Growing Roses from Seed

Growing roses from seed is not a difficult endeavor at all, however it is an unusual way to go about growing roses because roses are most commonly sold on rootstock for easy planting and cultivation. However, let us take a look at growing roses from seed. 

Still, there is a lot of merit behind growing seed roses, including the enjoyment that can only come from watching your rose plants break the soil for the first time, sprout leaves for the first time, and grow their first roses for the first time.

Choosing to grow your rose from seed means mimicking nature through one of two different simple systems that are excellent for this purpose. Germination rates can be significantly improved using a variety of different substances including formaldehyde or hydrogen peroxide.

However, you can also get truly decent results in a much more natural way by following the same principles employed by Mother Nature herself for a lot longer than these chemical additives have been around.

Growing your roses from seed begins by cultivating the seeds. Take the red rose hips off of your roses as soon as they are fully ripe and brightly colored.

Don't let the seeds dry out, otherwise you will not be able to successfully plant them. Remove any debris from the seed to keep it clean and sanitary, and then choose one of these two systems to get your roses growing:

The first system

...involves putting a handful of slightly damp vermiculite into a plastic bag, inserting the seed into the bag and placing the bag in the crisper section in your refrigerator. Your seed baggie should stay put for 90 days, and you should make sure that it is properly labeled if you plan to do this with multiple seeds at one time.

After 90 days you can sow the seed into a flat or a pot, depending on what space will allow. Make sure that each pot or flat is properly labeled. Within about a week you will begin to see germination, and this should continue for about a month. Once you have seedlings, you can transplant them into their own pots once they have between four and six true leaves.

Grow them indoors until they are prepared to thrive on their own outside.

The second system

...involves germinating the seed by sowing them directly into pots or flats that have been filled with soil. Use a sterilized and artificial soil if you are operating using flats. If you are using soil that has been around for a while, pour boiling water through the soil to kill off fungal issues and to properly sterilize the soil.

The seeds do not need to be planted very deeply, but rather should be barely covered by the soil. Firm the soil down over the seeds to make sure that the seed is in contact with the soil. The seed needs to be kept damp, so the soil should always be kept damp as well.

Choose a protected location and keep the flat outdoors. Cover the flat with door screen or similar material to keep ants and mice away from the seeds, and leave the flat until spring.

Another way

...for growing roses from seed is to take a large nursery container, cut the bottom away, and sink it into the ground so that only the top lip of the container is showing. Sterilize your regular garden soil using boiling hot water, then sow the seeds and cover them just slightly using sterilized soil or vermiculite.

Over the span of two years the seed will germinate, and as the seedlings reach four to six true leaves you can transplant them into their own pots. After two years there should not be that many remaining viable seeds so the area can be dug up, sterilized and reused again. Growing roses from seed...three different ways!

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