When seedlings don't bloom

When seedlings don’t form buds or bloom within 3 months after sprouting, what are the chances that it’s a once bloomer? I have some open pollinated seedlings from Mme. Isaac Pereire. One has bloomed and the other 4 don’t yet have buds forming. Also, the seedlings from Autumn Sunset have not formed buds. Or perhaps they’ll just be poor producers?

These seedlings probably need re-potted, but I haven’t gotten to it–they are in 4" pots now. Could crowded roots cause a lack of buds? Or perhaps they need fertilized more? I plan to pot them tonight, since the weather is too miserable to work outside anyway!


I learned something when I repotted those seedlings tonight–don’t use peat pots!

In March I transplanted the newly sprouted rose seeds into 3 inch peat pots. The peat was nearly falling apart when I transplanted again a month later into quart plastic pots, so I just ripped off the top of the peat pot, so it wouldn’t wick the water away from the plant, and planted in the plastic pot. But tonight when I transplanted into gallon pots, those peat pots were still intact and some seedlings had no roots protruding through the peat. I was very surprised.

While I don’t know if this had anything to do with the plants having no buds or blooms, I don’t plan to repeat this mistake.


I have a seedling blooming now that didn’t bloom at all its first or second year. It was a cross between two floriferous floribundas that I had kept because it had gorgeous disease-proof foliage. Too soon to tell whether it will be a good repeater.

There was a literature paper that studied hybrid rugosas. They reported that there was no (or very little) correlation between time of first bloom and period of bloom (this is from memory). Their study (I am sure it was a Canadian group)covered at least 3 years.

I probably have it somewhere on disk. If I find the abstract I will post it. I am sure I distributed it previously. If anyone else has it please post it.

Even when using two repeat blooming parents, there can always be a percentage of seedlings which do not bloom in their first year at all, and start repeating in the second or third year. If you can afford the space to keep such individuals for a couple years, they may prove worth having. A few of my favorite seedlings have been non-bloomers in their first year.


Agree with Paul. We have had quite a few that didn’t bloom till the second year or later. But it takes space and some effort to keep them but, when you see a beautiful bloom, it is worth the time.


I observed many seedlings wich do not bloom in their first year are actually climbers.

I have seedlings from the very same parents, the ones having 7 leaves, 10 centimeters high, with a bud, some others (2) already 20 centimeters high, and without bud.

Best wishes,


Thank you for sharing experiences. I’m curious enough to keep them around for a while and see how they turn out.