Viable pollen on herbicide treated florist roses

I’ve decided to try and grow some greenhouse roses for the local florists, to help offset the cost of my rose addiction, and so went off to the florist to see what kind of roses they use with the view to buying a few stems, removing the buds and grafting them… they were fairly common roses like ‘Black Beauty’ etc… none of the more recent PBR protected roses anyway… The florist told me the flowers were dipped in Roundup (glyphosphate) to prevent people from grafting them or striking them as cuttings… so I was wondering… would this affect the pollen?

I find this very strange.

I recently received 2 dozen white roses for Mother’s Day and noticed that on several stems, the buds along the stems were growing.

I immediately cut them into pieces and am currently rooting about a dozen stems in pots under plastic.

No herbicide treatment on these roses for sure.

I wonder where your local florist is obtaining his roses from since dipping the stems (Most likely NOT the flower) in a herbicide would be a very costly operation. Do you think he said this just to discourage you from trying to propagate his roses?

Most florists now get their roses from Central or South American countries (supported by the US govenment to encourage the production of roses rather than drugs) where costs are kept to a minimum while driving most US nurseries out of business as they can’t compete with the low cost of imported roses. Our local nursery that once supplied most of the roses on the Eastern seaboard recently went out of business of growing their own roses after nearly 40 years of operation. They still sell roses to local florist shops, but all their roses are imported now.

I am in Australia (Tasmania) and the roses are locally sourced… hence why I am looking at growing some glasshouse roses. We get no imported roses here and the florists prefer to buy local roses because they are cheaper.

I’ve budded up a few onto multiflora stents anyway… so if they take that’s great… if they don’t that’s fine too :slight_smile: At the moment I was more worried about the pollen though…

Simon, I would also wonder whether or not you are just being bluffed. I have grafted florist roses in the past (twice for friends that received flower bouquets and desired plants for sentimental reasons) without any problems. I have also used florist pollen without any problem. I also wouldn’t hesitate using the pollen even if the rose had been dipped in an herbicide - though I do not know for sure whether or not it would be affected by the dip (that might be a good experiment to conduct).

Do you have someone that would be willing for purchase your rose bouquets for sale?

Jim Sproul

Hi Jim,

Yes, that’s the thing… this Florist owner has said she will buy as much as I can grow and she is part of a florist’s professional organisation in Tasmania so I’m hoping the word might get around a bit too. I’m not so worried if the pollen or the buds don’t work as I already possess quite a few florist-type roses and can start with these. I’d like to try my hand at breeding a florist rose too… so will see how it goes. I don’t have too much hope in producing much pollen though… the anthers look very pale…

Simon, I have notice too, that often the anthers look old and are pale on florist roses - especially if picked many days prior. I suspect that you will have very little luck with the pale anthers. If you keep looking however, you might find some that appear more viable. Is there a source that would be willing to let you try some fresh pollen? You might even convince them of the possibility of using some of your seedlings in the future as a trade??

Jim Sproul

I rooted about 2 dozen clearanced valentines day roses (singles- bought for about $6), and have built callous on some mother day roses…various colors/types of florists roses. Don’t know how ethical it is…

I also have hip set from using one for pollen on a CB seedling of mine.

Hi Jim,

The roses are readily available from many places here so I can buy my own with little trouble. Already in my collection is Kardinal (this rose is just amazing really… has been bomb proof in the garden, produced truck loads of blooms and has even set an op hip for me this year), Twin, Eliza, Champanger (Antique Silk), Happy Anniversary, New Iceberg, Red Intuition, and an unknown yellow that I got from a florist roses cutting… so all these will get transferred into a greenhouse and multiplied… I’d really like to try for a deep purple greenhouse rose.

“dipping the stems (Most likely NOT the flower)”

This is what I originally meant.

“I’d really like to try for a deep purple greenhouse rose”

I couldn’t help but notice that one of the regulars here (Paul Barden) has come out with some excellent purples(I think they like to call them mauves)…such as Fara Shimbo and Rook. (Using Tuscany Superb, I believe.)

The next step would be to try and take those to exhibition form.

Yes… purples are my favourite too… ‘Ebb Tide’ is going to feature a lot here next season… I was thinking it could go onto ‘Kardinal’ or ‘Black Beauty’ (if the buds take) to try for a deep purple cut rose.

Simon, for your ‘Kardinal’ X ‘Ebb Tide’, I would vote for ‘Ebb Tide’ to be the seed parent. Though ‘Kardinal’ does set some hips, it doesn’t as readily as ‘Ebb Tide’ and germination on ‘Kardinal’ was not that great for me.

Jim Sproul

Thanks again Jim. Poor old ‘Ebb Tide’ is going to get a work-out next season… I hope it’s up to it :slight_smile:

‘Ebb Tide’, absolutely. ‘Midnight Blue’ as a second best.

I seriously doubt that any of the florists bunches are treated with herbicide. I have several florist roses in pots right now that were budded from bouquet’s bought at Costco.

Paul, what florist varieties have proven valuable in breeding for you so far?

None, actually. I have grown these just to see how they grow under my conditions. I wouldnt generally use a florists rose in breeding, as most perform poorly in the garden. I used ‘Anna’ this year to attempt a difficult Gigantea cross and this is the only instance where I used a florists rose

Just to back up Simon, I have heard that dipping stems in Roundup is done here in NZ also. I believe it is an Agriquality requirement for export roses to prevent the possibility of growing plants that may harbour disease. I would doubt though that stems for local market sale get this treatment.

As for your plan to produce a purple cut rose I am very enthused and would suggest you try Big Purple, it is behind most of Mr Carruths purples and already has the ideal form for a cutrose with scent to boot! Try and get hold of “Poison” a variety from Shreurs this would help your cause also.



Thanks Paul

Orpheline de Juillet has a nice color. Dunno bout breedability.

I found this very pretty purple looking for pictures of orpheline: