How to Grow Rose Seeds

Overview

Virtually all roses (Rosa spp.), sold commercially are propagated by grafting cuttings or buds onto a variety of multiflora rose rootstock. They can also be grown from the seeds they produce in the ruby-colored fruits, called “hips,” that adorn their bushes from late summer through the winter. You'll need patience for this endeavor, as the seeds require a cold treatment before planting. Roses grown from seed can take two years or longer to produce flowers.

Step 1

Collect rose hips in autumn. These are the small, apple-like fruits, or seed pods, of the rose. They form at the base of the flower blossom after the flowers fade if the spent blooms are not pruned off. As they ripen and mature, they turn red.

Step 2

Slice open rose hips with a sharp knife. Remove the seeds contained within. Discard the outer casing or use it to make tea.

Step 3

Place rose seeds in a small plastic bag along with a handful of dampened peat moss and chill them for 60 to 90 days at temperatures just above freezing. The bottom back of the refrigerator is a good place for this.

Step 4

Fill 2-inch starter pots to the rim with good-quality indoor potting soil.

Step 5

Place one seed in each pot, burying it about 1/4 inch deep. Firm the top of the soil gently with your hand.

Step 6

Place starter pots in a larger, shallow pan. Add water to come halfway up the sides of the starter pots. Allow them to sit in the water until the soil on the surface of their pots is moist. Remove starter pots from pan and allow excess water to drain. Check the pots frequently and water from the bottom in this manner as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy.

Step 7

Put small pots under fluorescent grow lights, so the tops of the pots are about 3 inches from the lights. Provide a way to raise the level of the lights as the seedlings grow to maintain the 3-inch distance between the lights and the tops of the seedlings.

Step 8

Transplant rose seedlings into 4-inch pots when they are 4 to 5 inches high.

Step 9

Transplant seedlings into an outdoor nursery garden bed when all danger of frost has passed in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Small plastic bag
  • Peat moss
  • 2-inch starter pots
  • Indoor potting soil
  • Large, shallow pan
  • Fluorescent grow lights
  • 4-inch pots

References

  • New Mexico State University Extension: Rose Seed
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Breeding and Fragrance
Keywords: grow rose seeds, plant rose seeds, roses from seed

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.