RHA members with roses that are available to the public.

I would be interested in hearing how your rose(s) made it from seed to market.

Did you have to submit your rose for any testing?

How did you determine the price of your rose?

What steps did you take to reserve the name of your rose?

How many roses did you require to meet the demand from your buyer?

Well, the first thing to do is collect some pollen from papa rose and put it on mama rose - unless, of course, you’re already done with the real work?.

None of mine have followed the “professional route” that Jim’s have through C-P. My first was shared with Ralph Moore for his observation. He called me some time later asking what I wished to do with it. He offered that it wasn’t something I would retire on, but was definitely “too good to lose”. He agreed that he’d be proud to offer it for sale, so Purple Buttons was ‘born’.

I’ve had seedlings I’ve shared with The Heritage in San Jose, then I dumped because they weren’t what I was looking for from their line of breeding, only to come back to bite me. Janet Sclar of Amity Heritage contacted me, saying she’d been impressed with a seedling of mine and wanted permission to introduce it. Sunburn hit the market through Amity Heritage. I’ve given cuttings of many others to Vintage, The Rose Ranch, Sequoia, Burlington, Ashdown and others for them to grow and evaluate. Some hit their lists the next season, others never did. Bierkreek in The Netherlands picked up several from Ashdown when they had business dealings. Hans grew Lynnie, Too Cute and Little Butterfly and liked them well enough to add them to his catalog. He requested I send others I wanted him to look at. Some have then been picked up by other European sources.

Helga Brichet imported Rayon Butterflies and Nessie from Ashdown into Italy, resulting in Nessie only being commercially available in Italy. Now, a few German nurseries have expressed interest in receiving bud wood for test. Chill Out roses in Alaska has requested permission to offer some of my roses, with reports that Lauren can be grown in a zone 2a situation with appropriate protection. Not bad for a zone 9-10 seedling. Lynnie and Little Butterfly were found to be sufficiently hardy for Mike Lowe to grow unprotected in his New Hampshire garden. Again, not bad for zone 9-10 seedlings. These, and Too Cute have been sufficiently hardy to grow in The Netherlands. So far, so has Annie Laurie McDowell.

But, as i said, none of these have been the “professional” route through a paying introducer such as Jim’s through Conard Pyle. Not that I wouldn’t LIKE them to be, I just haven’t gotten there yet.


Sorry to have wasted your time with a valid question to fellow members of this organization. Perhaps if you were not so bent on ______ you would have answered the question(s). Isn’t that the purpose of this forum?

Steve, I suppose you could be rightly offended by my response but, really, in my mind your post raises the question I asked - do you have roses in the pipeline? We’re here to help but the business plan is the last thing you should be concerned about which is the point I was hoping you’d get.


Thank you for the clarification. To a point, I agree with your response. I guess I feel planning the business side of things is just as important as growing a rose.

<quote]I guess I feel planning the business side of things is just as important as growing a rose.[/quote]

I see. Just to be clear about it we are not so much growers as breeders, the difference between a business plan and a breeding strategy being somewhat like the difference between the lightning bug and lightning.


The need for business plan probably should be preceded by a rose that needs marketing. There is no point in buying a crib until a baby is well on the way. Not everyone is as lucky as Frank Strickland was–he hybridized an AARS winner in his third year of pollinations.

If you search the forum, you will see lots of members’ comments related to the questions you have asked, and you might also take a look at some of the articles in the old RHA Newsletters. The forum alone contains about 10 years of shared knowledge (yes, and some stuff that’s little more than chat too, but that is a part of human life), and you should search and read it to find what is useful to you.

Still another web destination you might find useful is HelpMeFind.com/roses (HMF). Well, I say you might find it useful, but I mean that you’ll find it indispensable if you are interested in roses and hybridizing. The premium membership there is a bargain at $24/yr, and you will find all sorts of educational stuff there, including pictures, parentage and descendancy trees, comments from rose growers all over the world, and more. It won’t give you a business plan, but it will give you a place to gain and share relevant knowledge and hybridizing experiences, something of what this forum is about–and what RHA is about, in fact. HMF was conceived as a wiki, and sharing knowledge is its guiding principle.

Testing is always needed. People don’t send cars or electronic systems to manufacturing without trying them first. Nearly all browsers, for instance, go through several stages of alpha and beta testing before they are released, and the need for testing (whether market testing or product testing) is clear for any service or product. Even the standardized testing companies such as ETS and ACT test their questions for relevance and reliability before putting them to use in national testing. Have you read anything about the RHA trial grounds in Shreveport and in St. Cloud, MN? Have you heard of the Earth-Kind testing program?

The other three questions you ask seem pretty far off the mark. Unless you own the introducing company, you don’t determine the price, you don’t reserve the name of the rose (although you may register a variety under whatever name you wish, it may not be marketed under that name by a large rose firm), and you don’t determine the number of plants sold.

What sorts of roses are you interested in developing?


Thank you for the reply Peter. Yes, I have visited and am a paying member of all the websites you mentioned. They are all great informative tools. Although I don’t know anyone that has enough time to wade through 10 years of data, I do agree there is valuable information contained within. Frankly speaking there are a lot of members on this site with truck loads of information based on their research, education and love for the rose. I am here to learn what I can from anyone willing to share their knowledge.

As for what sorts of roses I am interested in developing let’s just say the 'blue" ones - and I don’t mean mauve or mallow. Before you ask, yes I am aware of all the failures throughout history and why roses are not blue by nature. The only thing I can honestly say regarding my specific quest is - the answer to achieving a specific color in anything requires layers of complimentary colors and not by “mixing” two colors.

Thanks again for the reply.


Hi Steve, I am in Oz, some people have asked for more info about “Rembrandt” who is he, what roses he might have, where does he live. Come on mate(Austarlian thing) tell all. Again this is me and not maybe the way RHA asks questions

Dave Rembrandt was one of the great Flemish painters.

Smart Bugger, Warren. What color did he work with, You say " Flemish", is that skin toned.

Rembrandt painted backwards – meaning instead of painting on a traditional white/off-white canvas he always primed his canvases black. As for where I live – click on my profile. Here are the roses I am currently working with.

Apricot Candy

Augustine Guinoisseau

Baby Jane Clare

Blue Girl

Blue Moon

Brides Dream

Bronze Star


Day Breaker

Diamond Jubilee

Doulble Knock-Out

Drop Dead Red

Empress Michiko



French Lace

Gold Medal

Green Ice

Green China Rose Bush

Grey Pearl


Helmet Schmidt




Koko Loco


Little Emma

Memorial Day



Mt. Hood

New Zealand


Over the Moon

Perfect Moment

Pink Promise

Polar star


Queen Elizabeth

Red Fair

Ring of Fire

Rio Samba

Royal Highness

Royal Highness

Royal William

Saint Patrick

Scarlet Knight


Sight Saver


Stainless Steel

Sugar Moon

Sunset Celebration

Sweet Surrender



Wild Blue Yonder

World War II Memorial

Yves Piaget

Hi Steve

That is a spectacular list of roses you are working with.

I can assure you that should you produce the blue rose you aim for then the market will come to you and you will not have to worry about marketing, naming or the numbers produced.

Good luck

For any other colour here are my suggestions.

I would be interested in hearing how your rose(s) made it from seed to market.

This process takes about eight years, and involves evaluation by yourself initially and then by rose growers in the later years.

(This is based on the assumption that a desirable seedling is produced in the first seasons crossings). Whether a variety is suitable for market is a much debated topic. As Sam McGredy has said " rose breeders a renown for seeing their geese as swans"

Did you have to submit your rose for any testing?

By testing I assume you mean beyond the trials that you have done to establish your varieties suitability for market. National trials are held in many places and these are best arranged by your agent in each territory. These are not compulsory nor a requirement but will give your variety a head start in the industry as you and your roses become better known.

How did you determine the price of your rose?

I guess you mean royalty rate here? This is set primarily by the industry and you set yourself inside the range where you are comfortable that you have not sold yourself short nor priced yourself out of the market.

What steps did you take to reserve the name of your rose?

It is possible to trademark the name of your rose which will extend its royalty period beyond the 20 or so years of its life. You would be advised to speak to an intellectual property lawyer on the finer points here. It can get very involved and may not be required for every variety.

How many roses did you require to meet the demand from your buyer?

If you are not a commercial nursery then this is none of your issue. If you mean how many plants do I need to supply budwood to growers then I would suggest about ten. Of course you will by this stage have dozens of roses of your variety under trial in many areas.

As this whole process takes such a long time you will have plenty of opportunity to read through prior threads which may be more helpful.

All the best


Hi Steve, I know much of this is a non issue for you where you live, but just sharing information with you about the potential suitability of some of the roses you listed from your stable for the Californian market…

Augustine Guinoisseau - thin, easily damaged petals; mildew and black spot susceptibility.

Blue Girl - Blue Moon - love them both, grew both for many years. Week seedlings with higher propensities for black spot here and thin, easily burned petals.

Crepuscule - love it, grew it for years. Mildew and thin, easily burned petals.

French Lace - beautiful and very popular, and rusts as badly as any Austin containing Ferdinand Conrad Meyer. -

Green Ice - fun, pretty mini, grew it for years. Sterility issues.

Green China Rose Bush - still grow it as I like it. Sterile and mildew.

Grey Pearl - have grown it since the early 80s. Horrible plant in virtually every way. Weak, bad architecture, low disease resistance in seedlings. I love the color, form and “challenge” of making it happy enough to live and not flower itself to death. Personally, I will never breed with it. Excellent resistance to mildew out in the open. Under plastic, very susceptible here. Never rusts and the only black spot is on old foliage from last year which has refused to fall off. Gene Boerner introduced it in the US market at the end of WWII, writing that “if someone was willing to pay $3500 for Grey Pearl shirt studs from Tiffany’s, surely they would pay $2.25 to grow it in their gardens.” It didn’t last very long in the J&P catalog, proving much too high maintenance to continue offering. Only Roses of Yesterday and Today offered it for several decades, spending much of the catalog space reserved for it apologizing for not being able to supply the plants. Definitely “one for the connoisseurs”, a real “museum piece”. Actually, probably worse for breeding anything worthwhile today than using Angel Farce, which is actually an easier plant to keep alive and entice decent flowers from.

Heirloom - delivers many “old fashioned”, muddy, reddish mauve seedlings with higher than acceptable black spot and rust susceptibility in these parts.

Intermezzo - significantly superior to Grey Pearl as a plant, but also producing weak, diseased offspring with poor architecture.

Memorial Day - I haven’t raised many seedlings from it, but definitely one of the better, fragrant pink HTs in the inland areas here.

New Zealand - pretty, fragrant and refuses to flower at all when it gets HOT here.

Perfect Moment - I grew this before it was introduced. I agree with Mr. Kordes, “there is ONE perfect moment…” However, it is as fleeting as ice in Death Valley, leaving you to deal with an intensely thorny, mildewy mess. Had it not been for other family members insisting that one, fleeting perfect moment was worth the wait and garden space, it would have been out of here before it did the only honorable thing and died.

Pristine - hard to find around here these days, probably due to the intense amount of sharp, strong prickles and chronic rust.

Queen Elizabeth - legendary for its ability to grow (even heavily virused), flower and rust anywhere a plant can be expected to grow. My youngest sister has three mountains of it in her Newhall garden which are over forty years old, inherited with the purchase of their house. With aridity, it is amazing. The two thirty-five plus year old bushes of it in this garden are amazing in their tenacity and enormity, even with rust. Definitely one you can pollinate with dirt, particularly if you desire raising enormous, vigorous, dirty, rusty seedlings. Excellent where it’s excellent. The mow/blow/goers here buy it because it is the largest canned, flowering rose with the biggest pink flowers they can find at Home Depot.

Rio Samba - another “perfect moment” situation. When in flower, it will sell all day long, only to be dumped and replaced with a new one once the flowers fall and the plant falls apart from every fungal issue known to man. Not vigorous and susceptible to all fungi in my experience. “Pretty when it’s pretty”.

Smokey - another wonderful color I grew for many years, until I tired of the terrible foliage in this climate. It has a bit longer “perfect moment”, but definitely not one I would breed with for this climate.

Stainless Steel - the all round best “gray” rose for arid climates, IMHO, elsewhere here, the poster child for black spot.

Sweet Surrender - I’ve loved the flower since the first time I saw and smelled it nearly forty years ago. Just wish it could hold its head up straight. Many foliage issues in many of the Southern California areas, requiring regular spraying. Honestly superceded here by its 'spiritual successor", Memorial Day. I’m still drawn to it every time I encounter its flat-topped, intensely fragrant, “nodding” blooms.

Yves Piaget - the first year, introductory plant of this I grew years ago, refused to grow. The many-year-old one in a client’s garden is a horse. Very angular, odd growth, mildews and the flowers ball in cooler, damper weather, but always in flower in her hotter, more arid garden, with massive, peony-like, fragrant flowers. I’m not sure if I would consider breeding with it or not, but absolutely better as an old, established plant than any newly planted one I’ve ever seen.

Granted, the fungal issues are likely very climate specific, but inherent vigor, longevity and architecture aren’t. And, it’s your choice what appeals to you to use, but if you have any aspirations of creating something possibly more widely suited than just your area, these may serve you best by being reevaluated.

Thanks Mike! I know my initial questions to this forum where a bit “trivial” in nature but as I stated previously I like to plan ahead. I appriciate your time and words of wisdom - which I will no doubt utilize in the near future. Thank you.

Thank you as well Kim! As a native Californian (San Jose) I can attest to some of the issue you have experienced. Thank you for your time and especially your expert analysis of my current selections. I will no doubt archive your comments in my database - bravo!!!

Great! You’re welcome. It would be a shame to create something really wonderful that wasn’t suitable for “home”!