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rose bud seeds

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry. Andrew Carberry has been working with school gardens and farm to school programs since 2008. He is now a Program Associate at Winrock International, where he works on the Community Based Food Systems Team.

How to Grow Roses from Seed

Updated: March 29, 2019

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry. Andrew Carberry has been working with school gardens and farm to school programs since 2008. He is now a Program Associate at Winrock International, where he works on the Community Based Food Systems Team.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Growing roses from seed can be challenging, since the majority of seeds you collect often won’t germinate regardless of your efforts. Fortunately, most rose plants produce a large quantity of seeds inside their rose hips, so it usually isn’t necessary to achieve a high success rate. Keep in mind that the plants that grow may be different in appearance or other characteristics from the mother plant, especially if that plant is a hybrid of two varieties grafted together.

Rose bud seeds
Rose seeds come after the blooms fade.

Roses That Produce Seeds

Rose seeds come after the blooms fade.

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Roses produce seeds you can use to create new rose bushes. The flowers of your plant are actually converted into seed pods; not all rose plants create seed pods, though, and not all seed pods are viable. All natural varieties of rose create pods, but each plant may fail to produce seeds one or any years of its life.

Rose Seeds

Rose seeds come from rose hips that spawn from dead rose blooms. This means that you cannot remove all the flowers or dead blossoms from your plant if you want to harvest seeds. Keep an eye on your roses and be aware of when each variety you plant stops blooming. You must ensure that you quit removing dead blooms before that happens or you’ll lose your chance to get seeds.

Preparing for Seeds

When blooming season nears its end, start removing excess blooms to ensure that the rose isn’t overrun with seed pods fighting for attention; that can lead to nonviable seeds. Plan to finish pruning your roses in October. You want to remove enough of the blooms that the plant can allocate its resources to creating strong, viable seed pods. Remove any brown seed pods, since the seeds in those won’t be viable.

Gathering Seeds

Watch the area directly below the old flower carefully. It will start as green but then often become red or orange as it swells. As long as it doesn’t turn brown, you can attempt to use the seeds. Simply pick these colored hips from the plant and take them inside the house to be stored. You must crack open the rose hip to remove the seeds. It’s OK to use a knife; the seeds are very hardy. Check if they’re viable by dropping them into a glass of water that has been mixed with a teaspoon of bleach. The seeds that float on top are less likely to germinate and should be discarded.

Choosing a Rose Plant

Because there are thousands of varieties of rose plants, choosing one can be overwhelming. The “About Face” plant (Rosa grandiflora) has lighter petals on the outside and a darker, more ruby color inside. If you want a shrubby rose as opposed to a bushy rose, try the “Cherry Parfait.” It can be grown in containers, too. The “Fourth of July” rose is perfect for those who want to cultivate climbing roses. It’s bright colors will be like fireworks on your property. Each plant produces seeds that can be harnessed to create more, similar roses.

References (4)

About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.