Did you know that out of the one million seeds, only around 33% will germinate which means that we annually have about 300,000 seedlings. However, these babies are still far away from being a rising star. Dutch rose breeder Interplant Roses gives a little glimpse of what it takes to bring a rose variety to market.
After several selections over more than two years, only 3,000 seedlings will make it to the next stage of testing. These will be tested in the main growing regions in the world, being Africa and South America. At these locations as well as in Holland we continue our observations for another two years, we look at about 25 to 30 criteria before a variety goes to the next level. Examples of these criteria are disease resistance, length, bud size, number of petals, travel ability, vase life, etc.
The vase life is tested in our advanced and fully equipped vase life room in Holland. After another two years of intensive testing, we bring back the 3,000 seedlings to 150 varieties. Ultimately in the final year only 4 to 5 new varieties cross the finishing line and are ready to be commercialized. Those will be given a commercial name and hopefully will be seen in either retail outlets or florists around the world. The process from seedling to commercialization takes approximately 8 years.
So, a breeder needs to have a lot of know-how about the breeding process, has to be patient and indeed has to have some luck as well.
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