Seedlings Blooming

The seedlings have begun blooming.

I have used a purple seedling in about 15% of my crosses from last year and have some of them now blooming. Some are very dark purple. There is a cross of ‘Halo Today’ X 'Purple Seedling" which is almost black. I suppose that it may burn badly in the sun (will have to wait and see). I really like purples.

Also, am working on exhibition red minis. Have some looking pretty good from the following crosses:

(‘Singin’ in the Rain’ X ‘Roller Coaster’) X (‘Elizabeth Taylor’ X ‘Ingrid Bergman’);

(‘Singin’ in the Rain’ X ‘Roller Coaster’) X ‘Miss Flippins’;

‘Chipmunk’ X (‘Tournament of Roses’ X ‘Ingred Bergman’) and

‘Chipmunk’ X (‘Camara’ X ‘Kardinal’)*

Last year, I had several seedlngs of a cross of ‘Lynn Anderson’ X (‘Camara’ X ‘Kardinal’)** that produced large HT exhibition type blooms, so I repeated that cross this year and produced 1,050 seeds and now have 682 seedlings from that cross that have germinated (Lynn has great germination). None have bloomed yet, but several are producing large buds that should start blooming in about 2 weeks.

The other work that I emphasized last year was to produce some of the English type roses. I have two reliable seedling seed parents that I used: 'Orangeade’X ‘Abraham Darby’ and ‘Geisha’ X ‘Lady of the Dawn’. Both of these have “english” form and were crossed with ‘Glowing Peace’ and ‘Abraham Darby’ as well as some of my purple and brown seedlings.

Soon the whole greenhouse will be in bloom and the culling will get intense…


(* and ** are siblings that are quite different from one another)

Jim, is the the ‘Purple Seedling’ the one whose photo is in the RHA Member Showcase? That is a very striking flower.

Do you cull based on the first flower a seedling produces?

I don’t have any blooms yet, but do have some buds about to open, both on this year’s seedlings, and on a few of last year’s seedlings that didn’t bloom last year. Unfortunately, some of the ones with buds are beginning to mildew, so they’ll probably be culled soon, unless the first flower is extraordinary.

I have found that seedlings the mildew in the greenhouse won’t necessarily do so out in the garden, and vice versa. For that reason, I am not too quick to remove mildewy seedlings unless they are disastrously diseased or otherwise inferior.



Hi Jim:

Thanks for the comments on the purple seedling. Actually, the one I am using is a different seedling from the same breeding lines, but a better plant, though it is not a single. I am getting some interesting seedlings from that line.

Yes, I do cull most severely on the first bloom - probably 75% of the seedlings, though some years, I have culled as many as 90% on the first bloom. I look at cleanliness, fragrance, foliage shape, glossiness and color as well as novelty of bloom color and form.

Although I agree with Paul, seedlings do behave differently in the greenhouse than outside, I still will cull seedlings that are badly deformed by mildew in the greenhouse (but then again, for a really beautiful seedling, I will ignore the mildew). Two roses, ‘Sexy Rexy’ and ‘Livin’ Easy’, that are solidly resistant to mildew outside in our climate, will mildew for me in the greenhouse.

Tomorrow, I will have an HT seedling open that looks very promising on the first bloom. I am hoping to get a photo of it. It is a cross of ‘Gemini’ X (Mcgreedy seedling X Winchel seedling). It appears very clean and has a warm cream tone base color with darker pink on the edges. The plant is about 2 1/2" tall, with a strong peduncle about 3" long, with a large bud that looks like it will open to 4" wide. This is a great time of the year.


My first bloom opened yesterday - a yellow single. Not terribly exciting, but good enough to keep for further evaluation. The blooming is starting much later this season than last, because I stratified the seeds longer this year. Last season, the first bloom opened on December 20.

In the past, I’ve waited until the second or third bloom before culling. It looks like I’m going to have too many seedlings to do that with all of my crosses this year. That makes me a little nervous, because sometimes the later blooms are significantly better than the first.

This early in the season, I’ll overlook a little bit of mildew on a seedling. I only exile a seedling from the greenhouse if it is covered in mildew. I don’t kill it right away, but I don’t take very good care of it either. About 1 in 100 of the exiles gets healthier outside. When that happens, I move it back in the greenhouse. One of last year’s seedlings was moved out and in several times. I kept it to grow outside this year. It’s clean so far.

Carefree Beauty is another rose that mildews in the greenhouse but is clean outside.

Jim, I’m looking forward to seeing your Gemini seedling.

An alternative to throwing out seedlings is to give them away at local rose society meetings (or let the club sell them as a spring fund raising activity). I was surprised to find so many people willing to try growing a rose from its baby stage.

Here is a rather blurry image of the ‘Gemini’ seedling:

Hopefully, I will get a picture of it with my better camera.


Henry, you are right, donating seedling roses to the local rose society is a great idea. This year, I donated 275 full size grafted roses to our society plant sale. Members came out and helped to pot them up. It is fun having others growing your roses and commenting on them too!

My problem with culling is that the seedlings in the greenhouse are all planted together into seedling beds. It is not possible to dig up culls because it would damage and perhaps destroy neighboring more desirable seedlings.

There are about 135 seedlings in this space of about 1’ X 1 1/2’. Seeds were planted 1 to 2 inches apart, but germination was nearly 60%.

It is this density of planting which forces ruthless culling, which is both good and bad… It makes me anxious.


Okay, here’s a better image of the GEMMOV seedling:

This first bloom was just over 3 1/2" across.


Nice looking bloom!

There is a seedling blooming now in the group of seedlings in the image in 3 posts up. It looks like it may be a nicely formed red mini. It has a darker red overlay on the tops of the petals and a solid red on the reverse. It is a cross of ‘Chipmunk’ X (‘Tournament of Roses’ X ‘Ingred Bergman’). I will try to insert it here: