Viable rose seeds for High School Horticulture Class.

Henry had mentioned somewhere that he did a RH display at rose shows. I had some blooming seedlings so I did a “how to” demo for the horticulture class at my High School. We used orange florist roses since nothing is blooming in March and some old dried up hips (that I had to cut open with a knife) to show the seeds. The next day the kids had planted and were watering the seeds. Am I correct in assuming that 2 yr old, dried up rose seeds will not germinate? And does anyone have some ‘probably-viable’ rose seeds they would be willing to share with a High School class? Thanks, Robyn

I’ve been working ever so slowly on a review of germination. In fact some authors have found that some species of roses retain viability in the dried state for more than 5 years. I could look it up and give more details but since you don’t know what species or hybrid you have, you can only guess anyway that they might be viable. Of course the cold, moist treatment we usually give may still be needed even after the dry storage. So you odds are-who knows. Many years ago I bought R multiflora nana from a seed company and got significant germinations with direct planting. Not sure how they were pretreated.

Even if the seeds retained viability and stratification weren’t an issue for a classroom, I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath for them to germinate before the end of the school year.

Larry, good to know theres a tiny chance. Philip, I told the kids the flowers they were looking at took 2 yrs to germinate. The hips were shared by a member of the Pacific NWH group a couple years ago. I was to much of a novice to know what I was taking home! Thanks, Robyn

I have a large quantity of open pollinated seed from several good seed parents that I will not be using this year. Let me know if you want it. (IE: how many pounds! LOL!)


Dear Paul, under 1 pound would be adequate. P.S. Rosa Arkansana is leafing out nicely. Can you give me a suggestion as to what I could try it with? Thanks :slight_smile: Robyn