The Breeding Process

The breeding process in pictures and video

See below an old interview with Patrick & Colin Dickson
Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How many crosses do you make in one year?
A. We used to make between 8,000 – 15,000 in a ten week period (from Mid-April to end of June), but nowadays it's only about 3,000 crosses.

Q2. How many seeds do you sow?
A. Up to 150,000, with a maximum of 750 of these being selected for further evaluation. We achieve a germination rate of between 60 – 70%. Hips are harvested from mid-September to November and sorted according to cross. Seeds are sown in January in the seedling house. Germination is visible within days / weeks, with first flowers appearing in April. Daily evaluation and selection is made up to July, when the marked varieties will be budded in the field.

Q3. How long does it take to introduce a rose? 
A. Between eight and ten years.The roses resulting from this year’s pollination may not reach the catalogue for eight years, and no more than four from any one breeding season will be deemed good enough for introduction. 

Q4. How long has your Company been breeding roses?
A. The family has been involved with the growing of roses since 1836, and with breeding since 1879. Colin Dickson is the sixth generation of the family. For more details see the history page.
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