The Magazine of Horticulture 23: 175-178 (Apr. 1857)
THE ROSE.—No. 4.
PROF. C. G. PAGE, WASHINGTON, D. C.

* The grub of the Beetle, commonly called the June-bug—a bronze green beetle, generally appearing in July instead of June—is very destructive to young roses, and often destroys large bushes. I have had many hundreds of seedling roses destroyed by them in one season. Where the roots are small and tender they will commence at the bottom of the tap toot and eat it entirely away up to the surface of the ground; and will often girdle the roots of larger bushes. There seems to be no remedy against them, but the destruction of the Beetles by saucers of molasses laid about their haunts, into which they will plunge and become entrapped. This grub is commonly known as the "fat worm" here, and is a sluggish, hideous insect, and when exhumed, crawls upon its back. They sometimes destroy whole beds of strawberry plants, and also whole acres of potatoes. It has been at times very destructive to the potato crop in Europe, and deserves our special attention.

NUMEROUS methods of raising roses from seeds have been advised, and most authorities agree in the instructions to preserve the rose seeds in pots in a cool place during winter and plant early in spring. This practice is attended with many difficulties, and in our climate would quite discourage an amateur. The very careful attention indispensable in the nursing of the young plants, screening them from sun and wind, diligent waterings, the slow growth of the plants, the poor chance of seeing any bloom the first year, and the needful protection to prevent their being thrown out of the ground by the first winter, are some of the objections to spring planting. Having tried most of the plans recommended by others, I have finally adopted one which gives most promising results, and will afford the greatest profit and satisfaction to the professional florist, and for the amateur will keep his curiosity on the stretch for six months of the first year, and yearly thereafter, if the pursuit is kept up. To one who has a penchant for floral novelties nothing contributes more to his pleasure, or tends more to keep excitement on the perpetual qui-vive, than daily visits to a bed of seedlings of his own sowing for the production of new varieties. If he should have hybridized for this purpose, then expectation may well go tip-toe all day long, and the reward and gratification will be commensurate, even with but one signal result from a "thousand" trials. It is very difficult to hybridize roses with any certainty or system, for reasons to be hereafter given, and it is probable that a large part of our new roses are chance seedlings, that is to say, the seeds have been sown at a venture, and the valuable kinds selected from the great mass of worthless varieties. Parsons informs us from personal observation of a systematic hybridization by Laffay, and also of the success of Rivers in this way; but yet, with all possible care, but little reliance can be placed upon the operation, and it is perhaps quite as easy to take the seeds at random from a patch of good roses, especially where a little care may have been taken to prevent self-fecundation, and the cross-impregnation left to winds and insects. These points we will consider hereafter, and come now directly to the process of seed culture. According to the extent of your operations prepare a good hotbed frame early in the fall, or any time before the seeds are ripe. Fill it about two feet deep with rich compost earth, say half sod-loam, or good garden soil, and half well-decomposed manure (cow preferred) and an occasional sprinkling of sulphate of lime, or of old lime, as the compost is made up. The liming may be omitted, but not without some loss. Be sure to turn over the compost thoroughly to see that there are no worms or beetle-grubs in it, as they not only will burrow and disturb the surface soil, but the latter will feed on the roots of the plants and destroy them.* As soon as the seeds are prepared for sowing, level the earth carefully with a rake and drop the seeds upon the surface, cither in drills four inches apart, or broadcast, and fix your labels. Sift now the same compost, or a lighter one perhaps, through a sieve, sixteen meshes to the square inch, upon the seeds to the depth of one inch, and thus all the seeds will be at an even depth, and the inch covering, when well watered, will settle to about half an inch in depth. Collect the seeds as soon as they are ripe in the fall. Keep the Remontants, Bourbons, Teas, Noisettes, Annuals, etc., each to themselves. The earlier the seeds can be gathered the better. Observe that the heps of many roses, particularly the Teas, do not turn red, but are green or russet color when ripe. Sow the seeds as soon as they are picked out of the heps, for a few days' delay will materially retard their germination. Rose seeds, if gathered as soon as ripe and immediately sown, will germinate in two to three weeks, treated as above directed. Sown in November they will be up in December, and continue to come up all winter, so that by February the plants will be several inches high, and by the middle of May the Teas and Bourbons will begin to bloom, and they will continue on blooming until November, and instead of puny plants you may then transplant from this bed strong stocky plants two and three feet high.—I have had plants thus managed five feet high the first season from the seeds, and in bloom from May to November. Remontants thus treated will sometimes bloom late in the first season, and instead of waiting three, four, and five years, for Remontants and Annuals, they will generally bloom the second year. Their hardiness will allow them to be left in the bed uncovered the second winter, although a cedar brush protection from sun and wind will be serviceable. The Bourbons and Teas should be removed to the open ground or pots the first season late in November. The luxury of such a seedling bed to the rose amateur can hardly be anticipated. With a bed sixteen feet long, five feet wide, he may see a new rose every day during the summer, and two of the fall months. The bed of course must be well managed. It must be kept well watered, be banked up outside with manure to keep out frost, and above all be mice-proof until the seeds are up. I doubt if the professional florist can propagate stocks as rapidly by another method as the above. I do not know whether our best stock, the Manetti, seeds freely, or at all; but the sweetbriar, an excellent stock for low budding, furnishes an abundance of seeds, and a thousand strong plants may be thus raised in a very small space, most of them fit to bud upon the first year.

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