How Do I Germinate Rose Seeds?

Overview

Roses (genus Rosa) are perennial flowers that grow as a shrub or vine and do well in most USDA hardiness zones. You can choose from more than 100 varieties, and you can purchase them as a mature bush or grow your own by germinating and planting seeds. Whether you harvest your own seeds from an existing rose bush or purchase the seeds from a nursery, the steps toward germination are the same. Germinating rose seeds is a long, yet rewarding process, but the steps are simple to perform.

Step 1

Place your rose seeds on one-half of a heavy-duty paper towel to begin stratification. Stratification will help the seeds germinate. Mix ½ cup of water with ½ cup of peroxide. Pour the mixture gently on the paper towel and then fold over to cover the seeds. Put the paper towel inside of a plastic resealable bag. Label the bag with the name of the seed and the current date. Put the bag in a refrigerator for six to 10 weeks at a temperature of at least 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Remove your germinated seeds from the refrigerator. Fill a nursery flat with a 50/50 mixture of sterile potting soil and vermiculite. Gently press one rose seed into each cup of the nursery flat, going down about ½ inch. Spray the seedlings with a 50/50 mixture of water and peroxide to prevent disease prior to covering them with more soil. Add a light layer of the sterile potting soil and vermiculite.

Step 3

Mist the planted seeds with plain water using a spray bottle until very moist. Put the nursery flat outside in an area that receives direct sunlight. Keep them moist by spraying with water every day. Within two months, the seedling sprouts will push through the dirt.

Step 4

Transplant the seedlings to a larger pot when they reach 3 inches in height. As the new rose bush begins to mature and outgrow its pot, you can transfer it to a permanent location that receives four to five hours of sunshine each day. It can take up to three years for the rose bush to reach full maturity.

Tips and Warnings

  • When you place the nursery flat of rose seedlings outside, keep it in a covered environment, such as under a canopy, if the danger of frost for your area has not passed. Rose seeds can be difficult to find, but not impossible. Ask your local nursery for help if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose seeds
  • Paper towels
  • Peroxide
  • Plastic resealable bag
  • Nursery flat
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Vermiculite
  • Spray bottle

References

  • Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society: How to Grow Roses from Seed
  • Texas A&M University: Germination of Rose Seed
  • Maryland Geological Survey: Rose Seed Propagation

Who Can Help

  • Home Harvest Garden Supply: Horticultural Perlite & Vermiculite
  • Renee's Garden: Miniature Rose Seeds
Keywords: germinate rose seeds, plant rose seeds, rose seed instructions

About this Author

Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of "Pickin' Cotton Sure Is Hard Work" in the book "Golden Short Stories Volume 1" for the Dahlonega Book Festival. She has since written a true crime book published in 2010, with contracts for two more. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.