Time to Admit Failure ?

I was so excited in early May. Lots of crosses and within a few weeks the receptacles were swelling and some seeds were visible. The only problem was that my paper labels covered with Scotch tape were fading. I tried the venetian blind method for tags and now all of these listed below have dark brown stems down to the first set of leaves. The receptacles have shrunken and the sepals are dried.

ADOLPH HORSTMANN (1 on each of 2 plants)

CATALONIA (3 on 2 plants, although 1 pod still is green, but has stopped expanding and the stem below it is brown)






MEDALLION (1 on each of 3 plants)




TIFFANY (1 on each of 2 plants)


Should I assume that these are all dead?

Of course, MIDAS TOUCH and ROGER LAMBELIN have many big fat green pods without any help from me, but those roses only need a bee’s sneeze for pollination. Interestingly, a third TIFFANY (untagged because the bees were at work here too) has 3 swelling green pods, soft sepals and green stems.

BRONZE STAR has 2 good green pods with seeds sticking up out of the receptacle and SUTTER’S GOLD has 1 good pod and 1 pod and the stem below which are getting yellow without any more expansion. “BOB LANIER” has 1 good and 1 shriveled pod. FRAGRANT GOLD has 1 good one.

(to be continued)

It is normal for the sepals to dry as the hip ripens, but if the peduncle turns brown and the hip shrivels, it is dead. Some of the parents you mention (Double Delight, Just Joey, Reine des Violettes) have set few or no hips for me, so I don’t use them any more.

Ditto-- Double Delight, RdV for me too. Cologne also has the same problem, but I did successfully get hips on it with Fragrant Plum. Jim, you ought to the RdV as pollen-- it is fertile, but it is limited. 12 blooms ought to give you a nice amount for a few flowers.


When you try crosses again (and please do), make sure to also try a known to be fertile seed parent and pollen parent. Then, if you don’t get seeds, you’ll know you need to adjust your technique. You might have just been trying some very difficult crosses. For example, I’ve been trying Rosa setigera pollen on various other roses for years now, with no luck. Now I’m finding out that the plant I have is probably functionally a female and producing pollen that is mostly not viable. This is not a typical situation but just goes to show, that it’s not always the technique. Sometimes it’s just the odds are against you.

Here’s a link to some info that might be helpful:

I remember having a problem getting crosses to take years ago, and it had to do with timing. I wasn’t letting the flowers mature enough before I applied pollen. Now I apply pollen several days in a row to make sure I catch them at the right time.