Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Longer than expected germination

I don't usually hold on to seeds planted longer than their originally expected germination period. Here, I find what I want to raise germinates within a few months (at most) from sewing, so there really isn't the need, much less room, to hold an "empty" table until the next season. 

Last year, I was given seed from R. Xanthina. I planted half last year, hoping for something to result from them. Only one seedling came up and I'm honestly not convinced it is from those seeds. Fortunately, I know what was planted in the row beside the Xanthina. I use the soil in the seed tables to pot the seedlings in as I remove them to make room for the next round of new seeds. I noticed in the pots containing the seedlings from what was raised beside where the Xanthina seed were planted, some odd appearing little roses are germinating. These have been under soil now for 15 months. 

I'm glad I deliberately planted the Xanthina seed next to something which appears completely different! I'm excited to see these beginning to show up. I'd looked for R. Hugonis "flore pleno" or Double Hugonis as well as the double form of Xanthina pretty much in vain. Each source listed on Help Me Find - Roses responded theirs had only five or six petals, or they had simply lost the variety entirely. 

Per the 1919 American Rose Society annual, Frank Meyer, the same Frank Meyer responsible for discovering and bring to the United States the Meyer Lemon, brought Xanthina seed from China and raised seedlings in 1906. He found some of them varied quite a bit in petal count; some were true singles with only five petals,while others had up to several rows of petals. For whatever reason, the more double forms of Xanthina appear to have fallen out of commerce here. Hopefully, one or more of these Xanthina seed will provide flowers with multiple petals! 

Some years ago, I raised a cross of Ralph Moore's climbing yellow miniature breeder, 1-72-1, crossed with what he gave me as R. Hugonis. The seedling has been code named, 1-72-1Hugonis so I can keep track of it. I've used it as both seed and pollen parent with some very interesting results. Seedlings from the use of its pollen on other more modern roses appear to germinate easily in the expected few months from planting. Seeds from this plant, whether they were apparently self-set or from my deliberate attempts to pollinate it with other roses, germinated sparsely. As I did with the spoil containing the Xanthina seeds, I know where the soil containing the 1-72-1Hugonis seeds was used. I am also seeing these seed now germinating after 15 months in soil. In some cases, the original seedling from last year failed, but others of its siblings are coming up to fill the pots. 

My suggestion is, if you intend to raise seedlings from species, plan on needing to retain the soil and containers you initially plant them in for at least a full year after planting. Not all species have expressed this delayed germination, Fedtschenkoana for one, but these from the Yellow Chinese Species definitely are. You may need to reserve those containers much longer than you may have originally intended to obtain the results you desired. 

There is at least one every year...

"Murphy" has been at it, again. It seems to never fail. The best looking seedling, the most interesting seedling, the best performing seedling seems always to be the one whose label has been lost. This one has gorgeous foliage and appears to have some very good vigor. It germinated last year and I don't know if I've ever seen it flower as the label was misplaced while potting the seedlings from the seed tables. 

We had extreme rain, somewhere close to 8"+ if the local Wunderground.com station is to be believed. The fog was so heavy this morning, there was water falling through the gutter downspouts from the house roof and the soil surface was actually wet. "Ma Nature", being the perverse entity she has proven herself to be here, is pushing the temperatures into the eighties this week. The sun has already been overly intense, providing rather intense heat where it shines directly, so there are already black spot and rust joining the nightly mildew. I never experience saw fly larvae (rose slugs) on this hill, but there is evidence of their presence in the seedling "pot ghetto". I'm not worried about any diseases which show up on most of the seedlings at this stage, not after the wildly fluctuating weather of the past week, except the mildew as that seems a bit more difficult for seedlings at this stage to work through. 

This one, though, is flat out pretty. Fortunately, it has flower buds which should open within the next week. I guess this one should be nicknamed, "Murphy"?