Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Rose Seedlings Showing First Buds

I am rather excited about this year's crop of new rose seedlings.  Among the just over 48,000 rose seeds that were planted, 60% of them were the result of at least one Hulthemia parent (see description of Hulthemia Roses).  I am hopeful that something special will show up among the seedlings this year.

Last year, I made very few entries in the blog, thinking that I really needed to come up with something profound to say before actually posting something.  This year, I have decided to be more informal and just chronicle the development of this new batch of seedlings.  In that way, this will be more of a journey that will reflect real time.  Those joining me will discover with me the new seedlings as they present themselves.  I hope that you will get the same kind of enjoyment that I do in seeing one of a kind, never before seen roses that are both novel and beautiful, blooming for the first time.

So, the very first rose bud that I observed this year occurred on 3-10-11.  You can see the small flower bud in the photo below.

The above seedling is from a cross of a 'Midnight Blue' seedling acting as the seed parent, having the parentage of 'Midnight Blue' X {[('Orangeade' X 'Abraham Darby') X 'Midnight Blue'] X [('Stainless Steel' X 'Purple Tiger') X 'Baby Love']}, crossed with a new Hulthemia seedling from last year.  From this stage of development, it usually takes new seedlings about 3 to 4 weeks for them to actually bloom for the first time.

Over the last 10 days since the first rose bud was noticed, there are many more rose seedlings beginning to produce their first flower buds.  The next photo taken on 3-19-11 (see below), is of a non-Hulthemia seedling, coming from a cross of 'Pearl Sanford' X <{'Halo Today' X ['Geisha' X ('Tobo' X 'Singin' in the Rain')]} X 'Thrive!'>.  The seed parent, 'Pearl Sanford', a pink blend exhibition type mini rose that blooms in clusters, has been my most prolific mini seed parent for the last 5 years.  The pollen parent, presented by the parentage within the "<" and the ">", is a red single mini, that appears to be extremely clean.  I am hoping for some clean red exhibition type minis and perhaps some pink blend informal type mini bushes that have good cleanliness and blooming power.  The seedling below appears quite sturdy and at this early stage resembles the pollen parent.

As the weeks go by, I will update photos of these two seedlings along with photos of others from this new batch of seedlings for 2011.  A warning though:  please do not get attached to either of the two seedlings above.  About 75% or more of new seedlings are discarded after their first bloom for various reasons (see Seedling Evaluation).  Whether or not these seedlings make the cut, so to speak, there will be some in the seedling benches that will be saved for further evaluation in the years to come.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Germination Update

It looks like the alteration in cold stratification (see previous post) did not adversely affect germination of the rose seeds.  Approximately 6 weeks after planting, 15% to 20% of the seeds have germinated.  Over the next month, I expect that number to double, which will result in a normal germination rate for the season.  Many of the seedlings are already working on their third true leaves.  Rose buds usually start forming after the 5th or 6th true rose leaf has developed.  Most of the new seedlings in the photos here involve Hulthemia crosses.  I will post photos of them as they start to bloom over the next 4 to 6 weeks.