Thursday, May 5, 2011

Peak Bloom at the Sproul Rose Farm

The warmer weather has brought on the peak bloom rather quickly.  Approximately 1/3 of the 1,000 potted roses seen here are new 2010 rose seedlings that were brought outside the greenhouse for further evaluation.  They survived scrutiny in the greenhouse where more than 95% of the 2010 seedling roses were eliminated.  The rest of these are seedling roses from previous years.

My goal over the next few weeks will be to cull out 1/3 to 1/2 of these, so that only the best of the best remain.  We were fortunate to get just the right amount of downy mildew this year - not so much that the seedlings lost all their leaves, but enough to differentiate the resistant ones from the susceptible ones.  Also, keeping the pots jammed rather closely together has helped to promote blackspot.  All of this has provided a better opportunity to get a much better read on which roses are performing the best with respect to disease resistance to downy mildew, blackspot and powdery mildew.  Some of the roses are spotless.  It is from these that I would like to carry the breeding program forward.


  1. Beautiful Jim! I don't envy your culling process. WAY too hard! Kim

  2. Thanks Kim!

    I am getting great powdery mildew resistance in almost all seedlings that are brought out from the greenhouse. Downy mildew and blackspot resistance is not evaluable though until they are moved outside. And, as you know, some years downy mildew is not present since it depends on weather conditions.

  3. Jim, I haven't mastered the art of culling seedlings yet. We normally don't see any pm in the Dallas Metroplex and for the most part they all look great to me. I"m curious, how do you water all those pots every single day?

    Thanks for the advice you have given me the last couple of years via the rha forum.

    bill cashin

  4. Hi Bill,

    1/4 of them are on automatic drip. The others are watered by hand! The number of pots almost doubled this year, so we have install 4 more valves and will be finishing a drip system to all pots soon - yeah!