Freezing Hips - HELP!

It is going to freeze (not frost) here on Saturday and Sunday nights. This is very rare for my area (zone 10). I have 150-200 hips that need another 2-3 weeks to ripen. What can I cover them with to protect them from freezing?

Thanks!

Gail

Gail,

We have had many nights where there was a frost and we didn’t have any troubles. I think that if it is a light frost the hip will protect the seeds and not damage them. They will warm up in the morning. When the temp drops way down in the 20’s for more than a night there could be some damage, however this is what the wild roses go thru when Mother Nature calls the shots and they seem to do OK. I don’t think you would have this heavy of a frost in zone 10. I have often heard talk about not letting the hips freeze but I think it is more important to not let the seeds freeze during the stratification process. If you want to cover them, get a roll of plastic sheeting and spread it over the plants at night taking it off in the morning. If you feel you must harvest, then do so with a bit of the stem so you can stick them in a tray of moist sand in a warm place to finish the ripening.

Hope they come thru OK and you have some good germination and a lot of good seedlings.

Thank you so much for your reply. It is going to be between 20 and 30 degrees for the next two nights. We get some frost every year, but a freeze is very rare.



Do you think Cloud Cover will protect the hips?

Thanks,

Gail

Gail,

We’ve had 3-4 freezes in the 28-29 degree range so far here in Charleston, WV, and the hips still on the bushes show no damage. I don’t think you need to worry in your zone. The soil is warm enough to keep the temperature of the air near the ground a bit higher than it would be at the weather station. Too, if your plants have a house or a wooden or brick fence or wall nearby, their microclimate will be warmer than the zone far away from such structures.

Peter

Gail,

My rule is that if you expect it to get colder than 25F, then you have to cover the plants or remove the hips, even if you think its a bit early. Experiance has shown me that sometimes hips harvested a bit green have better germination than ones left to full ripeness.

Regards,

Paul

Thank you all for your help! After panicking last night from the weather report, it now looks like my area will only get to down to 34 degrees tonight. I think I will pick those hips that are ready and leave the ones that are mostly green.

Thanks again,

Gail