Animal Crossing: New Horizons requires players to build up their island homes through numerous upgrades and beautification initiatives. For all of these projects, as well as to create the perfect island home, players need sources of income. Almost any collection process can earn a player bells, and so can growing and cultivating flowers. While flowers don’t earn as many bells as finding and selling rare bugs and fish does, the rarest rose, the Gold Rose, will sell for 1000 bells each.
Gold Roses do not occur naturally in the game and must be bred by players. Getting Gold Roses onto an island is a multistep process that may take players a month or more to complete, depending on play style. The payoff, however, is creating a wealthy aesthetic on a home island and having a stable source of income in the game. Players can grow this rare and elusive flower through crossbreeding, town rating, and a bit of luck.
All flowers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are coded with complex DNA patterns, and though only a few colors of each flower occur naturally all over the player’s island and other islands in the game, flowers can be bred in many additional colors. Roses begin in red, yellow, or white varieties, but they can also be bred to produce purple, orange, pink, black, blue, and gold offspring. Gold Roses come from Black Roses, so players need to breed for Black Roses first.
To cross-breed Roses in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players should first determine whether Roses can be grown on their island. If Roses do not grow naturally on a player’s island, Nook’s Cranny will also not be able to provide Rose seeds to plant. Players will need to have friends send them seeds or purchase them from other islands.
If Roses do exist natively on a player’s island, the player should purchase Red Rose seeds from Nook’s Cranny when they are available. Flower seeds available will vary each day, so players should check back often to find them. Players may be able to simply transplant Red Roses from elsewhere on the island, but there is a chance these Red Roses have cross-bred DNA from natural pollination, so they may not produce as many Black Roses, if they produce any at all.
Players will need to plant the Red Roses in a crisscross (checkerboard) pattern, leaving a single space between each plant where the offspring will grow. This initiates crossbreeding, and flowers must be planted this way for crossbreeding to occur.
Players must remember to water their Red Roses to allow them to grow and produce offspring. It is possible players can increase their chances of new flowers growing by having their friends visit the island and water their plants. Either way, within three days or so, flowers should begin to grow and cross-breed.
Once a player has two or more Black Roses, they should replant them next to one another to increase the chances more Black Roses will grow and to allow the Red Roses space to continue cross-breeding. The more Black Roses a player has, the more Gold Roses they can grow.
While Black Roses will eventually need to cross-breed to grow Gold Roses, this process will not happen without a Golden Watering Can. Players earn the Golden Watering Can by increasing their island’s rating to five stars. Star ratings appear to depend upon the decoration and overall aesthetic and build of their island village, so it is beneficial for players to spend time improving their island in addition to their own homes.
Players earn special perks at each rating level rating, including the Island Designer Terraforming App and the chance to get performances by K.K. Slider. At five stars, Isabelle will provide players the DIY recipe for a Golden Watering Can. This item must be crafted and requires a Watering Can and a Gold Nugget.
Players should note that using a Golden Watering Can does not guarantee Gold Roses. Because the game implements a complex DNA system for flower breeding, it may take a few tries before players grow their first Gold Rose. However, with patience, consistency, and luck, players should be able to make Gold Roses before long.
Players will need to move their cross-bred Black Roses into the same checkerboard pattern as before, with a single space between each. They will then need to water the Black Roses using the Golden Watering Can. If the player is lucky, as early as the next day, they should see golden buds begin to grow in the spaces. Within a few more days, those buds will open into Gold Roses.
Gold Roses sell for 1000 bells each, but because they are so difficult to grow, some players don’t want to use them to make money in the game. Others may choose to create an entire farm for Gold Roses that can be sold when the player needs some fast cash.
For those who don’t want to sell, Gold Roses can be placed around the island to improve the landscape of outdoor areas. They can also be used as hair accessories. Finally, they can be placed inside or outside a player’s home for decoration.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch.