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How to Cross-Pollinate Roses!

July 21, 2017 - Posted in Making it Grow by Sean Flynn

Clemson Extension Agent Jonathan Windham shows us how to cross-pollinate roses to create your very own hybrids with a process that takes about 10 steps and only a few minutes!

1. Select one plant to be the mother and one plant to be the father.

2. Collect anthers from the father plant and dry overnight to release pollen grains.

3. Select a flower bud on the mother plant. The sepals should be split enough to just see the color of the petals beneath. 

4. Remove the sepals and petals from the flower bud. 

5. Emasculate the flower bud by cutting away the stamens (the stamens are filaments + anthers. The filaments are the stalks that the anthers sit on).

6. Place pollen from the father plant onto the stigmas of the mother plant (the stigmas are in the center of the flower). 

7. Label your cross using the formula mother name x father name (the mother plant always comes first when writing out lineages). 

8. If the cross was successful, a hip will form.
Note: Pollination and fertilization are two separate events in plant breeding. Pollination just means pollen was applied to the stigmas, fertilization means that sperm and egg successfully united. 

9. Harvest the hip when it’s ripe (it will be red, orange, or yellow) and remove the seeds.

10. Place seeds in a Ziploc bag with some slightly moist potting soil and store in fridge through the winter.

11. Plant seeds in spring and enjoy being surprised by your new rose hybrid! 

Fun fact: The “seeds” that are in the hip of a rose are technically “achenes” and not seeds at all, but most people just describe them as seeds.

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