Second wave of germinations

I have been interested in a number of new germinations that have been occuring–seemingly in conjunction with the cooler temperatures of fall. These seeds were sown along with all the others in late spring, outdoors, but now these new plants are coming up. Is this normal? Any recommendations for how to care for these tiny plants through the winter months?


Hi Robert:

Yes, it is entirely normal. You will need some protection during the winter - either in a greenhouse or indoors under lights (but you will have to watch out for spider mites!)

Jim Sproul

Thanks for the help, Jim! I was surprised to see the new seedlings–all the rest of the germination had ended quite a while back. . . .

I also got oddly quick germinations, although the hips weren’t fully red when I took them in (they were cutted from the plant when my father decided to do yard work).

10 seeds from Applejack X some sort of scotch rose. One completly sprouted, and others are starting to germinate.

I have no idea what this pollen parent may had been. I know it was deeply perfumed (almost overwhelmingly), appeared to be very double in a light yellow and pink color much like Peace. Although, I’m not even entirely sure if it came from a scoth rose. I was given the flower, and smelled the perfume and said, “I got to use this one’s pollen…”

I typically get a small surge in germination in the Fall, even though I let the seed flats dry out all Summer long. I start watering again in late september and within a week, seeds are germinating. I find ‘Abraham Darby’ to be conspicuous among the Fall germinators; Crosses using it as the seed parent often germinate very poorly in the Spring and yet come October, they start coming up fast and furious. This may be noteworthy to those using it as a seed parent.

As others have suggested, I pot these into 3" squares as soon as they germinate (yes, even before they make a first true leaf) and overwinter them under fluorescent lights.


Thank you Enrique and Paul for your insights and suggestions. I’ve been contemplating using Abraham Darby as a seed parent, Paul, and will keep this information in mind if I do.


The Abraham Darby cross I mentioned gave me ZERO germination in the Spring, but now, I have over 30 seedlings from the cross that have come up in the past week, which is close to 50% germination of that cross. Perhaps other have different experiences with this rose as a seed parent, but this is what I am discovering. Best of luck. Abe is well worth using as a parent!


Thank you for the encouragement on Abraham Darby, Paul! Have you found that it also sets hips readily with a variety of pollens?


No, Robert. Abraham Darby is in fact reluctant to “play nice” with a wide variety of pollens, and you have to try many pollen parents on it to find out which ones will produce seed. It is much more workable as a pollen parent. Often its pollen works well on many seed bearers when nothing else will.


This second chance germination is interesting. I have coincidentally kept some flats of seeds that didn’t germinate this past spring. I’m not a fastidious gardener sometimes. The seeds are still in them and the one or two I cracked open look creamy and intact. I’ll water them to see what happens. Maybe I’ll get something!

I keep ALL my seedtrays for a second season.

By May I let them dry out and by mid October they go outside into the rain with temperatures around 40 to 50 F. By early to mid Dec. when the first seedlings come up outside (no frost here before late Dec.) I take the trays into the basement and more will come up for about 4 to 6 weeks.

I have been doing this since I started hybridizing 36 years ago.

Also, I have learned from Wilhelm Kordes II, that seeds from yellow parents, (either one) may get better germination in the second year. Sometimes I had no germination at all the first year, but some germination in the second.

From one cross I had only 9 seeds I remember and just one came up the first season. The second time around I had 6 more germinating.

So no matter what parents, I keep all seedtrays for a second year. In an old rose book from about 1930 I have read that some hybridizers kept their seedtrays for 7 (seven) years.

On one of my visits to Ralph Moore I asked him, if he kept his seeds for a second year. He said no ! I have also read in Kordes book that they do not wait if more come up later on as the space is to valuable.

For the past three years, I have used an outside screened wooden box (bottom and top screened - top of course is on hinges). After the second year, all ungerminated rose seeds go into it (except for super valuable crosses). Of course from that point on I do not know who the parents are. The seedlings that grow in that box are screened when they flower.

What an interesting comment George. I remember distinctly that my Livin’ Easy X Rugelda seeds took forever to germinate. I assumed that this was because Rugelda may didn’t pass on a recessive trait for repeat bloom, and I believed that I had once bloomers. No, they repeated rapidly. But the disease was just horrible.

They bloomed the next year after that (My, what beautiful colors-- but horrible disease.)


Yesterday I got even more fast germinations. 1 Ceasar Chavez X Shropshire Lass, and 1 Queen Elizabeth X an unknown stripped rose (perhaps Rocking Robin, Peppermint Swirl, etc.)

I was glad to read this posting! I had not discarded my very first flat of seeds from my very first hybridizing efforts from summer 04. It was dry and covered with moss even though I had covered the top with sand. Since I had read somewhere that seeds will germinate up to two years, I watered the flat. I was surprised with 3 little seedlings and 5 more a couple weeks latter. My first efforts were completly random, crossing anything blooming in my yard! I have some Neptune X Rose Gilardi and some Arizona Sunset crosses and some with lost tags-father unknown! I have had 3 bloom so far and what fun!