Unveiling the Mystery: Do Roses Have Seeds? Exploring the Anatomy, Harvesting, and Growing of Rose Seeds

August 20, 2021 in environment, Sustainability

Article summary and Key takeaways: This article explores the anatomy of a rose and addresses the question of whether roses have seeds. It explains the reproductive organs of a rose, including the stamen and pistil, and how they play a role in seed production. The article also discusses the different types of roses that can self-pollinate or require external pollinators for fertilization. It provides methods for obtaining rose seeds, such as collecting seeds from fresh roses or harvesting rose hips. The article also covers the appearance of rose seeds and the process of planting and growing roses from seeds. It emphasizes the importance of seed viability, stratification, and providing the right germination conditions. The article concludes by discussing the reproduction of roses through both sexual and asexual means, including bulb propagation and natural reproduction. Overall, it highlights the wonder and possibility of growing roses from seeds.

The Anatomy of a Rose

When we think of roses, we often envision their vibrant petals and intoxicating fragrance. But have you ever wondered about the inner workings of these beloved flowers? In order to understand whether roses have seeds or not, it is important to delve into the anatomy of a rose.

A rose consists of several key parts, each serving a specific purpose in the flower’s lifecycle. The external part of the rose, known as the corolla, is made up of petals. These petals are the colorful and fragrant part of the flower that attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Within the corolla, lies the reproductive organs of the rose. These reproductive organs, known as the stamen and pistil, play a vital role in the production of seeds.

The Stamen

The stamen is the male reproductive organ of the rose. It is made up of two main parts – the filament and the anther. The filament is a thin stalk that holds the anther at the top. The anther is where the pollen is produced.

When a rose is in full bloom, the anthers release pollen, which is carried by the wind or transferred by pollinators to the pistil of another rose. This transfer of pollen is crucial for fertilization and the subsequent production of seeds.

The Pistil

The pistil is the female reproductive organ of the rose. It consists of three main parts – the stigma, style, and ovary. The stigma is the sticky surface at the top of the pistil, which collects the pollen. The style is the long tube-like structure that connects the stigma to the ovary. The ovary is the swollen base of the pistil where the ovules, which eventually become seeds, are located.

Once the stigma collects pollen from the stamen, it travels down the style and into the ovary. This is where fertilization takes place, with the pollen combining with the ovules to form seeds.

Do Roses Have Seeds?

Now that we understand the anatomy of a rose, we can address the question – do roses have seeds? The answer is yes, roses do produce seeds. However, not all roses produce seeds in the same way.

Some roses, known as self-pollinating or self-fertile roses, have the ability to produce seeds without the need for external pollination. These roses have both male and female reproductive organs within the same flower and are capable of self-fertilization. This means that the pollen from the stamen can fertilize the ovules within the same rose, resulting in the production of seeds.

On the other hand, many roses rely on external pollinators for fertilization. These roses, known as cross-pollinating roses, require pollen from a different rose to fertilize their ovules and produce seeds. This cross-pollination occurs when bees or other pollinators transfer pollen from one rose to another.

It is worth noting that not all flowers produced by a rose will result in the production of seeds. In fact, many roses are bred for their aesthetic qualities and may not produce viable seeds. However, with proper pollination and fertilization, it is indeed possible to obtain seeds from roses.

How to Obtain Rose Seeds

If you are interested in obtaining rose seeds for propagation or simply to witness the magic of new life, there are several methods you can use to collect seeds from roses.

Method 1: Collecting Seeds from Fresh Roses

  • Choose a rose that has already bloomed and is starting to wilt.
  • Look for rose hips, which are the small, round fruit that develops after the rose has been pollinated.
  • Allow the rose hips to fully mature and turn red or orange.
  • Cut open the rose hip and remove the seeds.
  • Clean the seeds by removing any remaining fruit pulp.

Method 2: Harvesting Rose Hips for Seeds

  • Wait until the rose hips have fully ripened and turned a bright red or orange color.
  • Use sharp pruners to cut the rose hips from the plant.
  • Remove the seeds from the rose hips and clean them as mentioned in method 1.

It is important to note that not all rose hips will contain viable seeds. Some varieties of roses produce sterile seeds, while others may not produce any seeds at all. Therefore, it may take some experimentation and patience to successfully obtain viable rose seeds.

Appearance of Rose Seeds

So, what do rose seeds actually look like? Rose seeds are typically small and oval-shaped, ranging in color from light brown to dark brown or even black. They may have a slightly wrinkled or textured surface.

Compared to other types of seeds, rose seeds are relatively small. They are often smaller than the seeds of fruits such as apples or oranges. However, despite their size, rose seeds have the potential to grow into beautiful rose bushes when provided with the right conditions.

Can You Plant Rose Seeds?

The next question that often arises is whether it is possible to plant rose seeds and grow new rose bushes. The answer is yes, it is indeed possible to plant rose seeds and grow roses from scratch. However, it is important to note that growing roses from seeds can be a more challenging and time-consuming process compared to other methods of propagation.

When planting rose seeds, there are several factors to consider:

1. Seed Viability

As mentioned earlier, not all rose seeds are viable. It is important to ensure that the seeds you are planting are healthy and capable of germination. This can be achieved by collecting fresh seeds from ripe rose hips and properly storing them until planting.

2. Stratification

Rose seeds often require a period of stratification in order to break dormancy and encourage germination. Stratification involves exposing the seeds to cold temperatures, mimicking the natural winter conditions that roses go through. This can be achieved by placing the seeds in a moist paper towel or bag and storing them in the refrigerator for several weeks before planting.

3. Germination Conditions

Rose seeds require specific conditions in order to germinate successfully. These conditions include a moist but well-draining soil mix, consistent watering, and a warm temperature of around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also important to provide the seeds with sufficient light, either through natural sunlight or artificial grow lights.

Growing Roses from Seeds

Growing roses from seeds can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, it is important to understand that not all seeds will germinate successfully, and even if they do, not all seedlings will develop into strong and healthy rose bushes.

The process of growing roses from seeds involves several steps:

1. Preparing the Soil

Choose a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. Fill a seed tray or individual pots with the soil, leaving some space at the top for watering.

2. Planting the Seeds

Place the rose seeds on top of the soil, spacing them out evenly. Lightly press the seeds into the soil, ensuring they are in good contact with the soil but not buried too deep.

3. Watering and Care

Water the seeds gently, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Place the seed tray or pots in a warm and well-lit area, either indoors or outdoors. Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.

4. Transplanting and Growth

Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or directly into the garden. Choose a location with full sun and prepare the soil by adding compost or organic matter. Care for the seedlings by providing regular watering, fertilization, and protection from pests and diseases.

It is important to note that growing roses from seeds can be a time-consuming process, often taking several years before the seedlings develop into mature rose bushes. However, the reward of witnessing the growth and blooming of roses that you have grown from seeds can be truly magical.

Harvesting Rose Hips for Seeds

As mentioned earlier, rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant and contain seeds. Harvesting rose hips at the right time is crucial in order to obtain viable seeds for propagation.

What are Rose Hips?

Rose hips are the swollen base of the rose flower that forms after successful pollination. They are typically round or oval-shaped, ranging in color from green to red or orange. Rose hips contain the seeds of the rose and are an important source of nutrients for birds and wildlife.

Best Time to Harvest Rose Hips

The best time to harvest rose hips for seeds is in late summer or early fall, once they have fully ripened and turned a bright red or orange color. The rose hips should be firm to the touch and slightly soft.

Using sharp pruners, carefully cut the rose hips from the plant, ensuring not to damage the surrounding branches or stems. Place the harvested rose hips in a clean container or paper bag to prevent them from drying out.

Once you have harvested the rose hips, you can follow the methods mentioned earlier to extract the seeds and prepare them for planting.

Reproduction of Roses

Roses have several methods of reproduction, including both sexual and asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction occurs through the production of seeds, while asexual reproduction involves the production of clones or identical copies of the parent plant.

Rose Reproduction Through Seeds

As we have discussed earlier, roses can reproduce through the production of seeds. This process involves the transfer of pollen from the stamen to the pistil, resulting in the fertilization of ovules and the subsequent development of seeds.

Seeds produced by roses can vary in characteristics, resulting in new and unique rose varieties. However, it is worth noting that not all seeds will produce roses that resemble the parent plant. Many factors, including genetic variation and environmental conditions, can influence the characteristics of the offspring.

Rose Reproduction Through Bulbs

In addition to seed production, many roses can also reproduce asexually through bulbs. Bulbs are underground storage organs that contain the genetic material needed to produce new rose plants.

When a rose plant produces bulbs, these bulbs can be separated from the parent plant and planted in the ground or in pots. Over time, the bulbs will develop into new rose plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

Bulb propagation is often used by rose growers to produce large quantities of identical roses for commercial purposes. This method ensures that the characteristics of the parent plant are preserved in the offspring.

Natural Reproduction of Roses

In nature, roses primarily reproduce through sexual reproduction, relying on pollinators such as bees and butterflies to transfer pollen between flowers. This cross-pollination ensures genetic diversity and the production of seeds that can adapt to different environmental conditions.

However, roses can also reproduce through asexual means in the wild, such as through the production of bulbs or by sending out runners or suckers, which are lateral shoots that develop from the base of the parent plant. These lateral shoots can take root in the soil, giving rise to new rose plants.


In conclusion, roses do have seeds, and the production of seeds is a crucial part of their reproductive process. Whether through self-pollination or cross-pollination, roses have the ability to produce seeds that can be collected and planted to grow new rose bushes.

Obtaining rose seeds requires careful observation and patience, as not all roses produce viable seeds. Harvesting rose hips at the right time and properly preparing the seeds for planting are key to successful propagation.

While growing roses from seeds can be a more challenging process compared to other methods of propagation, the reward of witnessing the growth and blooming of roses that you have grown from seeds is truly special. Whether you choose to collect seeds from your own roses or explore the vast array of rose varieties available, the journey of growing roses from seeds is one filled with wonder and possibility.

Question 1: How do you get seeds from a rose?
Answer: To get seeds from a rose, you can collect the hips (fruit) that develop after the flower fades and dries out.

Question 2: Do roses grow with seeds?
Answer: Yes, roses can grow from seeds.

Question 3: Do roses come from seeds or bulbs?
Answer: Roses primarily come from seeds, but they can also be propagated from cuttings or grafted onto rootstocks.

Question 4: Does rose reproduce by seeds?
Answer: Yes, roses can reproduce by seeds.


About the author 

Sam Martinez

Hello, I'm Sam. With a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Yale, I've dedicated my life to understanding and advocating for our natural world. My work has taken me from the halls of academia to the front lines of environmental activism. I'm thrilled to share stories from my journey, insights from my research, and ways we can all contribute to a healthier planet.