How hybrid roses came to be

We know Singapore is not the place to grow roses but this doesn’t stop us from trying to understand more about the roses that we have in the bouquets that we send. In our flower delivery Singapore program, we use many roses. These roses vary by color size and even origin. The large selection of roses that we have is in part because of hybridization, where different types of flowers are used to grow new types of flowers. However, what exactly is hybridization? We found a great video which will explain in twelve short limits all you need to know about the hybridization of roses.

The videointroduces Brad Jalbert of Select Roses who has a wonderful ceiling greenhouse.That is so enviable as many of us in Singapore will never able to own somethinglike that due to the limited space that we have. Brad introduces us to rosesthat are on trial, as well as the father and mother plants.

What isinteresting is how Brad explains how he looks at and selects father and motherplants. Amongst the criteria that he use to choose the pair is health andpretty foliage. The insight that amazed us was that the health of the plant isoften inherited from the mother plant whereas the father plant is used tointroduce a different characteristic or trait to create the hybrid.

In hisdemonstration, Brad chose a mother plant that is very fragrant and a fatherplant that will help to increase the resilience of the mother rose. But howdoes he take the pollen from the flower to fertilise the mother flower?

  • Choice of a father flower.

Even amongst the male flowers, Brad explains that it is important to choose the right flower at the right stage of bloom. The right male flower to use is one that is halfway through the blooming stage as it will still have its pollen concentrated in the middle of the flower. That way the collection process will be easier. To increase the likelihood of success, it is also advisable to get the pollen form more than one flower. After collection, the pollen is made to sit for a day for the dust to settle and for the pollen to emerge at the sides of the container.

  • Preparing the mother flower

To preparethe mother flower, Brad first tore away the petals leaving only the femaleparts of the flower. He also scrapes off the pollen from the flower itself andlets it sit for 8 hours. Thereafter, he will manually pollinate the femaleplant by applying the collected pollen from the father plant onto the femaleflower.

  • Seed Germination

We wouldthink that this will then give us the hybrid rose that we are looking for.However, if only things are so easy. We were surprised when we saw that Brad actuallytook the hip which formed at the pollinated bud and cut it off!  He harvested the hip to take out the seedswhich were then left in soil to germinate.

Fun tip:the seeds have to be left in a winter like environment which is a good reasonwhy rose seeds will not survive in Singapore.

  • The rose you have in your handbelongs to a line of champions

Why do we say that your rose belongs to a line of champions? This is because, Brad and his team does about five hundred to a thousand crosses a year which will yield 5000 seeds which will eventually dwindling down to about 100-200. Of which, only about two to three roses actually get introduced to markets. We believe this adds a whole new dimension to the way you perceive the rose bouquet that you just bought.

  • Our Thoughts

We are as surprised as everyone at how tough it is to actually bring a great rose into the market. We hope everyone liked the video as much as we did and would better appreciate the roses that we have in our lives.

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