Rose Hips

Who says the garden is only beautiful when flowers are in bloom? Interesting barks, vibrant berries, dried seedpods and evergreen foliage all add a sparkle to the grays and browns that dominate the landscape during winter.

One of the more interesting sights to emerge as fall transitions into winter are rose hips, the colorful fruit that many varieties of shrub roses produce in the fall.

My ‘White Dawn’ rose produced unusually large hips this year, about the size of a crabapple. They are a bright orange-red and hang in clusters like cherries.

If you cut a rose hip open you will see the tiny rose seeds stored inside. This is the way the wild roses reproduce and distribute themselves. You can also cross pollinate certain roses in your garden and grow their offspring from seeds found in the resulting rose hips.

To have rose hips in your garden in winter it is important to stop deadheading spent flowers on repeat blooming varieties around August. The petals will fall away and the hips will soon begin to develop. Before you know it you will have enough beautiful rose hips for both you and the birds to enjoy!

Here is a list of a few roses that produce hips:

  • Ballerina
  • Frau Karl Druschki
  • Iceberg
  • Mutabilis
  • Old Blush
  • R. banksia lutescens
  • R. blanda (Meadow Rose)
  • R. rugosa
  • R. virginiana (Virginia Rose)
  • Russell’s Cottage
  • Seven Sisters