Hips - shelf life?

After harvesting hips, do I have to shell them immediately? Would they still be ok after a few days on the windowsill or will they dry out? If I put the hips in the crisper can I shell them at a later date? thanks,

Mrs. “lost my handbook and am ordering a new one” McCullough

I often have to wait a few days too to shell seeds if I’m busy. As I collect hips I put them in zip lock bags and they haven’t shriveled up.


I have harvested hips in October/November and not shelled them till January. I leave them in bags in a spare bedroom. They can get pretty slimy, but I’ve still gotten germination. What I don’t know is if my germination would have been better if I’d cleaned them right away.


When I can’t shell hips right away, I put them in baggies in the refrigerator. They keep fine, and germination is good. I try not to leave them in the refrigerator very long. Harvey Davidson, who developed the Smooth series of roses, leaves his hips in the refrigerator until he’s ready to plant the seeds, but he only gets about 15% germination.

Wouldn’t it be easier to keep the hips on the bush until there is enough time to collect fresh seed?

Enrique: Yes, in future I will just leave them on the bush. I did get two batches shelled though, and in the crisper. Thank you.

I seem to remember a research article that reported that the % germination fell if the hips were exposed to a hard frost. That advice seems to be reflected in the article below.

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