Journal of a rose gardener 28/09/16
This week, as we wait for the delivery of new bare root roses, we will take the opportunity to look at the rose breeding process.
1. Pollination In the summer when the roses are in bloom, the rose breeder will select the two roses that they wish to cross. They will remove the petals and stamen (the male part) to prevent self-fertilization, and expose the stigma (female part). Stamens from the rose of another plant are removed, and the pollen transferred to the stigma of the original rose. This rose is then covered with a paper bag. Within, a hip will form and the seed head will develop.
2. Sowing In the autumn when the hips have ripened they are harvested, split open and the seeds removed. These are then sown in a greenhouse. Germination takes place in the spring and the new rose should be produced in 6 – 8 weeks. The best offspring from this sowing will then be selected in the summer for growing on.
3. Budding A bud or stem is then taken from the best performing roses and budded onto rootstocks which are planted in to a field.
4. Testing If these roses do well, a larger test batch will be trailed. They are grown and monitored for form, colour, scent, disease resistance, etc. Only the best of these will be budded. The numbers will be increased year on year until enough roses have been grown to launch the new variety onto the market.
This process can take up to 10 years! Considering the process & time involved you can appreciate that they are very good value plants that will thrive for decades given the right care and attention.