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How to Grow Roses from Seed

Last Updated: June 4, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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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 number 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.

How to Grow Roses from Seed. 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 number of seeds inside their…

Rose Bush Seeds – How To Grow Roses From Seeds

By Stan V. Griep
American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian – Rocky Mountain District

One way to grow roses is from the seeds they produce. Propagating roses from seed take a little time, but is easy to do. Let’s take a look at what it takes to start growing roses from seed.

Starting Rose Seeds

Before growing roses from seed, the rose seeds need to go through a period of cold moist storage called “stratification” before they will sprout.

Plant the rose bush seeds approximately ¼ inch deep in a seed-planting mix in seedling trays or your own planting trays. The trays need not be more than 3 to 4 inches deep for this use. When planting rose seeds from various rose bush hips, I use a separate tray for each different group of seeds and label the trays with that rose bushes name and planting date.

The planting mix should be very moist but not soaking wet. Seal each tray or container in a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks.

Planting Roses from Seeds

The next step how to grow roses from seed is to sprout the rose seeds. After having gone through their “stratification” time, take the containers out of the refrigerator and into a warm environment of around 70 F. (21 C.). I do my best to time this for early spring when the seedlings would normally be coming out of their cold cycle (stratification) outside and starting to sprout.

Once in the proper warm environment, the rose bush seeds should start to sprout. The rose bush seeds will usually continue to sprout over the course of two to three weeks, but probably only 20 to 30 percent of the rose seeds planted will actually sprout.

Once the rose seeds sprout, carefully transplant the rose seedlings into other pots. It is extremely important not to touch the roots during this process! A spoon may be used for this seedling transfer phase to help keep from touching the roots.

Feed the seedlings with half strength fertilizer and be sure they have plenty of light once they start to grow. The use of a grow light system works very well for this phase of the rose propagation process.

The use of a fungicide on the growing rose seeds will help keep fungal diseases from attacking the rose seedlings at this vulnerable time.

Do not over water the rose seedlings; over watering is a major killer of seedlings.

Provide a lot of light as well as good air circulation to the rose seedlings to avoid disease and pests. If disease does set in on some of them, it is probably best to eliminate them and keep only the hardiest of the rose seedlings.

The time it takes for the new roses to actually flower can vary greatly so be patient with your new rose babies. Growing roses from seed can take some time, but you will be rewarded for your efforts.

One way to grow roses is from the seeds they produce. Propagating roses from seed take a little time, but is easy to do. Take a look at what it takes to start growing roses from seed in this article.