Rose Seedlings

I am relatively new to rose hybridizing. My first successful attempt was last summer. Now my first seedling is in bud (indoors). Obviously, I want to see what the flower will look like. However, the plant is only five or six inches tall and only has about five full (five-leaflet) leaves. The stem is slightly smaller than a wooden match stick. Should I remove that first bud so the plant can build up a little more strength and size.


Tom D.

Often when I have a seedling that flowers a number of times the first summer, it does not survive the winter.

I do not know if the failure to survice is because the energy went into flowers rather than an extensive root system or if the extensive flowering was evidence of a gene system that did not know to shut down for the winter.

Tom, we all do this a bit differently. Since I like to discard early, I will let clean seedlings bloom on their first bloom. Once I have decided that I like it well enough to keep, I snap off the bud even if it hasn’t opened all of the way. If I don’t like it, the whole plant goes.

Jim Sproul

As for me, generally I’ve found that if you cut off that first bud, they’ll just go right ahead and make more; so I always allow that first bud to bloom. If I like the result I dry the flower in silica gel to keep as a reminder of the rose’s first attempt.