Please help me

Hi, I’m an 18yr old student from South Africa and have a passion for roses.I don’t have the experience like you guys so please bear with me, I have only started to hybridize but am on the verge of giving up as the little problems I encounter are becoming huge one’s due to the lack of guidance and support. I have read all the websites they are to hybidizing but I still have a few problems. Please don’t ignore my request as I would really love to be successful, any form of help will be greatly appreciated.I have hybrid tea roses which are about a year and a half old and they are ever-bloomers. I live in Richards Bay where the days are warm and we are currently in Autumn (but my roses are quite healthy and have a number of blooms)we also don’t experience any snow, neither do we have harsh winters. I know that many say that roses should be pollinated in spring but is there even a little chance of it being successful if I were to try it now? I really want to get started, so can everbloomers be pollinated at any time of year? can I give it a try, as many of my blooms would be half to quartely open in a week or so. I did a bit of hybridizing recently, but encountered a little confusion when I did not see any secretion from the emasculated bloom, any tips as to when it can be seen or felt( should the bloom be emasculated at half or quartely open? ), and around when should it be seen. I was very determined so I pollinated the rose anyway, I had a look at it today but the sigmas are becoming dry, I sincerly hope that the hip will form.

Hope there is a chance of being able to hybridize the everbloomers. Here in SA help is scarce so I’m counting on anyone just to offer me some help is this regard.

Best wishes to you


Hello Kevin,

It is not very hard. The best time to hybridize and collect pollen is when the flowers are one the verge of opening. If it is open, then it is too late as there is a risk of that it may had been pollinated by bees, wind, or by itself. Make sure you remove all the anthers (the yellow things around the stamins) so that your deliberate cross does not contaminate by self pollination. Hips swell in a few weeks, and ripen in 3-6 months time. You may want to re-pollinate roses again if you are in doubt.

It maybe useful that you describe your climate. Here in San Jose, California, in the US, spring just barely begun. Do you guys get snow? I can’t imagine that so if you live in South Africa, but I do not know anything about your country. How are the Autumn and Winters over there? I’ve done late pollinations here as our mild cold seasons allows me to do so. The best time for many roses are during spring, but some varities such as the bourbon roses don’t generally set hip until late spring/ very early autumn. How hot does it get? Some roses resent making hips during the hottest time of the year.

Do you know which are the names of the roses? Some roses cannot set hips at all, others cannot produce viable or enough pollen. Also, start playing around. Don’t take it too hard. You may want to pay attention to a few posts of hybridizers such as Kim Rupert; gold mine of rose smarts are right in his head. Join your local rose society. They will be the best people to ask.


The reason spring is recomended as the best time to pollenate is that it takes 3 to 5 months for the hips to ripen. If your roses never go dormant, you could probably breed year round (I’m guessing, since I live in a cold-winter climate). Like Enrique mentioned, some roses won’t set hips in the heat. Do you deadhead your roses? If you don’t deadhead, you can get some indication as to which roses will set hips. I find it takes 2-4 weeks from pollination to see firm evidenc of hips–and the stigmas do dry out in that time. As far as the best time to pollinate, I often pollenate the same day I emasculate, then I’ll often pollenate again a day or two later. You also need to be carefull you don’t damage the stigmas when you pollenate. The first couple of years I was hybridizing, I “made sure” I got the pollen all over the stigmas, and in the process, damaged them.

One other thing I’d recomend, is trying to get some open-pollenated seeds, either from your garden or elsewhere. You may not know the pollen parent, but not only is this a good way to evaluate a possible seed parent, it also gives you experience germinating seeds and caring for new seedlings.

Good luck. It may take you a few years (and a lot of patience) to learn to do it well, but seeing the first blooms on your “babies” makes it well worth the wait. (As I’m impatiently checking some of my seedlings to see if they have bloomed yet.)


HI, Enrique

Thanks for the quick response, I’ll tell you a bit about our climate: The humidity levels are quite high since I live in a coastal area, We have temperatures around 30 to 38 degrees celcius(not sure what that would be in degrees Fahrenheit, but its on the hot side),We don’t have any snow or frosts(winters are very mild)so I don’t suppose that could be a threat, and we are in Autumn which I might is not threathning at all (where I live all seasons seem the same).

I can’t join a local Rose Society as we don’t have one, so this forum is a great deal of help to me

As I asked earlier can I go ahead with an attempt of pollination, as the blooms will be half open soon?

Best wishes


Hi Joan

Ever since I had the roses I have dead headed them, so I really dont have a clue as to whether or not they’ll set hips should I try anyway?

Kind regards


Sure Kevin, give it a try. That’s how most of us got started.

I think the best piece of advice I can give is to just try everything and try not to get too down if you have some failures. I’d go ahead and start pollinating now – if you don’t have frosts, this might be the best time of year – maybe the summer would be too hot. If nothing takes, keep trying. Expect failure – even professional rose breeders attempt to make a whole lot more hybrids than ever take or sprout. Increase your odds by making as many hybrids as you can. I also agree with Joan that you might want to not deadhead some flowers and see if you get any open pollinated hips. It is a great way to start learning.

Best of luck to you! I’m an 18 year old beginner at roses myself, and I can assure you, the thrill of those first seedlings is worth it!