Propagating Roses – Growing Roses from Seed
Growing Roses from Seed
Roses can be raised from seed, although this is by no means the best way ofof good quality. Some nurseries offer seed of so-called ‘Fairy’ , R. chinensis minima or R. multiflora nana. If sown in a little heat under glass in spring, these will produce small pink on a dwarf plant in three or four months. The experienced rosarian will not be particularly impressed by their quality, but there is undoubtedly a great deal of satisfaction gained by the inexperienced amateur in raising plants from seed.
Seeds obtainable from nurseries, or from botanic gardens, will often produce plants reasonably true to type or with useful variations. Much depends on the species, where the seeds were collected, and whether they were isolated from other species.
This is, of course, Nature’s method of increasing the rose population, but few of the plants for our gardens or parks are produced in this way. It would not be satisfactory to do so, because modern garden roses are so complex in parentage that they do not breed true.
For many years now the interest in the production ofnew rose varieties has been tremendous. Breeders annually raise hundreds of thousands of seedlings, bred from seed and pollen parents specially selected in the attempt to improve on the thousands of varieties already in existence. Few succeed. The rest fail for any or all of a number of reasons, such as bad growing habit, poor flowers, susceptibility to disease, and so on. It is a very chancy business. Nevertheless, in spite of lack of facilities, gifted amateurs occasionally produce varieties that the greatest professional breeders might envy. Indeed, one amateur, A. Norman of Surrey, raised Ena Harkness’, a very famous hybrid tea, ‘Frensham’, an equally famous floribunda, ‘Crimson Shower’, a fine climber, and several other varieties.