Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sowing Seeds

You may (or may not) remember that I was in Sacramento, California, in October for a rose conference.  While I was there, I made a side trip to visit the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden.  It was late in the season, and many of the roses were showing off their fabulous fall flush of flowers.  Some of these also had a nice crop of fat, ripe hips ... some of which found their way into my pockets. 

'White Wings' ... this flower is over four inches across!
I also took hips from 'Frances Ashton' and 'Thomas A. Edison'.

I wrapped the hips from each rose in a piece of paper from my notebook, to try to keep an accurate record of which rose the hips came from.  When I got home from my trip, I tossed the paper packets into the refrigerator, and I promptly forgot they were there.  (Rose seeds require winter chill in order to germinate ... we can simulate this by putting them in the refrigerator for two or three months.)

I found the hips in there the other day.  Today, I decided to open the packets and see how the hips had fared during their time in the fridge ... October, November, December, January, February ... that's a bit more chill than they needed ... I wonder if they're still any good.

The hips were pretty wrinkly, but seeds inside of them were in perfect condition.
It didn't take long for me to slice open all of the hips and remove the seeds.
I will soak the seeds in water overnight, to soften the hard outer coating a bit.  Tomorrow, I can plant them in containers, and wait for them to grow.  (Rose seeds take between six and eight weeks to sprout ... sometimes longer.)  Every seed contains a combination of the genes from its parents, so each rose plant from these seeds can be unique. 
Growing roses from seed is fun and really interesting.  (If you want to see my best seedling so far, click HERE to go to a post from last year.)


  1. So cool!!! I love seeing the surprise flower of the seedling! Those look like great seeds!!!

  2. Can you believe I did not know what rose seeds looked like until now? How is this possible with many rose bushes in my yard. Tsk.

  3. I love that rose! I've been looking for a white rose with red stamens for two years. Now I'll have to go track down a White Wings.

    Good luck on your seeds. Can't wait to see what sprouts and blooms.

    I had a bud on my Spice rose today. Crazy thing!

  4. Hi Connie. Glad the hips long winter sleep did no harm. You have your work cut out for you. Happy planting.

  5. I've always wondered what rose grown from seed were like. I popped over to your older post to see and all I can say is, "Wow!" I'm so impressed with your skill and knowledge of roses. I learn so much from you!

  6. Your homegrown rose from seed, Knock Out looks beautiful. I also tried it before but without success, I suppose I am too impatient. I wonder what will come out the White Wings, that is the surprise or not. White Wings is a great rose, I have some old bushes in my garden.

  7. How fun! I hope you get several beauties from these!

  8. Your post is giving me spring fever, even though I'm hoping we get some snow!! ;-)


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