Urban Legends | Growing Roses From Seed | Don’t Buy It


On the whole, I average 25-75 emails per week from folks asking rose related questions. About 25% of those are questions related to how to grow roses from seed. Growing roses from seeds can be done. It takes patience. To produce a mature rose shrub from a seed is a multi year process and is not for the faint of heart.

the ‘Osiria Rose’ – is actually a rose but is not sold in the U.S. 

Many times people who write to me have already purchased seeds. Sometimes, they send along  an exotic photo of an unusually colored rose supposedly grown in some far off land. They always tell me that they spent $$$ (+ Shipping & Handling) and are very disappointed with the results. Either the seeds failed to germinate or they produced a totally different bloom than what was advertised. Or, the shrub is spindly, sickly and rarely produces any blooms at all. Not quite living up to the hype that the Pinterest or Facebook post promised.



Black Roses DO NOT EXIST – No color combination in the genus rosa will produce a black rose of any kind.

With each message, I can just feel the sense of frustration of the writer.

As someone who has been growing roses for many years, the roses advertised on these websites do not exist in commerce in the United States for a reason and some do not exist at all.


  • There are no naturally grown black roses.
    • No matter what you read, they do not exist. When you see a black rose, it has been dipped or artificially colored or photoshopped. Don’t buy it.
  • The multicolored rose you see pictured below is a figment of someones imagination.
    • This rose is not grown in any garden anywhere.

Check out the feedback of folks who have made seeds purchases on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Flower-Seeds-Pieces-Rainbow/dp/B00MLOFT72


This rose is a total fake. Don’t buy claims that it’s rare and only grown in a village by mute monks. It ain’t happening. Don’t waste your time and money. 

For a beautifully grown multicolored rose, take a look at what’s real and readily available in commerce in the U.S. Try  Mardi Gras or Cotton Candy Cocktail on for size.

Stick to your local rose society and other rose growers who can show you what’s really involved in growing roses from seeds. It takes a lot of time and patience. I know a lot of folks who grow roses all around the world and none of them, except for a few professional hybrizers are growing roses from seedlings.

Nearly ALL roses today are grown from cuttings or grafted onto rootstock. I always suggest  folks invest time into learning how to root roses from cuttings rather than growing from seeds. Many old rose varieties are very easy to root. Try Old Blush & Mutabilis, are a few that come to mind.

In my mind, these urban legends are a big reasons why people get frustrated growing roses. They feel let down after trying in vain to do something that typically only professional hybridizers do. Don’t buy into the legend.

For the back yard gardener who’s just looking for pretty roses for their garden, don’t be taken in by the hype. Stick to reputable nurseries that will provide you with quality roses that you’ll be happy with.

Keep those emails coming.



About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at About.com and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
This entry was posted in #roses, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Urban Legends | Growing Roses From Seed | Don’t Buy It

  1. elenawill says:

    Great educational article. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elenawill says:

    Reblogged this on Evergreen Rosarian and commented:
    Chris has the facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No rainbow roses for me! Great article.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. soflrose says:

    I feel so bad for people who get swindled online (or anywhere else for that matter). That “rainbow” rose is almost an insult to any rosarian. I actually fell victim to purchasing some dahlia seeds from Amazon (AMAZON is supposed to be a safe place to purchase from right??) and I got some random zinnia seeds that produced ugly blooms if any. It was a huge disappointment and a lesson on buying from reputable seed distributors and nurseries. Luckily it was only a few dollars lost, but I felt like a fool and the time and energy spent in planting them and nurturing them only added insult to injury.


  5. reocochran says:

    I am chuckling since my tiny cell phone does t always allow my eyes to see the dates! I left a message way back on your 2013 post!! lol
    Anyway, urban legends also make me laugh. No, don’t try to use seedsto grow roses! But wild roses spread somehow, right? 🙂
    I am only a weekend blogger which means I play catch up then.i post whenever I see beauty and it may be art, gardens, nature or my grandies. Thanks for liking my cottage photo and post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    Great article! I feel badly for people who get scammed, but anyone trying to grow roses from seed based on an internet or tabloid ad doesn’t understand that seeds are rarely true to the parent plant. They’re a product of the pollen of the two parent roses. Thanks for your efforts to educate the public on this. Mind you, I’ve grown some roses from seeds I harvested from hips, just to try it on a lark. And since I’m not famous for a spectacular rose, you can all assume that the roses I produced were, for want of a better description, lackluster. I just did it to say I did. 🙂

    BTW, my favorite “multi-colored” roses are Rio Samba and Joseph’s Coat. They thrived in our New England rose garden.


  7. Eric Wells says:

    I purchased several of these for my wife, but before you start laughing (or commiserating)…

    I realized in advance that most were pure fantasy, so I only paid 99 cents (on eBay) for 50 seeds. They actually do seem to be rose seeds, which is more than I was expecting!

    My point is (as previously mentioned) plants DO grow from seeds so I thought it may be fun to try and see what results. My wife has inquired at the local Rose Society (she is a long time member) but has been told, pretty much what it says in the main article: “no on grows roses from seed”.

    So how about an article about “growing roses from seed for those foolhardy enough to try”?


    • Hey Eric, thanks for your comment. Would love to hear what your experience was once your seed roses take off. I have tried several times from seeds I’ve gathered from my own garden and have never been able to produce a viable shrub. Keep in touch.


    • Corrinne says:

      I wouldn’t recommend buying the seeds offered on these scams even if you are interested in trying to grow from seed. Lots of people have reported getting random weed seeds, seeds that never germinate, and in a few cases, counterfeit pellets made out of ceramic or other junk.


  8. Betra Johnson says:

    I have a miracle with rose seed that valuntary sprouted and now has become a young rose. About six years ago I brought a yellow rose plant from a nursery. There was no tag and the nursery did not know the name either. The roses I think is a garden rose which does not response well to a prune. ONe day I was weeding under this rose and found a tiny plant with two set of leaves. I thought the leave similar to rose’s leave but I waited until the plant has more set of leaves. And yes, that was a baby from the yellow rose. IT has been three years since I found this little baby and it has grown to about a feet and half tall with lots of five petal bloom unlike the mother which has so many petals. In subsequnce year I have had three more valunteer babies but they are just about 4 inch high. I tried to germinate the seed but to no avail. Btw, the mother of this rose has never have any decease except two years ago it had a gall on the bottom of the plant (I cut the gall off, and the plant still alive).

    Side note, I brought the flower to identify this rose to a local rose society and no one knows what the roses was. Our beloved Sam Jones did know neither.


  9. Norman Roberts says:

    Who can I order bare root roses from

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Henry says:

    You obviously haven’t tried /Rosa chinensis/ ‘Angel Wings’. They bloom in weeks from germination with flowers the size of peas! They mature into small bushes with roses a couple inches across, about two feet tall with a mix of single and double blooms in range of whites, pinks and reds. Hardy in Minnesota.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gothboyuk says:

    There’s so many of these dodgy seed suppliers out there, almost all from Asia. You can get blue strawberries, for example. Another one is people growing apples from seed. Due to the nature of apples they usually don’t represent the parent tree so you often get foul bitter apples after many years nurturing a sapling; very disappointing to discover. The best way to grow from seed is to use a reputable company & if it looks too good to be true then it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Henry says:

    If you are careful in choosing your seed source, there are actually a number of apple strains that come relatively true from seed. A reputable source is https://sheffields.com/seeds-search/keyword/malus


I Appreciate Your Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s