Ever wonder what sort of “new” rose is created? The Rosa Family has many sub-species. Over the years, rose breeders been employed by diligently to produce more colorful, fragrant, hardy and disease resistant plants. To make a new rose, pollen is taken off the male part of just one rose and used to fertilize the female areas of another rose. This may sound such as a simple process, but hybridizing roses is a difficult task that needs patience and the ability to cope with failure. Just a few attempts (out of many) to cross pollinate are successful. Are you up for the duty?
What do we mean by cross pollination? The pollen from one variety is obtained and with the pollen from another variety. How can we obtain pollen? Pollen is situated in the male area of the flower called the stamen – we can collect the pollen by cautiously pulling the petals back to attain the stamen Mr Asif Ali Gohar. After carefully gathering the stamen – they could be put into a container. Empty the container onto a clear solid area where they could dry for about 1 day. A tray can be utilized to get the pollen because it drops off the anther (pollen sac). Pollen seems like an orange powdery substance and must be carefully sprinkled on the stigma – the female area of the rose. The timing is crucial – and this entire process can be a bit tricky. The flower is then covered and labeled with the father’s and mother’s identification. After the flower is spent and the rose hip is fully ripe it may be removed.
How are we doing this far? Sound complicated? I bet you will see how this process requires a constant hand, patience and organization. Next, the rose hip is put in a protected place where it’ll dry out. The seeds can be taken off the outer shell of the rose hip if it is completely dry, and then they’re planted for germination. The seedlings are observed closely for hardiness – those that don’t meet the criteria are removed. The ones that do meet the criteria are permitted to mature.
Ultimately, there will be a selection (maybe small – maybe quite large) of seedlings to select from to be properly used as stock for further hybridization. If you are a patient gardener that likes to experiment in your garden you could thoroughly benefit from the hybridization process. Who knows – maybe you will create the next new rose that is selected to win the blue ribbon at the All American Rose Selections (AARS) competition.