Harvesting hips

Hi everyone

I had just taken a walk in my garden and notes that some of my hips (OP Mary Rose, OP Sceptors Isle and OP Souvenir du dr. Jamain) are already beginning to get coloured, half orange half green.

When will you suggest I should harvest the hips?

Is it too early now? I am wondering if I should wait until they are all orange, before I collect them.

Looking forward to hear from you, thanks.




Link: home20.inet.tele.dk/roses/rosenweb.htm

I like to wait until the hip is fully colored to feel like the embryo has had time to accumulate photosynthates, but then I like to harvest before the hip softens and becomes rotten and mushy to try to limit the amount of absicissic acid buildup in the seeds which will delay and interfere with germination. With this said, what I really end up doing depends on my time availability. I have roses at other people’s houses and places I cannot get to too regularly. I collect hips a little earlier or later depending on the situation.


Thanks David

I will give them some extra time to mature, but still watch them, so they don’t get to soften.

I have notes I got one Abraham Darby x Tropicana hip which already looks a bit soften, but still very green though. I guess I should keep it on the rose for a while longer a hope I will get coloured before I harvest.


One rule that I feel has no “and buts or ifs” about it is: if the stem turns brown, pick it.

In zone 5 northern Ohio, I am picking some now -especially rugosas and other species or near species. From now to about Thanksgiving, I will pick a hip if it is completely red (or brown for some). At around Thanksgiving I will pick the rest regardless of color.

This is what I have on my web site:


Link: home.neo.rr.com/kuska/whentopickhips.htm

Four months (120 days) from pollination to maturity;

this can be useful in determining when to harvest

Henry is right on with his advice! We were told some years ago by Ping Lim from Bailey’s nursery that when the stem turns brown, it is time to pick else it turns mushy and drops. We do watch the color; but here in WA we will pick all, regardless of color, by Thanksgiving.

I harvest on estimation of 3 months or orange coloring. I pick species dependant on what references suggest. ie. rugosa at 2 months. This is nice because I can spread out the hybridizing season. For example, I can do rugosa hybrids 1 month later than others. This is helpful because it is a pain to work around the end of the rainy season.

Thank everyone for your very informative replies.

I will keep an eye on the hips/hips stem from now on.

Mostly of my hybridizations had been made between 1-15 of July and all the stems are still green. But they also need at least 30-45 days to get fully matured, I can calculate.




I live in the northern part of Illinois and from now on we must watch the weather forcast very closely. We can have some beautiful October days, but weather changes can appear fast. Most of my hips are 100 plus days and mostly of green coloration. This time of the year I have covers to protect the hips from frost and freezing. As Henry stated I will start collecting hips when the stems start turning brown. At present I have some nice (selfs) of Carefree Beauty and Bonica that are in the orange stage. Include the weatherman as your hybriodizing partner.