How to Grow Roses from Seed

This is a fantastic way to cross roses or grow wild rose seedlings for pals. From pollination to transplanting, I'll explain.

Although it's hard to predict which traits each parent will pass on, start with two plants that are a mix of your ideal plant. You can also cross roses you like to see what happens.

1 - Select Parent Plant

Choose a healthy mother plant blossom once the plants bloom. Keep the center stigma and style while gently removing petals and pollen-covered stamens. This stops flower self-pollination.

2 – Prepare the Mother Plant

When the mother flower stigma is sticky, pollen can be accepted. Cut off a pollen-rich father plant blossom gently. Pollen collection and distribution are best on temperate days under 85°F (29°C).

3 – Pollinate the Flower

Even with two plants, label each cross afterward. I'm ashamed I didn't label plants, thinking I'd remember. I'd visit days or weeks later and regret not labeling the plant.

4 – Label Each Cross

If pollinated, roses produce rose hips. Hips develop quickly after germination and mature after many months. Small bulbous masses grow underneath the blooms.

5 – Wait for Rose Hips to Grow

Green rose hips turn red, orange, yellow, or a combination. Collect plump, colored hips. After maturity, hips can sit on vines for a few weeks, but avoid dry, shriveled fruits.

6 – Collect Mature Rose Hip

Gently cut the rose hip's exterior with a sharp knife, then remove the seeds. The seeds should be rinsed to remove the sticky pulp and dried on a paper towel.

7 –Remove and Clean Seeds

Stratification exposes seeds to a specific environment for germination. Roses must be exposed to cold, moist environments for weeks to break germination barriers.

8 – Stratify the Seed

Late winter is ideal for rose seed planting. Cover seeds with 1/4 inch of soil in seedling trays filled with well-draining potting mix. Place seeds in wet soil at 60-70°F (15-21°C).

9 – Plant the Seeds

When rose seedlings reach a few inches or outgrow their containers, move them to larger pots. Moving the pots outdoors to acclimate the plants begins when the weather stays above freezing.

10 – Pot Up Seedling

Also See

12 Mistakes to Avoid When Propagating Houseplants