Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hybridizing Season Finally Slowing Down

Well, it's been nearly a month since my last post.  Life has been busy at the Sproul Rose Farm.  Most of the crosses for this year have been completed.  I decided that I wanted to reduce my crosses by 50% this year compared to last year since I had too many seedlings.  I only have about 175 more crosses to go until I hit my goal of 2,500 crosses.  There are lots of hips forming.

As mentioned in an earlier post, evaluating seedlings for the first time outside is an important time.  Here are photos of 2 of my favorites.  This first one is a mini Hulthemia with single petalled blooms, that is very floriferous and appears quite clean.

The next photo below is of another very floriferous seedling.  This one is a larger shrub and is a cross of 'Thrive!'s mother X 'Double Knock Out'.  It starts as a darker pink and then fades to a lighter pink before the petals fall.  The petals never get "dirty" looking.  This one also appears very clean.  I can imagine a multi-colored effect in a mass planting.

One of the things that I like to do later in the rose breeding season is to select a few of the best new Hulthemia seedlings from this year to use as pollen parents.  I mix the pollen in hopes that the best possibilities have a chance to occur.  This last photo below is of some of the new seedlings from which I harvested their anthers.  The 2 pink ones are repeat blooming "Basye's Thornless" Hulthemia seedlings.  The red ones are from 'Thrive!' Hulthemia crosses and the yellow one is from a cross involving a very clean seedling that came from a cross 3 years ago with 'Thrive!'s seed parent.  All of these should have very clean genes.