How to Start a Rose Bush From Seed


While not the fastest way to propagate roses, growing them from seed is the only way to create a new variety of rose. By cross-pollinating different types of roses, disease resistance, hardiness and, of course, floral beauty are all able to be bred into roses. The seeds are the result of this process. Starting roses from seed is relatively easy. While it does require a certain amount of patience and there may be mixed results from the cross-pollination process, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Growing Your Rose Seeds

Step 1

Remove the ripe seed pods, called rose hips, from the plant after they have been on the plant for about four months and the sepals, the little pointed leaflets around the tip of the rose hip, have fallen off.

Step 2

Open the hips by slicing them in half with the knife. Remove the seeds with the tip of the knife and dispose of the pulp and outer husk.

Step 3

Rinse the seeds immediately in a solution of bottled water mixed with 5% chlorine bleach. Rinse the seeds with plain water in a strainer. Soak the seeds in a solution of 3% peroxide for 24 hours.

Step 4

Look for seeds that float and dispose of them as potentially infertile.

Step 5

Clean the seeds by placing them on a clean towel and scrubbing them with a brush to remove the pulp from the seed.

Step 6

Fold the cleaned seeds in a paper towel. Moisten the towel with a solution of equal amounts of bottled water and peroxide. Place the towel in a clean zip-top bag. Mark the bag with a permanent marker with the date. Place the bag in in the refrigerator for 8 weeks. Ensure that the seeds do not dry out.

Step 7

Remove the seeds from the refrigerator, when ready, and dust them with rooting compound.

Step 8

Plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep in small pots in a mixture of equal amounts of potting soil and vermiculite. Water the seeds so the soil is damp but not wet.

Step 9

Place the seeds in a cool, protected area to germinate. Water regularly. Look for growth within the next 6 weeks.

Step 10

Transplant the seedlings when they are about 4-6 inches tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • To prevent a potentially hazardous chemical reaction, do not combine peroxide and chlorine bleach.

Things You'll Need

  • Rose hip
  • 3% peroxide solution
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Permanent marker
  • Sharp knife
  • Potting soil
  • Vermiculite
  • Small planting pots
  • Strainer


  • How to Grow Roses from Seed
  • Rose Seed Propagation
Keywords: rose hip, propagate, sprout, germinate, start

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.