Hardiness vs. Fertility

In rose culture, I have frequently heard and read that in cold weather areas, one should cease deadheading as the growing season draws to an end. This, allowing hips to form, supposedly then allows the bush to naturally go dormant, and better survive the upcoming winter.

I have always done so in my area toward the end of August, and can then look forward to 2 -3 remaining months of disheveled appearance and few blooms.

My question is twofold: is there real evidence that continued deadheading is detrimental to winter survival (I’d love to hear there is NOT), but if so, would that suggest a correlation between fertility and hardiness? My thought is that since an infertile rose never sets hips, it never receives these dormancy signals that may or may not be produced with a set hip, and therefore is at a disadvantage as cold weather sets in.

Pardon me in advance for a question only loosely related to hybridizing, but I also know that this forum is a great resource for data based answers.


Hi Lee
In zone 3 Alberta, Canada, I continue to deadhead the known hardy roses such as the Explorer Series and Parkland Series all summer. Hip production doesn’t seem to make a difference to their survivability. However, it may be more important to more tender roses. Onset of dormancy is also triggered by the increasing hours of darkness in the fall. It makes the whole process more complicated. Interesting question.