How to Grow Roses From Seeds

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With a little patience and an empty shelf in your fridge, you can grow beautiful roses from seeds within a few months.

What You'll Need

Fresh rose hips Seed-starting soil mix Loam soil Seedling/planting tray Rose fertilizer Small pots (for transferring seedlings) Grow lights (optional) Fungicide (optional)

Gather Rose Hips

Collect rose hips after the rose blooms have fallen. You can store them in the refrigerator for several weeks before beginning the planting process.

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Use caution when collecting rose hips, as the small hairs on rose hips can cause itching.

Extract Seeds

Split the rose hips with a butter knife to extract the densely packed seeds inside. Wash the seeds in water containing a few drops of bleach to kill any fungus or bacteria. 

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If you want to make sure your seeds are free of disease, soak the seeds in a solution of half water and half hydrogen peroxide for 12 hours before beginning the next step. Rinse the seeds one final time and place them on a clean towel to dry. 


Before they are planted, the seeds must undergo a period of cold storage called “stratification.” Without going through this dormant period, the seeds will not sprout roots.

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To initiate the stratification process, wrap the seeds in a moist paper towel moistened with a solution of half water and half hydrogen peroxide to prevent mold. Seal the moist towel in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator for 10-12 weeks.

Alternative Method

Plant the seeds one-half inch deep in a mixture of half potting soil and half vermiculite. Once planted in a shallow tray or pot with good drainage, moisten the soil and seal the tray or pots in a plastic bag. Place these in a refrigerator for 10-12 weeks.

Once the seeds have sprouted root tips, they can be transferred to a container filled with loam soil. Carefully scoop out the sprouted seeds and do not touch the roots when you are transferring them. It is normal if only a quarter of your seeds actually sprout.

Planting the Seeds

Transfer the seeds to pots in early spring, when the seedlings normally begin to sprout. Place them in an area with plenty of sunlight and feed them with half-strength fertilizer or rose food. Make sure they have proper drainage and air circulation. 

Once they have sprouted a few leaves or are a few inches tall, plant them in your garden or in individual pots. Applying a small amount of fungicide on the growing seedlings will help protect the young plants from fungal disease

It takes about three years or more for a seedling to develop into a mature rose bush. Growing roses from seeds does take time, but you will be rewarded with the knowledge that you raised your own beautiful roses from seed to plant.

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