Splash and Dash equals Bad Technique?

Can a small hip (with seed) relative to self-pollination hips indicate “not“ enough pollen applied or repetition required ?

I usually only use a splash and dash method - and sometimes honey if note lack if adherence - don’t normally do repetitive pollination. Inquiring as noticed this year some of my spinos pollinated hips half the size of selfies on same rose.

That’s a really good question.

For sure it means that you did a good job of emasculation. Whether the pollen was then applied in sufficient amount to effect a successful pollination is a function of the compatibility of the pollen with respect to self-incompatibility (SI) genes and with respect to chromosomal homology. Another possibility is that the pollen is only partly viable.

There is not much you can do if the pollen triggers an SI mechanism. You can expect to get some seeds in this case but they would have no embryos. A lot of seeds form without embryos. So a small hip with a few seeds having no embryos means there’s probably an SI mechanism at play.

However you can get the same outcome from a successful pollination where the dna is simply not homologous enough to generate a viable embryo.

If you do get a viable embryo then it is likely that the pollen used was only partly viable and you would indeed benefit from swamping the stigmata with it.

I should mention that apomixis can happen too which could also give a small hip with few seeds.

Finally, it is almost impossible to do a complete job of emasculation. I did an experiment once where I not only emasculated the hips but flushed them with copious amounts of water and still got some selfling seeds - small hips with small numbers of seeds.

Thanks for asking this question, and also for the response.
I usually pollinate two or three times, if I have time. I have been wondering at times if I am waisting too much pollen. I am curious what you all do? Do you keep track of pollens successfulness? Look at pollen ahead of time for viability? Consider from experience likelihood of compatibility? Sometimes I have plenty of pollen to spare of some varieties, but there certainly are those I run out of long before I would like to.
I was wondering if it might be better to try to only do once when they are receptive, at least with my limited pollens.


Thanks for taking the time for a very informative and enlightening reply of outcomes that can cause what l have seen. I should of mentioned another observation l noticed - all the selfies on the spino have passed through the red hip color phase to the black matured phase. The crosses are still at the red phase - weeks behind.

I now understand variables can play into preventing even what appears to be successful crossing (hip and seed produced) from being one. Never realized roses can produce hips that contain seeds that can be essentially termed “sterile”.

The float-sink test is a very reliable indicator of seeds having no embryo. Empty seeds float. It’s not 100% but in my test it was 99%.

Good questions here and info from Don. I will now blab officiously about my own experiences as I sit on the couch waiting for the tea to shake off the stupor of what must have been a low-oxygen stuffy-nose night.

I’ve noticed before that certain pollens had a tendency of producing smaller than normal hips. Upon later examining the pollen under a microscope, it was largely misshapen globs with few or no fat ovals. Likewise some roses’ pollen seems to make larger than normal hips.

Building on what Duane said, I like to strain out the anthers from my pollen and use it very fresh…the morning after collecting it, if possible, and no more than one day later. I use a paint brush and aim for a smother. Usually just one application, except in special circumstances. Having said that, I guess if I’m passing a hip the next day and still have some of the same pollen I’ll hit it again. Above & Beyond is one rose that really seemed to benefit from re-pollinating later in the day. Occasionally I’ve had a rose that produced only small amounts of pollen, so I have used it more judiciously.

Duane, I do think that little pocket microscope that I’ve posted about on here is a great tool to know in advance some idea of how fertile a particular pollen is. Pollen with a low percentage of apparently viable grains will have to be applied at a much heavier rate.

Riku, I have noticed a difference of length in time it takes a hip to ripen from the same seed parent based (apparently) on different pollen parents. My hips were not a large difference in size as yours are, so may be different issues at work.
Joe, I have purchased the microscope you recommended. Had a lot of in with it until the move, need to find where it was packed. Maybe I need to consider using a visible check of the pollen as a determining factor of how much I slather on. Of course how much pollen there is will still be a factor.
I noticed the same thing with Above and Beyond, so I started hitting it three times. Didn’t make it any less picky, but hips that took did really well.

Txs Duane for the info,

As fate would have it, between yesterday and today (cool night) the hips turned to 60 to 80% dark black with some dark red showing. This l take as a positive sign. However all crosses’ seed from this year will now be subjected to medieval truthing by water trial. Effort justified as l do not do “dozens” of one cross each - beats waiting eons to see if they germinate only discover they never had a chance.

I use splash and dash for new roses, seedlings I want to test. It’s all about the metrics, and you have to go go go during pollination season.

I take my time and often repeat the day after on important mother plants that will give me a lot of what I want or a plant that I would be okay with one miracle seedling from so I can quickly ditch the problematic parent once I obtain some of the rare genetics required.

Everything has its time and place.

Don’t overthink this one. Pollination season is short. Emphasize your energy efficiently.

The odd small white spinos hips ( might an Altai due to large flower size ) hips of a cross with Yolande d Aragon (sic) and another with New Dawn had seed. But 1/4 to 1/3 number of selfie white spinos seed. However size appears to be same as selfies.

They drowned (sunk) so they are in theory normal.

“a cross with Yolande de Aragon” I didn’t realize this rose was viable for breeding. Have you had other success with it’s pollen as well? Any luck as seed parent? Such a beautiful rose!

No and no, as this is the first year l tried it as a pollen parent and it was the only one of my new HP/ Portland’s that l was able to find pollen.

Grew them before by the score as tests and before l began hybridizing. I protected them, and then one fall said time to go lads (no winter protection) - thought they had disappeared so bought sacrificial pollen donators this spring as l agree some HPs have awesome bloom form-and fragrance.

And as luck would have it after 10 years+ missing, a pink hp popped up that l thought was Sidonie. Turned out to be YdA when the new one bloomed. The sacrificials were covered on Wednesday for winter. YdA did get a weird orange brown burning on leaves during a long fall drought period. Not sure if rust as never seen it before.

Look at the Google images for Rose Rust https://www.google.com/search?q=rose+rust&client=firefox-b-1-d&sxsrf=ALeKk00MetX3TIsNZgfBmvY03xjBmqkOvA:1604724630179&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjd1KyM0e_sAhVBIDQIHS3SB1QQ_AUoAnoECDEQBA&biw=1473&bih=762. Yes, there are marks on the fronts of the leaves but once you see the orange pustules on the reverses, you will FOREVER know it. And, yes, here, where rust reigns supreme, Portlands, HP’s and most of the old European Garden Roses rust like old cast iron skillets, much worse than many moderns. Late in the season, long fall drought period…yup. PERFECT rust encouragement.

Txs Kim, the photos confirm that is what it is …

… difference between new (infected one) and old one is location (looked clean). Infected one in “warm to hot” arid south facing bay window plot, protected from winter winds from N E and W. Its where l test “tenders” (of late Helenae and some of its hybrids).

If memory is correct had one day of showers in 7 weeks. And due to time demands of major non-gardening home remedial work l did not water with dedication. Sounds like a perfect storm conditions including susceptible rose class.

If seeds germinate hopefully Siberia genes rules for disease resistance and hardiness, and Gallic for beauty and fragrance.

You’re welcome, but don’t get your hopes up… With all the types I tried growing in warmer zones than they were rated to, nearly all of them developed rust when waters stressed. Not all of them waited until the end of the season, either. Nature has paired the fungal issues with the plants to develop communication systems. I’ve related the observation before, but I feel it’s appropriate here. I grew Arkansana in a pot in Zone 10a, inland valley heat with occasional strong marine influence. It was beautiful, until we had a heat spike and it severely water stressed. The entire plant rusted, from the new growth tips to the base. This wasn’t September, but much earlier in the summer. I stripped the plant and watered it copiously. It broke into fresh, clean new growth and was beautiful again, until it suffered the next extreme water stress, when it again rusted from the top down. Why? Where indigenous, it is known to be healthy and extremely Arctic hardy. As long as there is sufficient water, it flowers and grows. As the water dries up and heat builds, it stops flowering and simply grows until the water stress increases to the point where the plant rusts, stops growing and sheds the diseased foliage as it hardens off to the cold. This same disease issue trigger was demonstrated again and again with Arkansana hybrids, Rugosa hybrids and many of the “cold hardy” shrubs, particularly Bucks. They may have the hardiness and health for the shorter, harsher climates for which they were developed, but when grown in longer seasons, whether longer and more arid or longer with greater humidity, the disease resistance frequently broke down horribly. The “growing season” extremely outlasted the disease resistance. Most of these types could also easily be triggered into black spotting and/or rusting when water stressed. In the Zones 9b and 10a around Los Angeles, hybrid Rugosas contract black spot and rust terribly, even budded to more suitable root systems. As long as the Siberia genes are grown where they are best suited, you may have a chance. Lose them in longer, milder places and all bets are off.

I remember the story of Lammerts’ blackspot resistant line of roses. He thought he had the problem licked. Then he moved from Livermore to the Watsonville area. His best, most resistant cultivars got the Spots.

And I may note that ‘New Dawn’ is usually pretty clean. But it does get a furry coat of mildew on the fence at Santa Clara. I was so sad I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it.

As for pollination, here’s something I post from time to time. The authors found that repeated pollination increases both the number and size of seeds.

Euphytica 32: 685-689 (1983)

Very much like Pernet’s “what black spot?” when asked about the black spot on his Pernetianas. And, Ralph Moore’s “what rust?” when asked about the rust on so many of his beautiful hybrid Rugosas. Pernet grew his roses where black spot wasn’t supported. Ralph grew his hybrid Rugosas where rust traditionally wasn’t an issue…until the one year it was and many of them were terrible.

Exactly! I couldn’t learn much about blackspot resistance in the years I spent studying roses at the San Jose Heritage, though I did learn something about mildew.

I hadn’t even noticed until someone directed my attention to the China-Teas (or are they Tea-Chinas? The flowers are smallish, like Chinas, but have some of the form and colors or Teas.) They are healthy and happy until the first hint of summer heat. Then it’s mildew season.

Excellent help and real world truthing…

… as to “splash and dash” l will have to bin it as a norm method and try repetitive on primary target crosses … or only use, if limited pollen available, and spread on a little on numerous flowers of same seed parent rose (had a lot “to the birds” loses of hips).

You might find my thread about “Hesperhodos” interesting. I have “splashed and dashed” on Stellata mirifica for thirty or so years with the only result having been something Nature did without me. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I aggressively drowned its blooms with Minutifolia pollen using a small paint brush that I obtained the results so far. I do have many potential hybrids using Mirifica pollen on known receptive moderns, but “drowning” definitely did something.