How do you Breed a Rose

Not all roses cross breed easily. Some roses are infertile or almost infertile, e.g. due to a low amount of available pollen. For multi-petalled roses, e.g. centifolias, anthers have been replaced by petals, resulting in a reduced amount of pollen.

Some rose varieties are better as female parents and some are better as male parents. For example, rose varieties which set good seed are preferable as female parents. Similarly, rose varieties which have a high amount and viability of pollen are preferable as male parents.

Introducing a new hybrid rose is a process which consists of the following main steps:

1. Select the pollen parent and the seed parent.

2. Collect the pollen of the pollen parent by detaching the stamens and keeping them in a jar until the pollen is shed.

3. Prepare the flowers of the seed parent by removing the stamens (to prevent self-fertilisation) and the petals.

4. Pollinate the flower of the seed parent by brushing the pollen onto the stigma.

5. Cover the flower for protection against rain etc. (this is an optional step).

6. Allow the fruit to ripen (which may take up to 2 ½ months).

7. Harvest the ripe fruit and remove the seeds.

8. Pre-treat the seeds. Carry out the required cold treatment, e.g. by keeping the seeds on wet cocopeat or sphagnum moss in a closed jar in a refrigerator.

9. Plant the seeds in a seed raising mix.

10. Protect the seedlings from pests such as snails.

11. Evaluate and select seedlings based on desired characteristics. Common desired characteristics in roses are beauty and fragrance.

12. Conduct field trials for further testing of selected seedlings. The best performing plants are budded onto rootstocks and monitored for several years.


>>> Click to see our Plant Breeding Course >>>

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.