Monday, March 30, 2015

Rose Breeding Uncertainty

You just never know which seedlings are going to survive…

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the first 2 new seedlings to bloom this year.  I was excited about the second seedling and thought for sure it would be a "keeper".  Well, both seedlings are now gone.  The first seedling was culled when there were other better seedlings that bloomed close to it and I could not justify keeping it.  The second seedling just died on it's own.  I am sorry to have lost it since it seemed to be such a nice seedling having good potential.  However, that is just how things work out sometime.

I have already culled several hundred seedlings, but among the new seedlings that are blooming for the first time, I am finding what appear to be other "keepers".  Only time will tell whether any of these survive future cullings, or demise from natural causes…

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Downy Mildew Testing

No, I guess I don't really like downy mildew all that much, but I am thankful when we can get some of it in order to see which seedlings show resistance.  Fortunately, we had a couple days of 90 degree weather after this outbreak to halt the devastation.

The new seedlings that were just moved out of the greenhouse are always the most susceptible (see photo below).

Even some of the very mature roses got hit pretty hard.  Below is a photo of foliage drop from 'Osiana', a cut-flower variety that appears to be very susceptible. 

However, some of the newer seedlings are showing little or no downy mildew.  The first below is a seedling of 'Darlow's Enigma', followed by a seedling 2 generations down from "Basye's Thornless", and a rugosa seedling.

The last photo shown below is of a crested seedling that is surprisingly showing a good amount of downy mildew tolerance.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Second Seedling to Bloom 2015

Well, I think this is probably the first time that I have made two posts on the same day.  I should have waited until I went out to the greenhouse to make my earlier post because there was a second seedling that was blooming that I like much more than the first.  I think that this second seedling may very well turn out to be a "keeper".  It is from a cross of N159-5 X Q62-1.  N159-5 is a seedling from 5 years ago that has been an excellent seed parent for blotches.  It has a complex mix in it's background that includes 'Persian Sunset' and "Tiggle".  Q62-1 came from a cross of 'Eyeconic Pomegranate Lemonade' X "Basye's Thornless".

From here on out, there will be many more seedlings blooming such that in about 3-4 weeks it will be hard to keep up...

First Seedling to Bloom 2015

Wow, this warmer weather has continued to push the new seedlings growth along faster than normal.  Every year I anticipate and try to patiently wait for the first new seedling of the year to bloom.  This year there wasn't much waiting.  I first noticed the first bud about 3 weeks ago and it bloomed yesterday!  This was from a cross between 2 Hulthemia hybrid seedlings.  The blotch is not that large, but because the seedling is branching early and has more than 1 flower bud on the first bloom cycle, I will watch it a bit longer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Basye's Thornless" Seedlings - Burgundy Canes and Glossy Foliage

In 2013, I selected several repeat blooming seedlings of Basye's Thornless that came from crosses that I made in the previous year with a wide variety of other things including some of my Hulthemias and non-Hulthemia minis.  One of my favorite crosses was L56-1 X Basye's Thornless.  L56-1 resulted from a cross of {'Halo Today' X ['Geisha' X ('Tobo' X 'Singin' in the Rain')]} X 'Thrive!'.  It is a single red mini shown here.

I am still keeping about 10 of the seedlings resulting from the L56-1 X Basye's Thornless cross, two are shown below.  The first of the two is quite fertile as a seed parent and there are several new seedlings coming from it this year that will be blooming soon for the first time.

Basye's Thornless conveys cleanliness (good resistance to both black spot and powdery mildew), and fewer thorns to it's offspring.  Also, as seen in other seedlings of it in this link: Winter, Spring or Fall?, it frequently produces seedlings that give added interest when the plants enter dormancy, since many of its seedlings produce colorful hips and striking fall color.  If you haven't already tried it, Basye's Thornless is definitely worth considering as an addition to your mix of rose parents in your rose breeding program.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

First Pollination of 2015

Last week I moved some of my new rose seed parents into the greenhouse.  Having some seed parents in the greenhouse helps me to get an earlier start on pollinations.  Like todays cross, most years the first cross is one of happenstance - I'll use whatever happens to be blooming early.

Last year, I discovered that one of the new seedlings from 2013, it's code name is "Q199-1", sets hips very well and this year because I really liked the seedling (it is one of my better Hulthemias), I decided to plant lots of open pollinated seeds from it.  Note that when testing new prospective seed parents for germination, I always plant the seeds more densely than normal.  The reason is that in my experience, many roses have a very low germination rate.  As seen below, however, this seedling's seeds germinate exceedingly well.  In fact, had I known that germination would be so good, I would not have planted the seeds so close together.  Even so, this gives an opportunity for the more vigorous seedlings to show themselves.

As it turns out, the seedling parent of this group of seedlings would be blooming tomorrow.  So, I decided to use its first bloom for the first pollination of the year.  I had to remove it's petals before the bloom opened so as to prevent self pollination.  It's petals are shown below.

Another seedling, "P15-1", a bright yellow mini (see below) coming from 'First Impression' was also blooming today.  So I took some of it's anthers and let them release their pollen.  The pollen was then applied to the Hulthemia mentioned above.

So then, this was not a cross that I had planned, but who knows, maybe something interesting will come from it.  We'll have to wait until next year to find out.  Stay tuned!