Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Making of 'Baby Dainty Bess'

Before naming a rose, it is a very long process.  First there is the cross to make between one rose and another.  Then you have to wait until the seeds ripen.  Harvesting the hips comes next. Then comes extraction of the seeds and cold stratification in the refrigerator for a few weeks.  And, finally you get to plant the seeds.  The process continues however, with seedling selection.  Evaluation of the best seedlings involves answering many questions:  Is it attractive? Are there other roses just like it, or is this one unique in some way? Does it get diseases? Is it fragrant? Does it bloom well and have vigor?  Will it "own root" easily so that it can be propagated?  For exhibitors, you may ask additional questions: Will it show?  Will the blooms last?  Do people want to grow it?

This rose, previously known to me as "S244-1", seemed to pass all of the tests for a single petal rose ("single petal" means that each bloom only has 5 petals). The naming of this rose was easy for me since this seedling looked just like a "baby" version of the popular, single hybrid tea rose named, 'Dainty Bess'.  

Now we have a 'Baby Dainty Bess'!

The last step of the evaluation process for me was checking on it's ease of propagation.  I do not treat cuttings with a rooting hormone.  I figure that if a seedling rose is able to root well without any hormones, that the easy rooting trait is an additional "plus".  The cuttings below were "stuck" on June 10th.  

Three weeks later, they were removed from the misting chamber and transplanted into pots on July 1st.  

Already, on July 13th as seen below, the transplanted cuttings of 'Baby Dainty Bess' were putting out excellent growth.  

One week later, these produced their first new blooms.  The early new blooms are washed out looking and are lacking the darker colored filaments that will be present on the more mature plants in a few weeks.  

I haven't seen a seedling that roots and propagates as easily as 'Baby Dainty Bess' in a long time.  I hope that someday you can enjoy this rose as much as I do.  


  1. Lovely! I've always liked the look of those old single hybrid teas. Your blog is a treat for the single rose lover.

  2. Fabulous! I look forward to growing it :-)

  3. Still doing well here in GA! On another note, I heard a comment at a recent convention that gave me pause. "If it's called a single-petal rose does that mean it has one petal?" Makes one think:)