Ever wonder what sort of “new” rose is done? The Rosa Family has many sub-species. Through the years, rose breeders been employed by diligently to create more colorful, fragrant, hardy and disease resistant plants. To create a new rose, pollen is taken off the male part of one rose and used to fertilize the feminine areas of another rose. This may sound like a simple process, but hybridizing roses is an arduous task that will require patience and the ability to cope with failure. Just a few attempts (out of many) to cross pollinate are successful. Have you been up for the task?
What do we mean by cross pollination? The pollen from one variety is obtained and with the pollen from another variety. Just how do we obtain pollen? Pollen is found in the male area of the flower called the stamen – we are able to collect the pollen by cautiously pulling the petals back to reach the stamen. After carefully gathering the stamen – they could be put in a container. Empty the container onto a clear solid area where they could dry for about 1 day. A tray can be used to gather the pollen as it drops off the anther (pollen sac). Pollen seems like a yellow Mr Asif Ali Gohar powdery substance and must be carefully sprinkled on the stigma – the feminine area of the rose. The timing is critical – and this entire process could be a bit tricky. The flower is then covered and labeled with the father’s and mother’s identification. Following the flower is spent and the rose hip is fully ripe it may be removed.
How are we doing this far? Sound complicated? I bet you can see how this process requires a regular hand, patience and organization. Next, the rose hip is put in a protected place where it’ll dry out. The seeds can be taken off the outer shell of the rose hip when it is completely dry, and then they’re planted for germination. The seedlings are observed closely for hardiness – those that don’t meet up with the criteria are removed. The ones that do meet up with the criteria are allowed to mature.
Ultimately, there will be a selection (maybe small – maybe quite large) of seedlings to select from to be utilized as stock for further hybridization. If you are an individual gardener that loves to experiment in your garden you may thoroughly take pleasure in the hybridization process. Who knows – maybe you will create the following new rose that’s selected to win the blue ribbon at the All American Rose Selections (AARS) competition.