I have some rose hips in the yard and want to collect them for seed, but I am not sure when they are ripe. How do you tell? How do you collect and prepare for sowing?
As soon as the hips turn a uniform bright orange, you can collect them.
Thanks Susan.. I think mine have. I assume you mean from green to orange. I have two roses that have developed hips..a Penelope and a Bonica. The Penelope looks orange, but the Bonica has one green and one red. Do some turn red and not orange?
Yes, in my experience, different roses turn different shades of orange, from pumpkin orange to almost red. It doesn't hurt to leave them on the bush for a while to make sure they are as ripe as they're going to get.
Re Bonica: Those hips do turn a tomato red color. I winter-sowed seeds from a "Bonica" rose 4 years ago and got 6 or 7 plants. I kept the one with the nicest blooms, and it is now a good sized rose bush. (It looks just like "Bonica", except the blooms are hot pink; I call it "Daughter of Bonica".)
Hi again.. :-)
Wow..that sounds great! That is just what I want to do, WS them. I didn't realize I would get crosses that were different from the parent. Will that happen even if there are no other roses near the Bonica? It is my only rose in the backyard and the Penelope is in the front yard alone too.
When you wintersowed them, did you start them in January? How large a seedling did you get the first year and how long before it bloomed?
How late should I wait to collect it?
Thanks very much, I am looking forward to seeing one sprout!
Yes, you will definitely get roses that are at least a little different from the parent, even though there are no other roses around. Most hybrid roses have very complex ancestries, and with their offspring, you can never be sure what will bubble up from the genetic soup.
I winter-sowed in either January or February. As best as I remember, the seedlings only got maybe 6 inches tall the first year and didn't bloom until the second year. Also, the first blooms were different than the later blooms on the mature bush, (smaller, paler, not as double.) Some of the plants had butt-ugly blooms; crinkled petals, distorted centers, grayish pink color. The one I saved wasn't all that nice when it first bloomed, but it has matured into a really nice rose.
Re How late should you wait to collect it: In my climate, I just leave the hips on the bush until I'm ready to sow, but then I don't get any frost. I don't know if you need to collect before you get a freeze or not...
Hope that helps; There's nothing like having your very own, absolutely unique rose bush!
A freeze won't hurt rose hips....but it may dry up the stems and cause them to fall off of the plant....
Just keep an eye on them. There will be quite a few seeds inside each hip.