How To Get Rose Seeds From A Rose Bush?
Rose bush (Rosa) is one of the most common plants in gardens. There are many varieties of rose bushes which vary greatly in color, shape and size. Some have single flowers while others produce multiple flowers throughout their life cycle. Roses come in all colors: white, pink, red, purple, yellow and even black! Most roses grow wild or they can be grown indoors with proper care.
There are two types of rose bushes: those that produce flowers only once and those that produce flowers continuously. Both types of roses need to be collected before they wither away completely. The first type of rose bushes are called perennial roses because they continue producing new blooms year after year. These perennials must be picked when young and kept alive through winter months so that they will bloom again next spring.
They require little attention during the summer months.
The second type of rose bushes are annuals. Annual roses can be harvested at any time of the year but must be kept alive through winter months to make them bloom again next spring. Once these perennials die back, they become less attractive and may not attract enough visitors to bring them back into production.
The following tips for rose seed collection should help ensure that your flowers bloom again and produce an abundant harvest next year.
How to Pick Rose Flowers For Seeds
1) Choose healthy, disease free plants: Picking flowers from diseased or dying plants can infect other plants with the same diseases.
Always choose healthy, vibrant plants to collect seeds from.
2) Wait until the flowers are fully open: Picking rose flowers before they bloom or after they have wilted away reduces the chance that the seeds can be collected.
Wait until the flowers are fully open and discard any wilted flowers.
3) Choose a sunny day for seed collection: The rose flower must be shaken vigorously to remove all of the seeds.
The seeds and petals both can be dried out if left in the sun. A cloudy or rainy day will not dry out the rose seeds and increase the chance of fungal attack on the seeds.
4) Cut the stems below the first flower bud: The first flower bud opens up and enlarges into a beautiful flower for all to enjoy.
If you wait until this bud has opened up, then you should cut off the stem just below this point on the stem. This will give enough room for the seed collector to collect the fallen petals and rose seeds.
Rose seeds are very tiny, so you may need a magnifying glass to see all of the different shapes and sizes. Spread the dried out petals and rose seeds out on the table or a tray. Pick out any petals that did not come from your flower types. Also look closely at the rose seeds and remove any debris that may have collected during seed collection.
5) Plant seeds right away: Do not let the seeds dry out any longer than necessary.
Spread the rose seeds out on a tray and use the magnifying glass to look at all of the different types. Use the nail filer to gently push the seeds into tiny pots or a seed starting tray filled with soil. Don’t forget to label the tray or pots!
What Happens if I Collect Rose Seeds in the Fall?
Many rose seeds will not survive through the winter. Some seeds will be dormant until spring. Rose seeds need time to develop and dry out before they will be ready to grow.
Rose seeds need light to germinate, so most types of seeds should be planted right away or stored in a cool, dry area until planting conditions improve.
What if I Miss Collection Rose Flowering All Together?
Some of the older varieties of roses respond better to being pruned into standard shapes. The newer shrub roses can be pruned in late winter or very early spring before they start their active growing season.
If you do not have many rose bushes in your yard, you may be able to find some in local parks, along city streets or on the edge of a friend’s property.
How Can I Tell What Type of Rose I Have?
If you are not sure what type of rose you have, look for a label near the base of the plant or search online for a picture of your rose bush. The rose association should be able to identify your variety.
Once you know what type of rose you have, follow these steps:
1) Look on the main stem or at the junction of two branches for a small, segmented bud.
These buds are the last set of leaves that the plant will produce before the rose blooms. Some roses will have one or two “lateral buds” located at the base of the previous year’s growth.
2) Carefully using sharp scissors or a knife, clip off all of these small, tight buds.
3) If you see any other buds further down the stem, leave them alone unless they are the large, open fluffy type of bud.
4) After you have finished cutting, apply a coating of tree grease or petroleum jelly to the cut area to prevent disease.
Do not add any fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will cause the plant to push out lots of leaves and few blooms.
How Can I Get My Own Rose Collection Started?
With your new found knowledge, you are ready to get started on your own rose collection!
1) Decide which type of rose you want to collect.
There are over 7,000 different varieties, including climbers, miniatures and floribundas. Pick your favorites and narrow it down from there.
2) Get online or go to the library and find out when the roses you want will be in bloom.
Check local newspapers, garden centers and florists for announcements of the rose show.
3) Go to the show and collect the seeds right after the judges have awarded prizes.
Talk to as many people as you can and find out what varieties have won the most awards.
4) Gather up your supplies: gloves, envelopes, labels, sharpie, flashlight, pillowcase and plastic bag.
5) Visit several rose shows and collect a few seeds from your favorite roses.
(You can’t collect seeds from hybrid roses, they won’t grow.)
6) Follow the instructions from step 4 and then some.
The extra steps will help prevent many diseases that affect rose seeds.
7) Plant your seeds right away.
(Do not store them for more than a few days.) Put the pots in a lightly shaded area, but not in direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Transplant after all danger of frost has passed.
8) Water and feed your roses regularly.
Pick off any flowers or leaves that look sickly or infected. Weeds around the base of the rose should be pulled by hand so you don’t damage the roots. If you see any pests, predators or diseases, look them up and take the proper action to control or eliminate them.
9) Watch your roses grow and bloom every year.
Try to save seeds from your best plants each year and expand your collection.
This rose seed collection took about four years to build. The collection features over 100 different varieties that were won at rose shows, purchased from mail order companies or given to me by friends and family. It has been my pleasure to watch them grow and bloom every year!
Rose seed collection and growing your own rainbow of roses is a fun way to bring beauty into your life all year long.
Watching a seed turn into a plant is truly a miracle. Even if you don’t have the greenest of thumbs, chances are you will still get a few to grow into beautiful bushes covered with magnificent blooms.
Rose seeds can be started indoors about 8 weeks before your average last frost date. They can also be planted outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.
For smaller collections, individual pots work best.Fill the pots 3/4 full with a good quality seed starting mix.
Plant three or four seeds per pot and be sure to label them! It is very easy to forget which is which as they start to grow.
Moisten the soil and then cover with saran wrap to keep the soil moist. Poke a few holes in the top of the plastic for airflow.
Place the pots in a warm area (65-80 degrees) out of direct sunlight. Seedlings will typically emerge in 7-10 days.
When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to the best seedling per pot. Be careful not to damage the roots when removing the extra plants.
As they grow larger, slowly expose the young plants to more and more sunlight and make sure they are getting plenty of water.
When it’s warm enough, around mid spring, your roses should be ready for planting in your garden.
Prepare your garden site by using a rototiller to break up the soil. Remove ALL roots, stumps, rocks and garbage.
If you are planting shrubs, they should be situated so that the root ball is just at ground level. Remove any packaging or bands and plant them right away so they don’t take any sets out of the ground.
If you are planting a group of the same variety, the root ball should be about 6-8 inches below the soil. If you are planting a single specimen, the rootball should be 12-18 inches deep with the root ball slightly higher than ground level.
Mix 1 cup of 5-10-5 fertilizer into the backfill soil and then gently backfill around the root ball. Gently pat down the soil to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly when finished.
Plant the next rose and continue till all are in the ground. Water again when finished to even out the soil moisture. Fertilize with 1 tablespoon of a high phosphorus fertilizer like 0-13-0. Water with 1/4 cup of a nitrogen fertilizer like Urea or well rotten cow manure.
You’ll then need to water at least weekly, preferably daily during dry spells.
Caring for Your New Roses
After they are planted you’ll need to keep up on a regular feeding program, either weekly or bi-weekly. The total amount of fertilizer used during the season should be between 40-60% of the nitrogen by weight. In other words, if you use a 20-10-20 rose fertilizer, you will use about 3 tablespoons per rose bush per application. The only exception is if you are using a water soluble, slow release fertilizer.
You should also be sure to keep up on the mulch as it breaks down it will supply much of the nitrogen. Another option is to side dress your roses with the slow release 20-10-20. The rule of thumb is 3 tablespoons per plant. Spread it out over the surface and then work it into the top couple of inches of soil using your feet or a shovel.
You’ll also need to be sure and keep the weeds out. Weeds will compete with your roses for food and moisture. If you see a weed, get it! Pulling them is much easier than spraying.
It is best to hand pull before they go to seed. Whenever you are in the garden, wear gloves so you don’t spread disease from one area to another on your hands.
The key to a healthy rose bush is a regular feeding program and keeping the weeds out. Weeds will suck the life out of your roses and could be harboring a disease that can kill your plants.
If you need to spray for diseases or insects, always add something sweet to the mix like apple juice. It helps counteract the poison and smells nice too! Also, be sure to spray in the late afternoon or early morning as the roses and foliage may burn in the sun.
If all your leaves turn brown and fall off, you burned them with the spray. Don’t fertilize for a year and cut back on the water. Let the soil dry out between waterings.
PESTS AND DISEASES TO LOOK FOR:
Most rose problems start with people. When you bring someone new into your life, make sure they understand how much time & attention your roses need.
A good way to sabotage a relationship is to give your roses more attention than your mate!
Having said that, here are some common problems:
Mildew – Small grayish spots on the leaves that eventually turn brown and spread.
Root mealy bugs – Look like tiny little ants crawling on the roots and near the base of the plant. They are hard to get to, which is why they thrive. Discourage them by removing any nearby weeds. Pull them up by hand when you see them and drop them in a bucket of soapy water (nail brush works well to dislodge them from the roots).
Rub off any soil you see and spray with neem oil.
Scale – Looks like little shells on the stems and branches. They also produce a sticky substance called honeydew (looks like droppings from a fly) that encourages mold and fungus growth.
Sources & references used in this article:
Glucosinolate composition of seeds from 297 species of wild plants by ME Daxenbichler, GF Spencer, DG Carlson, GB Rose… – 1991 – pubag.nal.usda.gov
Seed dispersal and fitness determinants in wild rose: combined effects of hawthorn, birds, mice, and browsing ungulates by CM Herrera – Oecologia, 1984 – Springer
Propagation protocol for production of Lomatium triternatum (Pursh) Coulter & Rose seeds; USDA NRCS-Aberdeen Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, Idaho by D Ogle, N Shaw, J Cane – Native Plant Network. URL: http://www …, 2012 – nrcs.usda.gov
Fleshy fruit expansion and ripening are regulated by the tomato SHATTERPROOF gene TAGL1 by …, R McQuinn, MY Chung, M Poole, J Rose… – The Plant …, 2009 – Am Soc Plant Biol
The Cactaceae: descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family by NL Britton, JN Rose – 1963 – books.google.com
Propagation protocol for production of Lomatium triternatum (Pursh) Coulter and Rose seeds by D Tilley, LS John, D Ogle, N Shaw… – … Plant Network. Online: http …, 2012 – fs.usda.gov