The Q&A Archives: Growing Roses From Seeds

Question: I have a rose from my uncle's funeral bouquet. It dried out and I have taken the seeds from it and would like to start a plant from these (as a memorial plant). I would like to know how to start these seeds and what kind of care I need to give them. I do not know anything about the type of rose except that it is red and came from a florist but I do not know which florist. Thank you for your assistance with my memorial.

Answer: I'm sorry to hear of your loss, you must have loved your uncle a great deal. This is a wonderful and thoughtful way to keep his memory with you. I wish I could have "talked" with you while the rose was still fresh. I think it is easier to propagate by cuttings than from seed but, seed will do just fine. Here are some basic rose from seed instructions taken from "Roses for Dummies". Seeds are usually contained in a "hip" or seed pod, it surprises me that there was a hip on the bouquet. But, you have seed so there must have been. After the hips change color, from green to orange or red carefully cut open the hip and gently remove the seeds. Wrap the seeds in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag. Keep the bag in the vegetable crisper section of your fridge for 60 days. Remove the seeds from their packaging and plant them 1/4" deep in a shallow container or flat filled with moistened, sterile potting soil. Place the container under lights or on a VERY sunny window sill and wait. Not all of the seeds will sprout. Leave the seedlings to grow in the container, watering as necessary. Keep them moist but never wet. They should bloom in about 6 wks. The plant and the bloom will be small. Destroy any plants with ugly flowers or that appear diseased. After the first flower blooms, carefully transplant to a larger pot. Be sure to take as much soil from the original container as possible, the roots are extremely fragile. After the plant throws several canes, harden it off as you would other seedlings and plant in the garden to mature. Be sure to fertilize the new plant, roses are heavy feeders. Use a 5-10-10 or a fertilizer designated for roses. With luck, patience and care, you will have roses to share with other family members.

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