Do Roses Have Seeds?

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In my new quest to grow beauty as well as vegetables, I’ve been clearing out flower beds in my yard. A few years back I planted some roses, but that area had become quite overgrown. Early this summer, I noticed one rosebush was till making an effort, so I decided to clean out the area and try again. That old adage about ‘the best time to weed is when you don’t need to’ is so true. The area is a mere three feet by ten feet but it took shovels, a pick axe, levers, rakes and a bit of dynamite to clear it all out. Finally there it is… a rose bush. It looked a bit like an old woman who had done too much smoking and drinking but was alive, nevertheless. I cleaned up the vines around it, cleared out the grass at its feet, and removed a couple of opportunistic pines. A few new shoots gave me hope it might still come alive.

And then there they were. The old woman had been doing a little more than smokin’ an’ drinkin’. She had several bulbs ( I found out later these are called hips) which I can only assume came from roses I never saw. Out of curiosity, I cut one of them open and found what looked like seeds. Roses have seeds?!

Before I continue, it’s necessary to take a little side tour. I told you I was at a trade show peddling my goods (website development.) At the show, there was a Master Gardener booth supplied by Clemson University. Another detour… I found out later that a Master Gardener is someone with an interest in gardening who has taken a seventeen week course and agreed to volunteer for forty hours. The course is only given once a year and you have to apply to attend. So there I am at the “The 3rd Annual Upstate Women’s Show” watching fannies go by and eating way too many cookies and I decide to trek to the mountain top and talk to one of the wise ones. I had a simple question; “Where do you go to find answers about gardening?” The wise one replied “Like what?” Pet peeve… I hate it when people do that, I ask a general question and they want a specific example. So I said, “Well, like when my tomato leaves are curling up and the plant is not looking so good, where would I go to find out?” He says, “Well that could be caused by several things.” I cut him off and say “Sorry, but that is not my question. What I want to know is where would I go if you weren’t there to find the answer?” He says “Well, there are some bugs that can cause that, too…” It’s a good thing I was raised by a mother who was quick to say “Watch your mouth” whenever I was being a little bit of a smart aleck because what I wanted to say was, “ARE YOU STUPID?” That never goes well so I tried once more; “I’m sorry, but you’re not understanding my question. Is there a place on the Clemson website where it lists all the things that can go wrong with plants in this area? Is there a national site that does the same? Where can I go to get more information so I can solve whatever problem comes up?” He said “Oh, I just Google it. Like, put in ‘tomatoes curled leaves’ and you’ll get a ton of information.” That’s too funny. That’s what I had been doing but it seemed there must be a better way. So dear reader, save the trek to the mountain top, just Google it. By the way, later in the day I went to a presentation on propagating plants and this kind soul brings me a print out about cucumber beetles and how they can attack your tomato plants. I have a picture of one of those things and didn’t know what it was! I thought it was related to a lady bug, a good thing, but instead it’s one of the villains. I also found out about stink bugs. I’m smarter already!

Another diversion… One of the ladies at the presentation on propagating plants warned us about propagating patented plants. She actually used the words “azalea police.” And here I thought I was being so clever. I am currently trying to see if you can flush an azalea down the toilet and I’m setting up a surveillance system so I can get a head start when they come to get me. But seriously, I’ll have to Google the plants I bought to see if I’m allowed to do that.

Back to the rose seeds. So I get back to my computer and Google “roses from seeds.” I get back 4,940,000 webpages related to this topic. I’m thinking that is an estimate rounded to the nearest ten thousand. How cool to live in these times! I’m an expert, “What do you want to know?” I read several articles and although it seems a little tedious and time consuming, you can get more roses from seeds! It actually sounds like fun. You can control who your roses fool around with and thereby create your own. I suppose if I went to all that trouble and actually came up with “The Rose,” I’d want to get paid for my “brilliance.” I have collected the seeds for the ’JoseFerrer 4510′ and the ‘Pep 9250′ and planted them. Most of the articles I read said that won’t work; some said it could. Not exactly a lot to lose there; cut hip open, dig out seeds, stick in soil. Wait a second while I Google “patent attorney”… wow, 1,160,000 results. Oh, wait, I need to google “mercedes slr”; 1,880,000 results. I’m so exited!

Seriously now, about this Googling thing. It’s fantastic that you can Google almost anything and get a lot of information. Even get an answer for that pesky virus. But that does not make you an expert! It’s good to be informed and good to find answers. The rub is that although you now know something you didn’t know, you still don’t know what you don’t know. That’s where experience comes in. I can’t tell you how many times one of my customers has tried to fix something by Googling it and tied their computer into knots. What would have taken minutes to fix suddenly takes hours. Before you start making changes to your computer’s registry, Google “computer repair rates.”

I seem to be standing on a soapbox; let me put that away and go back to rose seeds. Sorry, I can’t. Just because you read it on the Internet does not make it a fact! If it says put the rose seeds in a ham sandwich and bury that six inches, you might want to Google a little more, or maybe ask an expert. Okay, really back to the roses.

I added some of my compost around the base of my newly discovered rose, watered it with my Miracle-Gro mixed with rainwater from my rain barrel, and wished it well. We’ll see. After reading many articles on growing roses from seed, it seems I need to wait a bit longer and then go through a drawn out process on cutting out the seeds, refrigerating them, planting and waiting. We’ll get back to that.

I also found out you can propagate with cuttings, so I cut a few and tried one of the methods: dirt, water, plastic bottle. We’ll see.

So yes, roses have seeds and you can plant your own!

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