Monday, February 29, 2016

Path Break - Amaryllis

So, what does this post have to do with rose breeding?  Not much, but it is about planting seeds, and amaryllis are flowers, and, I wanted to make a post on February 29th since this is a leap year!

We always grow an amaryllis during the Christmas season.  We usually buy a "red" one, but almost always we get a light orange one.  This year we got a red one named "Mammoth Red".  It turn out being true to it's name and looked just like the photo.  There were actually 2 blooming stalks and each stalk had 4 flowers (sorry I didn't get a photo of ours, but it really did look like the photo below).  So I decided to try my luck at getting seeds.  I looked at a couple of youtube videos, followed the directions, and viola!  We have amaryllis sprouts!

It took 6 or 7 weeks for the seed pods to ripen, and they produced these black papery seeds.

After harvesting, the seeds were allowed to dry for 3 days and then planted.  Another 3 weeks later (just like the youtube videos said), they have started sprouting.  There were 7 baby amaryllis that I counted when I took this photo (can you find them all?).  Now, I just have to wait 2 or 3 years to see the first blooms.  This is a fun side-experiment, but not near as fun as rose breeding!  So my advice to you, is consider planting amaryllis seeds, but I suspect that you will get more fun and quicker results planting rose seeds.  Give it a try!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Seedlings of Happenstance

As is typical of most years, the first pollinations of the year are based on what is blooming at the time.  2015 was no exception.  Last year there were 2 seedlings that were blooming early that I had not consider to combine in a cross.  However, since they were blooming, I decided, "why not?!"  The seed parent was Q199-1 (a single petalled Hulthemia), while the pollen parent that I used was P15-1 (a very double, bright yellow mini).  More detailed descriptions can be found in the post entitled, "First Pollination of 2015".  It turns out that the very first pollination ended up failing, meaning that the hip dried up and fell off before any seeds had formed.  However, after making the cross, I decided to repeat it several times, such that at the end of the pollinating season, there were 31 hips forming that ended up producing 481 seeds.  Of these, so far 266 seedlings have sprouted.  Had the parents not been the first roses to bloom, I would not have made the cross.  Perhaps something beautiful will come out of this cross of happenstance.  :)

It won't be long and these will be blooming!

The very first flower bud of the year was seen yesterday on another cross that germinated a bit earlier (see below).

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day with an un-named floribunda seedling!