Whimsey Jars-A Collage

Whimsey Jars-A Collage

Friday, September 24, 2010

How To Gather Seeds From Rose Hips!

Gathering rose hips for seed and rose plant propagation is typically performed in the fall of the year. Choose those hips that are fully ripe and plump. Ripe rose hips will generally be a deep red or orange in color and have no shriveling to the outside covering. It is best to keep an eye on the roses as they grow throughout the year and identify the most prolific plants and flowers. These plants will have a better chance of seed germination and the characteristics of the rose will be passed on through the seeds.


Things You'll Need:

Bird netting (optional)

Small sharp knife

 Sealed jar

One teaspoon of bleach




1. Collect the rose hips from the selected plants, preferably after the first frost. You may wish to cover the rose plants with some type of bird netting to keep the birds from eating the selected hips. Rose hips are a natural food for most winter type birds.

2. Cut the hips open with a small sharp knife. The seeds are very hard and will not be damaged by the knife's blade. Work the seeds out of the pods with your fingernail.

3. Place the seeds into a glass jar. Fill the jar approximately half full with water. Add one teaspoon of bleach to the water.

4. Close the jar with a screw type lid. Shake the container well to mix up the seeds and the bleach water solution. Allow the seeds to settle to the bottom of the jar for about ½ hour.

5. Pour off the floating seeds. Keep the seeds that have sunk to the bottom. The sinker seeds will have the best chance at germination. Remove the seeds from the jar and place on the metal tray to dry.

6.Place the dried seeds in the sealed jar and set in the refrigerator for storage and stratification. The seeds will have to remain in the refrigerator for 45 days to 60 days to be fully stratified before planting. Stratification is the process of treating the seeds with cold temperatures before they will germinate.

Tip: Cease deadheading the rose plant prior to the month of September. This will increase the chances of the rose plant in producing hips for replanting.

Drying Rose Hips!

Rose hips are the cherry-sized red fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. Although nearly all rose bushes produce rose hips, the tastiest for eating purposes come from the Rosa rugosa variety. The flavor is described as fruity and spicy, much like the cranberry. Harvest the fruits after the first frost when they become fully-colored, but not overripe. They should yield to gentle pressure but not be soft or wrinkly. Most recipes advise removing the irritating hairy seeds before processing the fruit. When cooking with rose hips, do not use any metal pans or utensils other than stainless steel or risk discoloration of the fruit and loss of its precious vitamin C stores.

If the petals have fallen from your roses, leaving behind small, red hips that look like tiny apples, don't let the hips go to waste. Rose hips aren't difficult to preserve by drying and they are full of vitamin C. The dried hips can be used to make sweet, tangy tea, jam, jelly, syrup and wine. Although not all newer rose bushes have hips, old-fashioned rosa rugosa roses and wild roses will have hips in abundance.

Just after a frost is the best time to gather rose hips. Snap off the tails as you pick,or later when you reach home. Spread the hips out on a clean surface and allow to dry partially. When the skins begin to feel dried and shriveled, split the hips and take out the large seeds -- all of them. If you let the hips dry too much, it will be difficult to remove the seeds. If not dry enough, the inside pulp will be sticky and cling to the seeds. After the seeds are removed, allow the hips to dry completely before storing or they will not keep well. Store in small, sealed plastic bags. These will keep indefinitely in the freezer or for several months in the refrigerator. They are packed with vitamin C and are good to munch on anytime you need extra energy...or a moderately sweet nutlike "candy."