Magazine of Horticulture 3(4): 136-137 (April 1837)
ART. V. On the Production of Roses from Seed, and some Remarks respecting the treatment of the Yellow Noisette Rose.
By J. W. RUSSELL, Superintendent at Mount Auburn.

FROM the perusal of a French catalogue of plants, I find the rose has been multiplied to an astonishing extent the last three or four years. Every florist, or cultivator, in France, I am told, is very emulous to excel his competitor in the raising of new varieties from seed, plants from which are annually brought into notice, or flowered, for the first time; they are then presented to competent judges, to decide upon their good or bad properties, and if the decision is in favor of the flowers, the plants that produced them are not unfrequently sold at a very exorbitant price. By cross impregnating a variety of sorts with each other, new and splendid varieties would be obtained. This could be done in America by any person who has a knowledge of the formation of flowers, and the parts of fructification, with equal success. But it is necessary to know that the seed will not vegetate in less than a year after it is gathered, i. e. if the seed is sown in the spring of the year, the plants will not make their appearance before the following spring; therefore it cannot be reasonably expected that the cultivator will know the results of his experiments in less than three years from the time of first putting the seed in the ground; but, by sowing every year, after the first he will have a regular succession of seedling plants annually showing their fiowers when the first three years have expired. This may appear to be rather a tedious process; but whoever wishes to raise new varieties of the rose from seed, must conclude to wait with patience and hope for the best. All the new varieties of dahlias, camellias, pelargoniums, &c., are obtained from seed, by the same process as recommended for the rose, with this difference—the camellia seed will vegetate in two or three months, the dahlia and pelargonium seed in a week or ten days.

The yellow noisette rose is very highly spoken of by those who have had the pleasure of seeing it flower in great perfection. There are a number of amateurs in this vicinity that have it, and are seldom, or ever, able to obtain a perfect flower: the reason of this deformity may in a great degree be occasioned by the want of nourishment at the time when the flowers are opening: this is, in my humble opinion, the precise time that every attention is necessary to help the plant with proper stimulants to put forth its blooms, the flowers being large and very full of petals, closely set together; the plants ought to be well supplied with food from the first swelling of the buds to their full expansion; and if all this has been regularly attended to, and the result a failure, I know of no other means to resort to but to insert the buds into the Boursault, Greville, or Multiflora roses, which are probably the best stocks that can be easily obtained for this purpose.

Mount Auburn, Cambridge,
March 20, 1837.

Magazine of Horticulture 3(6): 216-217 (June 1837)
ART. III. On the Cultivation of the Tree Mignonette, and some Remarks on raising Roses from Seeds.
By L. BOLL, Florist, New York.

HAVING promised you, when you called at our establishment, on your late visit to this city, a short communication upon the cultivation of the mignonette, in what is called the tree mode, I send you the following remarks. If you consider them worthy an insertion in your Magazine, they are at your service.

I sow the seeds, at various seasons, as the plants are wanted to bloom; one or more pots, according to the number of plants required, are filled with a light compost, and the seeds scattered thinly upon the surface. The pots are placed in a favorable situation in the open air, (unless in severe weather,) where the seeds soon vegetate. When the young plants have made three or four leaves, I select all those which are strong and vigorous, discarding the others, and transplant them into small pots, one in each. After this operation is finished, I place the pots in a frame, or in a good situation in the green-house. When they begin to start, I allow but one leader to grow, taking off, carefully, all the lateral branches, until the main shoot arrives at some height, when they are permitted to grow. When the pots are full of roots, which may be easily known by turning the plants out, they should be removed into the next size, and they are again shifted into a third size when they have filled the second. By pursuing this mode, I can raise plants from one to two feet high. It should be observed that the compost for the pots must be rich and light, and always kept in a moist state.

This is my mode of practice, followed for many years, and which I have invariably found to succeed.

Raising Seedling-Roses.—I observe in your number for April, p. 136, an article, on raising roses from seed, by Mr. Russell. Is not your correspondent mistaken in saying it requires two years for the seeds to vegetate? I can assure you that I have planted them in the month of February, and, fifteen weeks thereafter, have had a plant from the same in bloom! This rose is now in our establishment under the name of the “Pretty American.” It is the smallest of all roses. [Our correspondent had not probably read the notice of the Master Burke rose, at p. 129, when this communication was written.—Cond.] The plants do not grow more than six or seven inches high, and the flower is about the size of a five cent piece.

We have about one hundred and fifty seedling roses, all of which have flowered within the past two years. With particular care the seeds can all be made to vegetate in about four months. But particular care is necessary, and the peculiar precautions requisite I will give you in a future number of the Magazine. I would observe, in conclusion, that all the perpetuals, Bengal, Chinese, Tea, and Noisette roses, can be made to produce their flowers the first year.

I am, dear sir, yours, &c.,
New York, April 24, 1837.

Magazine of Horticulture 3(7): 275-276 (July 1837)
Art 1V. Retrospective Criticism.

Seedling Roses.—Sir,—In the number of your Magazine for June, page 917, Mr. Boll, of New York, writes as follows:—"l observe in your number for April, page 136, an article on raising roses from seed, by Mr. Russell. Is not your correspondent mistaken in saying it requires two years for the seeds to vegetate? [This is an error. It should read one year, instead of two: the mistake occurred in the translation of the communication, and escaped our notice until too late for alteration.—Cond.] I can assure you that I have planted them in the month of February, and, fifteen weeks thereafter, have had a plant from the same in bloom. This rose is now in our establishment, under the name of the Pretty American.” Mr. Editor, that Mr. Boll has been so fortunate as to raise the abovementioned rose, and to have had the unspeakable pleasure of beholding its flowers in the time by him specified, I have no reason to doubt; but I must acknowledge, that it appears to me to be a very remarkable instance, and such an one, perhaps, as Mr. Boll himself never saw or heard of before: Mr. Boll further adds, "with particular care the seeds of roses can all be made to vegetate in about four months. But particular care is necessary, and the peculiar cautions requisite I will give you in a future number of your Magazine." The information here promised will, I have no doubt, be gladly received by a number of amateurs, whose impatience would not allow them to wait so long before they can ascertain the results of their labors, as I have proposed, in my article. It will be perceived that Mr. Boll says that it takes about four months for the seeds to vegetate, and particular care is necessary,—the Pretty American must have had the cultivators' most peculiar care, the seed having vegetated, grown, and the plant produced its flowers, in less time, by two weeks, than is here allowed for the seeds to vegetate. If the reader will take the trouble to look over my article again, he will find that Mr. Boll has evidently misunderstood its meaning.

I beg leave again to state to the reader, that without the aid of some artificial process, the seeds of the roses will not vegetate in less than one year, i. e. if it is placed in the natural ground in the spring of the year, it will not make its appearance before the ensuing spring.— Yours, J. W. Russell, .Mount Auburn, Cambridge, June 20, 1837.

Magazine of Horticulture 3(8): 315 (Aug 1837)

I think Mr. Russell and Mr. Boll are both right—the former treating of raising what are termed "hardy garden roses" from seeds, and the latter those of Chinese, Bengal and Noisette roses. It is well known that many of the Chinese rose seeds will come up in a few weeks, on bottom heat, and flower the same season; and it is as well known that all the art that has been tried cannot cause the varieties of Rosa damacena and provincialis to bloom, the first season, from seed: a communication to the contrary would be invaluable to your readers, and particularly to—Ròsa, Philadelphia, July 17, 1837.