Fertility in early hips

My first crop of hips are near ready to harvest. My total crop is 9 hips, 6 are on 1 bush and are beautiful to behold,they are large engorged and well coloured.I am just waiting for some colour in the stem before collecting.

The other bushes have not had either the number nor the size of hip at any stage of development and I have been finding (lost) hips where they have stopped development and the stem dried up. In the last month (post 120 days) I have collected any I found and dried them. when opened I have 4 seeds each of 2 different crosses.

I have put the seeds in the refrigerator in the plastic screw cap pill boxes I use for Pollen collection and storage with a dampened wad of paper.

The seeds are NOT in the paper but loose, with the paper just as a source of moisture or humidity. Will this be adequate or should I change the storage system.

I want to try these seeds even if they may be immature but I want to keep them separate to see if early seeds can be viable.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. Russ

Stratifying seeds on a layer of damp sterile sand seems to work best for me; damp felt did not work well.

I would be leary of any tightly closed container. Since a seed is a living thing, I would expect that some air exchange is needed.

It is Henry. I remember from some class I took a long while ago in horticulture.

Thank you all for your replies,much appreciated.

Henry, would you please clarify the seed storage situation as it was my intention to use zip top bags for my seeds with either damp paper or sand. (I think the idea came from this forum)in any case it would be air tight so if air circulation is a requirement then a change of plan is needed. Russ

It is my understanding that thin plastic bags allow small gas molecules such as oxygen to pass through. The thinner the bag the better.

Plastic 3 1/2 inch dia petri dishes work well; put in 1/8 inch layer of moist sand, then seeds; put cover on; not permeable to oxygen but does not seem to be a problem.

The Petri dishes that I use have molded in bars that keep the cover from forming an air tight seal.

I often use a watering mixture that contains 5 ml of drugstore type 3 % hydrogen peroxide to every 95 ml of distilled water.

I also check for germination daily by removing (for a short time) the cover of each petri dish.

I stratify seeds on those blue paper shop towels you can get in hardware stores. Seems to work very well, for what it’s worth. Also, I’ve had great success with early hips; so long as there is color on the hips, the seeds seem to generally be good to go.

Thanks again for all help but I have a follow on.

I am finding some of the hips(those that the stem turns black before the hip is fully coloured) appear to rot parts of the outer case into a partly necrotic blob.What causes this rot and is it detrimental to the seeds.

I have opened some of these and the seeds appear sound but white and immature in appearance(to me).

The seeds are all more than 120 days from pollination, as the were pollinated from 10th.Dec. to 10th.Jan. What is considered early for harvest as I was intending to leave the hips on until they coloured right up. Is this advisable or are there better methods of timing. Russ


Black stem means hip has aborted, although this usually happens earlier than 120 days.