Tissue Culture of Roses?

Does anyone know if there is now a commercial service available to get tissue culture propagation done for roses? All I remember is that years ago it was difficult and cost prohibitive, but my information is grossly outdated I’m sure. Any info you may have would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


I can make an inquiry on your behalf to an old school chum of mine. I did my senior studies on the tissue culture of Rieger Begonias. I barely got past the study of disinfestation materials and techniques. I can tell you every cultivar has specific requirements as to auxin levels required to initiate different phases of growth which makes fine tuning especially important.

As far as I know TC is still only commercially viable when attempting to make tens of thousands of any one cultivar. Genetic stability used to be an issue. I don’t know if this tendency has been overcome.

How about asking Steve McCulloch (address and email in the newsletter, he is an RHA consultant) if he would be willing to do it and how much it would cost? He did his MS with Brent McCowin (maybe I misspelled his has name, this guy has a woody basal salt medium named after him) at Madison with tissue culture and has his own tissue culture business and definately loves roses. Hopefully Steve has some good, efficient protocols worked out for roses.

Take Care,



Steve McCulloch, Mt Shadow Nursery in Lacey, WA did some roses via tissue culture some years ago, but I don’t know if he is still doing roses. I remember he did ‘Jan’s Wedding’, one of Dr Neil Adams hybrids and gave a plant to all who attended the RHA meeting here at our home back in 96. I see on his website (http://www.mtshadow.com) that he does custom propagation, but would probably be on a large scale. He is mainly into annuals and perennials, but you could check with him.

BTW - He is one of our RHA consultants.


AgriForest Bio-Technologies Ltd., a nursery located in Kelowna, British Columbia,

I heard back from my contact. Here are some additional resources you might consider.

Link: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/tisscult/microprop/microprop.html

Thank you all for your suggestions! I’ll let you know what I found out.


Digging up the past a bit… I remembered I had in my collection of biotech stuff for school an outline of how you could do it at home… thought you might like to play with it yourself Paul :slight_smile:

See link:

Link: www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/pdf/biotech/plant_tissue_culture_in_class.pdf


I have some of the chemicals I can give to you if you want them. I’ll check the expiration dates, but I’m sure they are still good.

I played around with TC this past winter and never could get the mixture of chemicals right. Robert was right about each variety/cultivar and species requiring various micro quatities of auxins.

The chemicals are not all that expensive, but I have some sitting here if you want them.

Anyone who is interested in tissue culture I would highly recommend the book “Plants From Test Tubes” by Lydiane Kyte & John Kleyn. Get one of the editions after the first one. The first one is not ideal due to changes in recipes in the growth media. The newer growth media recipes work better in later editions.

From personal experience I would also recommend a few things. Fist of all if you smoke or drink coffee (cafeine) wait until after you are done. Under the microscope your the little bit of these stimulates will make it hard to have a steady hand. Plus tobacco smoke makes your hands a major source of contamination. Try to limit the time your tubes or what ever you are using to replace test tubes are not covered. Do not get discouraged when all your beginning batches grow every mold and bacteria known to man; it takes a while to get the process down pat. Even after you have done it for year you will still have mold in a few here and there. Sterilization and working clean are key words that you need to repeat over and over. Also hardening off plants at first can be very hard, which is understandable because they have been in such a sterile and humid environment. Lastly I would recommend starting with berry crops (like strawberry, raspberries) or orchids first if you can. These crops have been tissue cultured for a long time and they have many recipes listed for them here and there.

Lastly during my weekend I will try to find my recipe book. I have a lot of different recipes for different plants. These recipes came from Colorado State labs where I used to work. I think their is a few variations of rose media in there if I remember right. But finding it will be no easy mater it is in a box some where.

I did forget to mention one interesting thing. Ounce you get it down at least in other plants it is easier to induce chromosome doubling in test tubes than in the field.

I hate when I forget to write everything that is in my head. It happens quiet a bit!!

At least for me it is easier to understand different techniques if I see them first. If you are one of these people do a google video search under tissue culture there is plenty of of good videos out there.

I folks! I heard that you had questions regarding tissue culture or micropropagation of roses. First of all, I’ve been doing tissue culture work for nearly 30 years. I’ve micropropagated many, many roses. Some are very easy to do - minis and other garden hybrids. Some work - but are not as immediate to respond to being grown in vitro (this would include some of the shrubs, some OGR’s and even some HT’s). And alas, some are very difficult to produce (some species, some shrubs and an assortment of others). Don’t be discouraged! Most can be produced in a lab and built up. I’d be happy to help you out if you need someone to do the work for you. Feel free to email me directly with any questions that you may have.

Best to you and your special roses,

Steve McCulloch