Rose hips add a burst of color to the autumn and winter garden with their vibrant seedpods

The rose, often hailed as the pinnacle of floral beauty and elegance, has long been revered for its captivating fragrance and stunning appearance.

However, the often overlooked orange and red hips that form after the flowers fade are equally deserving of praise.

It is truly a disservice that these seedpods are not celebrated as much as the flowers themselves. If left on the plant, the rose hips will take center stage in autumn, providing a delightful burst of color through the winter months, until they are eventually consumed by birds.

Similar to other fruiting plants and trees, the rose’s blossoms will naturally transition into fruit if left undisturbed.

These fruits, known as hips, contain seeds and play a crucial role in the reproductive cycle of the plant. It is important to recognize and appreciate the full lifecycle of the rose, from the initial bloom to the formation of these vibrant and vital hips.

It is important to note that not all roses have the ability to produce hips. In fact, some modern cultivars have been bred to be sterile, meaning they are unable to produce this fruit.

For those seeking the largest, best, or tastiest hips, it is advisable to seek out rambling, shrub, and wild non-hybrid species roses.

These varieties often produce hips that are not only visually appealing but also have a delightful taste. Some personal favorites include the glossy, scarlet hips of the North American native Rosa Virginiana, the clusters of small, deep red hips found on Rosa glauca, and the sweet, cherry tomato-like hips of Rosa rugosa.

These non-hybrid species roses not only add beauty to the garden but also provide a delicious and nutritious treat for those who appreciate their unique qualities.

In order to enhance and maximize the hips produced by your roses, it is recommended to provide the plants with monthly doses of a bloom-boosting fertilizer throughout the growing season.

This will help stimulate the growth and development of the roses, ultimately leading to an increase in the number of hips produced.

It is important to note that the more roses the plant produces, the more hips will be yielded. Additionally, it is advised to cease deadheading roses in the month of August, as this will allow the last flush of blooms to develop hips.

By following these practices, gardeners can effectively promote the growth of hips on their roses, resulting in a more bountiful and visually appealing display.


Rose hips, known for their rich content of vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium, are indeed edible.

However, due to their tartness, they are often not consumed raw and are instead used in the production of jams, jellies, syrups, and tea-like beverages.

These products not only help to sweeten the naturally sour taste of rose hips, but also provide a convenient and delicious way to incorporate the nutritional benefits of these fruits into one’s diet.

It is important to note that the versatility of rose hips as an ingredient in various culinary applications makes them a valuable addition to any kitchen, and their potential health benefits further underscore their significance.

Overall, the utilization of rose hips in food and beverage production not only enhances their palatability, but also allows individuals to reap the numerous nutritional advantages that they offer.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of consuming organic products, and this trend is not limited to food.

The use of pesticides in agriculture has been linked to numerous health problems, both for humans and for the environment.

Therefore, it is essential to consider the origin of the products we consume, especially when it comes to plants that are used for medicinal purposes, such as rose hips.

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant and are known for their high content of vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds.

They are commonly used to make tea, syrup, and other remedies for respiratory problems, arthritis, and skin issues.

However, not all rose hips are created equal, and it is crucial to choose those that come from plants that have not been treated with pesticides.

To ensure the quality of rose hips, it is recommended to harvest them after the first light frost, which sweetens their flavor and makes them easier to handle.

It is also essential to select only the hips that are plump, firm, and free from damage or rot. Once harvested, the hips should be cleaned and prepared for drying by removing any petal remnants, seeds, or prickly fibers.

The best way to dry rose hips is by using a food dehydrator or by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 100-degree oven for several hours until they become brittle.

Once dried, the hips should be stored in an airtight glass jar in a cool, dark place to maintain their freshness and potency.

When making tea, it is recommended to use a heaping teaspoon of dried rose hips per cup of boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes.

The tea can be sweetened to taste and consumed regularly to benefit from its medicinal properties.

In conclusion, choosing only rose hips from plants that have not been treated with pesticides is essential to ensure the quality and safety of the product.

By following the proper harvesting and drying techniques, consumers can enjoy a nutritious and flavorful beverage that can help improve their health and well-being.

To those who are interested in making jams and jellies, it is important to note that the cleaning and seed removal process should be carried out regardless of the size of the rose hips.

This is a crucial step in ensuring that the final product is of high quality and free from any unwanted impurities.

Once the rose hips have been cleaned and de-seeded, they should be simmered for approximately 15 minutes before being strained. The resulting liquid can then be used in a variety of recipes to create delicious jams and jellies.

For those who are not particularly fond of consuming rose hips, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate them into seasonal decorations.

By clipping the hips or clusters of hips from plants and leaving several inches of stem attached, they can be used to add a touch of autumn or winter to wreaths or vases.

Whether used alone or alongside cut flowers, rose hips can add a unique and rustic element to any decorative display.


Planting roses from seed can be a challenging endeavor, as the results are not always reliable. However, for those who are interested in trying their hand at growing roses from seed, there are a few key steps to keep in mind.

Firstly, it is important to properly prepare the seeds by slicing open the hips and removing the seeds, while also ensuring that any remaining pulp is thoroughly rinsed off, as it may prevent germination.

Once the seeds have been collected and cleaned, they should be folded into a moist paper towel and sealed in a zipper-top plastic bag.

This bag should then be placed in the refrigerator for a period of 6-10 weeks, with periodic checks to ensure that the paper towel remains moist.

By following these steps, individuals can increase their chances of successfully growing roses from seed, despite the inherent challenges associated with this method of propagation.

It is important to follow the proper steps for sowing seeds indoors after the chilling period. The first step is to sow the seeds indoors, ¼-deep in shallow containers or seedling trays filled with sterile seed-starting mix.

It is crucial to ensure that the soil is consistently lightly moist but not soggy, as this will create the optimal environment for the seeds to germinate.

It is important to note that the germination process can take anywhere from one to four months, and the germination rates are often low.

To increase the chances of success, it is recommended to triple the number of seeds that are sown. This will help to ensure that at least some of the seeds will germinate and grow into healthy seedlings.

Once the seedlings have sprouted and are ready to be transplanted outdoors, it is essential to wait until the danger of frost has passed in the spring.

This will help to protect the delicate seedlings from any potential damage caused by frost. After transplanting the seedlings, it is important to continue to monitor their growth and provide them with the necessary care and attention to help them thrive.

In conclusion, sowing seeds indoors and transplanting seedlings outdoors can be a challenging process, but by following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, it is possible to increase the chances of success.

It is important to be patient and attentive to the needs of the seedlings, and to hope for the best as they continue to grow and develop in their new outdoor environment.