Harvesting Rose Hips

I goofed up, but not totally. You normally prune back your roses before winter, so they bounce right back in the spring. Here where we live, our roses are still going well into December.
I’ll even admit, I don’t prune them back. We have these wild mini roses that just take over, and there’s just no pruning them without coming out with scratches  and cuts just about everywhere.
   In other words, I’ve left them alone and they leave me alone. It’s been a great truce 🙂  We had horrible weather this winter, which means yard work hasn’t been getting done very much. After our last major storm hit we rushed outside to get what we could done, and noticed some rose hips. I must have missed them all along, as they take months to grow.

Rose hips are what forms if you don’t prune the withered rose away. Once the rose dies, normally you clip it off a few inches below the dead flower. When you don’t, sometimes a rose hip forms, a bulb takes place where the flower died. This holds the seeds. This bulb takes about 3-6 months to grow and ripen. They normally turn yellow, or red when they are ready. Cut them off carefully just below the bulb.

You can either open the hip right away or refrigerate for several weeks before you mess with it.
You can indeed prepare and cook with Rose Hips, but that’s not what I’m doing. Maybe I’ll get into that later down the line.  ( you do not use the cleaning solution listed below to prepare, use, cook or eat the rose hips, this is for growing only, not eating )

You need to cut open the hip, and the seeds are all tucked in there. Pull them out gently.

You need to wash the seeds with water and 5% bleach, for each cup of water your using add two teaspoons of bleach. Rinse the seeds in water again a couple times, then soak the seeds in 3% peroxide (do not mix the two together) While they are soaking if any float to the top, those are most likely not viable, the ones that sink to the bottom are best to use so throw the floaters away.

You’ll need to clean the seeds next, I just took a damp paper towel after rinsing again and rubbed them gently. Now to germinate the seeds,(stratify) , take a moist paper towel with a solution of half water half peroxide- this will help prevent mold. Fold the paper towel and place in a zip lock bag. Date, label and seal. Dont’ freeze the seeds, keep well in temperatures of 34-38 degrees and do not let them dry out.

 You can plant right away after cleaning the seeds. If you do you’ll want to plant inside outside after danger of frost passes or inside in a light mixture of soil and vermiculite about half an inch deep. If planting inside , you can plant at anytime and replant outside after danger of frost passes.
Dust the seeds and the top of the soil with Captan a fungicide that helps prevent damp off which kills many seedlings. Or if your not crazy about using that, use a solution of diluted peroxide and water. Water and place in direct sunlight.

 I’ve put my seeds in the fridge as I just know the crazy squirrels will end up digging these up as soon as the sprouts grow. In a couple of weeks when I start the garden seeds I’ll plant these along with them.


4 thoughts on “Harvesting Rose Hips

  1. susan

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