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How To Grow Roses from Seeds – Ultimate Guide

Roses can be multiplied in several ways. The safest and most reliable is rose cuttings, but another fun and the exciting formula is rose seeds. Learn all about how to grow roses from seeds.

Many of the wild roses, the ones used for the rose patterns we buy at the nursery, are obtained from seeds. This is the method nurserymen often use.

It is also the method they use to obtain new varieties of roses. The way it is done now is a far cry from the way it was done 50 years ago, where producing a new rose variety was a trial-and-error method.

Today there are good technologies that speed up the process, and getting new rose varieties from seed is much more straightforward.

However, we at home have to keep in mind that, if we use rose seeds to obtain new rose plants, the results may be very different from what we expected, and we will need at least a couple of years, until the new rose blooms, to find out if our experiment has been successful.

Obtaining Rose Bushes from Rose Seeds at Home

Getting rose bushes from rose seeds can be a lot of fun, even exciting. We may get a variety of roses, which only we have.

Whether it is a beautiful variety or not, with a different coloration or not, even if it blooms profusely or not, will depend almost more on luck than on our expertise.

When multiplying roses by seeds, we must take into account that:

  • Varieties obtained from rose seeds need not resemble the parents. The only way to obtain identical roses is by using rose cuttings.
  • Through rose seeds, we will obtain new varieties of roses. It is an exciting process, but it can also be the fruit of disappointment if the roses obtained are not to our liking.
  • It is a very good method to obtain rootstocks. Wild roses are usually obtained from seeds.
  • If we want to have some control over the new rose bush, the ideal is to control pollination. If there are several rose bushes in a garden, pollination can be cross-pollinated and you have no idea what might come out of it. This is important, especially if we take rose hips from a public garden.
obtaining rose bushes from rose seeds at home

How To Get Seeds from Roses

Rose seeds are obtained from the fruits of roses that have been pollinated, rose hips, when they are already ripe, in the fall.

Since we are not certain that the new roses will be identical to the rose from which we get the seeds, it is best to always look for one that we like, for example, yellow rose seeds from that rose bush that you love so much.

We must open the rosehip and remove any remaining fluff or pulp inside, leaving the seeds clean.

These seeds are ready to be used, they could be planted directly in the garden, without the need to soak them, a very interesting step to do when we buy completely dehydrated seeds.

how to get seeds from roses
How to Grow Roses from Seeds Step by Step.

How to Grow Roses from Seeds

Some gardeners germinate seeds before sowing them. The advantage is to know if the seeds are fertile or not, avoiding the vigilance of a few pots that may not have a seedling. Many rose seeds are not fertile, and we could be disappointed if we plant them directly without germinating.

And what is the germination of rose seeds? Very simple, in nature, the seeds need to go through a process called stratification. They need cold to be able to develop, as happens with other plants such as bulbs, which can also be forced to flower prematurely.

To simulate this, the seeds are placed in a bag with a moist substrate. This mixture of substrate and seeds is placed for 3 or 4 weeks in the refrigerator, sometimes the seeds can take much longer to germinate, it is a matter of observation.

The rose seeds will be germinated when they have come out of their shell and show their first cotyledons.

how to grow roses from seeds
How to Grow Roses from Seeds Step by Step.

How To Plant Rose Seeds

Once germinated, proceed to repot the seeds obtained by putting them in a good quality garden substrate, and then watering.

We must handle them with care, they are very fragile and if we break them, we will not obtain any seedling.

We can use any type of container, I have always used for my sprouts the plastic containers of the yogurts, although you can also use a tray of alveoli or a seedbed.

I prefer that the seeds are in individual containers, this way, when I have to plant them in a pot of bigger size everything will be simpler, avoiding that some seedling can be lost by the way.

If our climate is cold or we have night frosts, it is best to put them in a small greenhouse. If we do not have a small greenhouse, we place them indoors.

A mini-greenhouse for roses is easy to improvise, just some plastic sheeting in the garden that we can support with chairs or larger pots. We must water the soil regularly so that the substrate does not dry out completely at any time. Learn more about How to Fertilize Roses.

how to plant rose seeds

Repotting the Roses Seedlings

The process to follow to germinate the seeds and obtain new roses is the one I have described in this article. If you buy rose seeds, the seeds may come already germinated, although this is rare, because they are more delicate and difficult to handle than if they are just the seeds collected in autumn.

If you have followed my instructions, you will have rose seedlings in individual containers, very easy to transplant to a larger pot or the garden. I recommend that before planting in the garden, you first put them in a larger pot and let the new rose plant develop more and have more strength to hold up in the garden.

In this case, we will look for a pot somewhat larger than the container where we have it.

The best time to make this transplant is in spring when the plant will be more active and can have a greater development.

We will use substrate for roses, which contains a great number of nutrients, very useful for healthy and vigorous growth.

Fill the pot, leaving a space in the center to place the new seedling. We will proceed to water abundantly, and during the first months we will have the precaution that this substrate does not dry completely, now the rose bush is quite delicate and would not resist the drought.

It is also convenient to have it in semi-shade, especially during the first days or weeks. When we observe that it has gained strength and is developing well, we will proceed to give it more hours of direct sun. Learn more about Yellow Leaves on Roses.

repotting rose seedlings

Buying Rose Seeds

Buying rose seed is a big risk. As I said, the process is long and you don’t know to what extent you will be successful and if the rose bush, once adult, will look like the one they are selling you.

In any case, it is a risk that you can and should take, when you are looking for how to germinate exotic rose seeds, which would be very difficult to find. In any case, never buy seeds of rainbow roses, you would be surprised to find that you have a white rose bush because rainbow roses as such do not exist in nature.

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  • 1. We prepare a substrate for seeds from tissue napkins, paper towels, cotton swabs or any other material capable of retaining moisture. Moisten the substrate with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, place the seeds on it in one layer and cover the second with the same substrate.
  • 2. Put the entire structure in a plastic sudokus or plastic bag and put in the lower part of the refrigerator (vegetable Department), where the temperature is kept within 5-7 C. Stratification lasts about 2 months under your constant supervision, periodically ventilate the contents of the package, inspect the seeds and moisturize the substrate, if necessary.
  • 3. We place sprouted rose seeds in seedling pots or peat tablets. The most optimal temperature in the room for growing roses from seed 18-20oC. To protect seedlings from black legs, it is necessary to provide sprouts with good lighting for 10 hours, and the surface of the soil in pots is desirable to emulsify with a thin layer of perlite.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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