some crosses you will make and have great expectations of, only to find that few or none of the seeds germinate! This happened to me with a cross I had literally thousands of seeds from: I got three seedlings, and all but one died. Just a bad match of genes, I expect. It was (R. wichurana X Floradora) X Home Run.

I would hazard a guess that 6 weeks of chill is not enough to properly break the dormancy of many varieties, especially the classes you seem to be working with. I believe the older European classes (Gallicas, Mosses, etc) require more like 12 to 16 weeks of cold dormancy to germinate readily. I realize you have a shorter Summer there than I do, but I would still chill the seeds at least four weeks more than you do before sowing. Or make sure the seed flats get exposed to temps below 45F regularly AFTER the sowing is done, to extent the chill period.

Because I have the luxury of a long growing season and mild Winters, I can sow seeds on March 1st in an unheated greenhouse and that times things fairly well for me. I get plenty of time to mature most seedlings to a decent size

between March 1st and early November, when we start getting hard freezes. So, for me, it makes more sense to go for a long chill period before sowing. I expect this is why I get such good germination rates on most of my crosses. Some crosses germinate at near 100%.

I also think that germination is tied to day length and other seasonal forces, so they might not germinate till a certain time of year no matter what you do to them.

Best of luck, and don’t despair. They’ll germinate when they’re ready.



Hmmm, you may have a point there about the long dormancy. My problem with doing that is that if I try to keep seeds longer than 6 weeks in the fridge, they begin to mold something fierce.

Long growing season… sigh… No, up here any hips left on the plant after mid-September are eaten by crows and raccoons. But I have a supremely leaky greenhouse even though I keep thinking I’ve found all the cracks and sealed them; all I ask of it this time of year is that it stay above freezing at night.

I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens. So far I’ve got about 18 OP seedlings to keep me busy–including one of Nightmoss that appeared with three cotyledons!


I have read on here (somewhere???) that a little mould isn’t necessarily a bad thing and may actually assist the seeds by breaking down the achene’s ‘seed coat’. I still soak the seeds in a fungicide before stratifying though because I can’t quite get my head around that mould might be good…

Heck, my seeds go seriously moldy during their cold dormancy period. It helps break down the seed coat. In SOME cases it can be harmful to the embryo, but most of the time it just assists the germination process. Honest!


Yep, I was thinking the same thing Paul. Growing mediums are full of fungi. They are part of the natural process that aids germination.

Simon, Paul, Robert,

No kidding?! And I’ve thrown away so many seeds because they were almost lost in mold! Augh!

Okay, well… now I know better. Thanks, guys!

In other news, my OP seeds of R. woodsii woodsii/fendleri have started to sprout. At first I didn’t think they were roses since that first tiny stalk is covered in, for lack of a better word, nano-prickles… but there they are!

Guess I better start figuring out where I’m going to put more rose beds.


I just give moldy seeds a quick wash in hydrogen peroxide + water, and then mix the seeds/solutions vigorously. It cleans them right up if theyre overly moldy. Afterwards, I wash them in water. It takes little effort and cost whatsoever…

btw, I am doing deliberate self crosses this year again. I did it last year with my own Shadow Ninja to see what would happen. I got a lot of black-red seedlings (like the color of Black Jade, Lavaglut, Black Magic, etc). It was kind of fun. I did it again this year with selfs of Shadow Ninja, Roar! and Selfridges x Freedom. the latter two were for two reasons: to set in another generation of pure yellow lineage, and because I found it really exciting to get 2 kept crosses from Freedom that set seed as females. Usually Freedom breeds female sterile via mechanical failure (the peduncle and hip merge as one vegetative part…).


I wash the seeds in peroxide before putting them into the fridge. Hmmm! Oh well, next year!

Speaking of deliberate selfing, I did that with Oranges n’ Lemons this year, because of all the roses I’ve tried to grow here, of the modern roses, only Oranges n’ Lemons is completely hardy and tough as nails here. Alas it has no fragrance that I can detect, but it’s the only modern that hasn’t turned spindly, stayed only a foot tall or just plain up and died. If only I could get an altitude-hardy version of Kordes Perfecta, my absolute, ultimate favorite rose…

lol Im too lazy to wash them initially.

I, too, have Oranges and Lemons. I hated it at first because it likes to fall over onto itself, so I put a metal spire around it to grow through and support it, and it looks wonderful now. If you do breed out any of the selfings or OP’s of it, make sure to include something that will likely give mildew resistance, as New Year, its parent, likes to breed for mildew, lol.

The newest recreation of Kordes Perfecta that I know of is Lynn Anderson. It has similar color, and the lineage is of similar idea. I know the LA is a hybrid tea that can be grown own-root, and I honestly think it does better own-root, too. It seems to branch better.

Jadae, all,

Oy… powdery mildew is the bane of my existence.

Does Lynn Anderson have Kordes Perfecta’s magnificent fragrance? It’s the fragrance I’m after most of all.

O n’ L falling over onto itself hasn’t been a problem here–the problem is it falls over onto everything else. I’ve had six foot canes fall onto the ground and stay green all winter. Maybe I’ll try caging it :smiley:

And in other news,

Behold the Power of Whining! Went out into the greenhouse today not expecting much, and to my delight, found two deliberate-cross seedlings had finally sprouted! Golden Celebration x Fa’s Marbled Moss! Yahoo!


Fara, my next suggestion to you would be Gardens of the World.