From Seed to Harvest: A beginner’s guide to growing Roses

From Seed to Harvest: A beginner’s guide to growing Roses

Roses can be difficult to grow from seed, but oftentimes pre-started plants sold at garden centers are limited in colors and varieties. Growing roses from seed can allow the gardener to fine-tune which types of roses to grow in the garden.

To plant:

Rose seeds require stratification, or a cold and moist storage period, before they will sprout. Stratification breaks down the seed’s dormancy and allows it to sprout. Plant the rose seeds ¼ inch deep in a seed-planting mix in planting trays. Make sure the planting mix is moist, seal it in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for up to 10 weeks. After the stratification time has passed, remove the seedling trays from the refrigerator and place them in a warm environment. The rose seeds should sprout in three weeks.

To grow:

Once the seedlings have sprouted, transplant them into individual pots. Do not touch the roots during this process. Use a spoon if needed to transplant the seedlings to keep from touching the roots. Be sure the seedlings have plenty of light, and it is suggested to use a fungicide to prevent fungal diseases from attacking the roses at this stage of their growth. Take care to not overwater the rose seedlings. Plant the roses outside in the spring and once they are established, water them weekly. Water the roses close to the soil and not overhead to prevent fungal diseases. Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and prevent weeds. Pruning is another necessary tactic to produce the best rose bushes. Pruning takes place in the spring when leaf buds begin to appear. To prune, make a cut ¼ inch above the leaf buds and remove any twig-like branches.

To harvest:

Roses make for a beautiful cut flower display, and their blooms can last up to 7 days in a vase. If growing roses to use as cut flowers, apply more fertilizer to encourage more blooms. When cutting the roses, cut when the blooms are still formed and not completely open. Be careful of any thorns. If growing a rose strictly for use as a cut flower, remove any less than satisfactory blooms from the plant.

What Roses crave:

Once seedlings are moved into their individual pots, feed them with half-strength fertilizer. When the roses are established, fertilize them each spring, but the application of a well-rotted manure each spring works just as well. If using a non-natural fertilizer, fertilize with a granular