I am completely new at any kind of gardening and I just wanted to know if it was possible to cross a red rose bush and a white rose bush and have pink roses bloom. I'm not even sure if hybrid or breeding are the correct terms for what I'm asking.

How and when would I transfer and re plant with another rose bush to make hybrid roses?

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    You are not per chance referring to hybrid tea roses? Or what do you mean by "making hybrid roses"? Hybrid roses are "made" by breeding, not by planting two plants together? Or are you referring to grafting?
    – Stephie
    Sep 2, 2017 at 19:01
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    You might consider the "success rate" of the world's biggest rose-breeding organizations. Every year they cross-pollinate (by hand!) enough flowers to produce about 450,000 seeds. Of those 450,000 potential new varieties, the number that eventually get offered for sale (after at least 8 years of work evaluating them!) is, on average ... about five. Unless you are really really obsessive about doing this, don't even bother to try! If you still want to try, start here: rosebreeders.org
    – alephzero
    Sep 2, 2017 at 20:49
  • Alephzero is totally correct. Just go purchase your favorite roses don't worry about hybridizing. Ha. I am a professional that would NEVER try to do this. You have no idea what rose has pollinated your rose! The seeds produced would be part top graft above root stock and whatever bee or pollinator visiting your roses had for pollen stuck to their knees from a neighbor or two within 5 mile radius.
    – stormy
    Sep 2, 2017 at 21:10
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    Only transplant roses during the late fall and winter. You should take measures to ensure the rose you dig up has enough feeder roots within the root ball dug up. We can help with that but just planting one rose next to another will not ensure genetic makeup at all.
    – stormy
    Sep 2, 2017 at 21:13
  • thank you all, I am completely new and any kind of gardening as you can see lol ... I just wanted to know if it was possible to cross a red rose bush and a white rose bush and have pink roses bloom. I'm not even sure if hybrid or breeding are the correct terms for what I'm asking.
    – Ami Walton
    Sep 3, 2017 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Hybrid = plant that grows from a seed that was formed by fertilizing the ovaries of a plant with pollen belonging to another variety, species or genus of plants.

The easiest way to obtain a hybrid seed is to remove the anthers of a flower before they fully develop, otherwise they might scatter their pollen on the ovaries. After removing the anthers, cover the flower with a paper bag and wait for the pollen of your other rose to come to maturity (in case the two roses don't bloom at the same time). Then use a brush to take pollen and gently touch the ovaries of the rose covered in paper bag and close it again after you finish.

Crossing a red rose with a white one won't guarantee a pink hybrid because most roses available commercially are also hybrids and depending on their ancentry the genes are expressed in different ways. Whatever the colour that results it will be a beautiful one, mainly because all roses are beautiful in their own way.

When you see a fruit is formed in the middle of the covered flower, you can remove the paper bag and allow the fruit to mature before collecting the seeds. Don't forget to label the seeds and the seedlings because it will take a few years until the new plants will bloom for the first time and you might forget what you have crossed.

The most interesting part is that your crossing might result in plants that will have flowers of different colours - I mean that every bush will have one colour, but different from other bushes grown from other seeds.

The two roses that are to be crossed don't have to be planted next to each other, but you can transplant them if you want to. Transplanting is easiest when the plants are dormant, but you can also transplant them when they are green provided you disturb their roots the least possible and water them very much before and after.

Update: For better understanding of the morphology of flowers I copy here a picture provided by Mariana Ruiz LadyofHats on Wikipedia.

enter image description here

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    I'm not sure about in flowers, or roses in particular, but I know in tomato fruits, crossing different colors generally results in only one of the parent colors rather than a new color (e.g. a red parent and a yellow parent won't normally result in an orange child), but some colors are more complex than that. So, if you know it'll likely result in something different than either parent that might be good to point out. Sep 5, 2017 at 0:07
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    I don't know if the colour is likely to be different than the parents. If the breeder doesn't know the name of the varieties so that he/she could research their ancestry and past generations of alleles, it is almost impossible to know what is likely and what is not. I think the OP thinks about incomplete dominance when hoping for a pink hybrid, but reality depends on the general context. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… (scroll up for incomplete dominance).
    – Alina
    Sep 5, 2017 at 17:00
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    Hi Alina! Can you please add a description, or a link to the definition, of the anther of a flower? It's a term I'm not familiar with, and there might be others like me! I Googled it so I could just add the link myself, but I'm not sure of the best source. Thanks! Sep 5, 2017 at 18:53
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    I have added a picture. I hope this helps, Sue!
    – Alina
    Sep 6, 2017 at 13:54
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    @Alina Ah, I didn't consider roses that might not breed true as the parents. They could surely produce different colored offspring than either parent. Sep 8, 2017 at 9:14

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