Recommended books on hybridisation?

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and the hobby of rose breeding, I was wondering if anyone had any books that they would recommend

Welcome, James! The physical act of pollinating roses doesn’t require a book. It can easily be covered in a blog post or You Tube video, and actually has been. If it helps, this is my blog post about it. There are also a number of articles about other peoples’ methods available here on the RHA on the home page as well as on a Google search. Now, if you want historical information about seedling roses raised or about what some of the goals held by noted breeders, you should obtain books such as E.B LeGrice “Rose Growing Complete”, the paper back edition from the 1970’s rather than the hardback from the 60’s as it contains MUCH more information than the original, including a marvelous section covering a century of British seedling roses. “Roses” by Jack Harkness, 1977 (Dent) which contains much material about the milestone roses of his time. “Herb Swim, Roses: From Dreams to Reality” which reveals much of his goals creating his remarkable series of award winning roses over the decades. “Papa Floribunda, The Gene Boerner Story” covers his famous roses and career creating them. DEFINITELY you need a Premium Membership to HelpMeFind-Roses where you can research much parentage information, complete with color photographs of many of the parents and results. I’m sure there are many other books others wish to suggest.

James, I just checked my old blog post to see what might require updating and found my suggestions for “squeezers” and marking tags were out of date. Avery no longer makes my favored tags so Googling “stringed marking tags” and sifting through the results for the size, quantity and price you desire is in order. Also, the “squeezer” source I listed is out of business. Sewing stores and supply companies were the better source for them, but no more. This jewelry supply source is now the most cost efficient. Every source selling this product sells the same one or two models. They are all made in Pakistan (so buy them NOW as they are sure to be in short supply due to the horrific flooding in that country) and all made from stainless steel. Buy multiple pairs. One costs you $5.24 but six or more cost $4.67 each, still less than many tools available and less than what sewing sources charge for the identical product. Plus, you are sure to lose or damage them so having back-ups can save you time. Add the flooding issue and certain supply chain issues and it’s a no-brainer!

I would recommend “The Complete Book of Roses” 1981 by Gerd Krussman as a general purpose reference book. It covers a wide range of rose topics from the history of rose cultivation to basic genetics.
Thank you Kim for suggesting the “squeeze” scissors. They will be much easier to use than the curved finger nail scissors my arthritic fingers have been struggling with.

Marvelous, Margit! I’m delighted you can benefit from them. Seriously, order SEVERAL pair ASAP before supply chain issues arise. They are ALL made in Pakistan, no matter from which source you buy them. Rio Grande has the best price and they are identical to every other source. My first pair was a gift from a sewer who felt I might benefit from them. I DID! Be careful cutting anything very thick with them as you can “spring” them so they don’t cut and get ready to misplace them. Buy at least five and put the extras where you WILL remember where they are. Then, you’ll NEVER need them! Guaranteed! LOL!

Thank you for your help! I mostly wanted to learn about the genetics and a bit more about the history. However I might take you up on all your advice :relaxed:

James, start by absorbing everything here on the RHA Home Page and its sub pages. These articles can help point the way.

James - Don’t forget about the two books that you can order from the RHA. They are Rose Hybridizing for Beginners and Rose Hybridizing “The Next Step”. Both are excellent references.


This seems like a good test case for our new forum. I haven’t done any sorting of a History category yet but do have a look at the Genetics categories here:

The sub-category Ancestral Roses would also be relevant to your interest in the history of it all.

For practical advice on breeding for specific genetic traits the sub-categories in Roses for Hybridizing are also relevant.

Try out associated Tags to drill into specifics more precisely.

Feel free to post on the new forum to let me know if these features are helpful.

these are so much easier to maneuverer, not needing to hold them in a specific way (unlike normal scissors which you need to twist your whole hand around to get pollen sometimes)…just used a pair for the first time, would recommend to everyone.

Joined the train.

Order the twin pair x 4. Maybe Cost effective as declining feeling in fingers might be compensated for with large grip - lost many a pair of old style small shearer style in garden over the years.

Started season with 4 micro shears, down to one. Gardens dense packed.

See a second trial use - fly fishing needs. Looks like can clear hook eye. Snip knot excess etc… should be able to fix anchor to grip.


As to hybridizers books, cant say l used anything published, except whats in RHA and HMF publications and forum contributor inputs to my questions, plus rose correspondence.

Here is my Dr Slick’s fly fishing version only 15$ cdn or 10$ more for packaging and gold paint …