How to Create a Rose

Select the female parent. Roses are bisexual, each flower having both male (stamens) and female (pistils) organs.

* With small, sharp scissors, snip off the stamens--the pollen-bearing stalks that surround the pistils in the very center of the blossom. This is easier if you pull off all the petals first.

* Cover what's left of the blossom with a small paper sack so it will not be accidentally pollinated by a bee or breeze.

* Select a male parent. Snip off its anthers--the small, pollen-producing sacs at the end of the stamens--and store them in a small glass jar. In a few days, the anthers will release their pollen and it will settle to the bottom of the container. By this time the female plant should have produced a sticky secretion at the end of its pistils, indicating it is pollen-receptive. If not, wait a few more days before pollinating.

* With a small, soft brush (or use your fingers as does Laurie Chaffin, owner of Pixie Treasures, a miniature rose nursery in Yorba Linda) place the sperm-bearing dried pollen onto the sticky pistils of the female plant, which are connected to an egg-filled ovary called a hip.

* Reattach the paper bag and label the cross, listing the female plant first, then the male. Chaffin's 'Chipmunk,' for example, before it was named, was labeled 'Deep Purple' x 'Rainbow's End.'

* If the cross is successful, the hip of the female parent will begin to swell with growth within a few weeks.

* After the hip has changed color (usually from green to bright orange or red) about 2 1/2 months later, cut it open carefully and remove the seeds.

* Plant the seeds (ideally, after a six-week refrigeration).

* Evaluate the seedlings, weeding out the ones that are weak or have poor color. Label the remaining seedlings.

* If you still feel the hybrids have promise at the end of the summer, create exact duplicates by either bud grafting or softwood stem cuttings. (Hybrid roses do not produce true to seed.)

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