How many Hips

How many hips would be considered normal as far as not overloading a normal Hybrid tea? Would too many hips affect the % germination or the time it takes for the hips to ripen? Thanks.


Unless you are talking about a very large and robust plant, I would limit it to one ripe hip/plant. particularly if you have plants that will need to survive a winter. Some rugosaq varieties can set pounds of ripe hips!


How big is a normal hybrid tea? If it is large enough to have a dozen blossoms, it is large enough to have a dozen hips.


Well I thought maybe someone had kind of a limit they used as to number of hips per bush. I had 50 hips this year on a two year old Gingersnap and it looked kinda shaggy there for a while, but have picked the hips and fertilized it and it is coming back strong.


The problem is setting hips and making seeds is hard on the plant. It saps the energy the plant needs to survive the winter and break dormancy in the sping. 50 hips is risky! I wouldnt let a two year plant set hips at all(on ethat i wanted to save).


I guess it all depends.

My newly identified Shropshire Lass (the now closed Rosarium at the Bayfields sent it as R. alba Suevaleons) and Basye’s Legacy makes tons of hips, often I just ignore them and they dry and die off.

Although I don’t have to worry about winters,

but still–

they make it well enough on their own.

Shropshire Lass is planted near the base of a well established apricot tree.

Yet it thrives.

(I’ve made two crosses this year with its pollen-- on Secret and Cesar E. Chavez).

I agree with Peter Harris 100 % !

George Mander

Peter wrote :

Re: How many Hips

Probably the answer will vary according to where one lives.

Some of the oldtimers in cold zones have recommended that hips be left on the plant to help induce and maintain dormancy. For all I know, that practice may be a bit like an urban legend, but it is clearly a good idea to have the plant NOT sprouting when really cold weather arrives.

I don’t know whether picking the hips after cold weather has arrived will stimulate the plant to grow, but I’d doubt it. Pay your money and take your chances, I guess. But if I had to go with just one pollinated hip per plant, it would take too many years to get anything accomplished. I’d rather risk a plant than get only one hip per plant per year. I’ve never lost a plant to cold because of a too-heavy seed crop. I have lost plants that sprouted too early in the spring. Keeping the plant from sprouting too early in the spring is probably a better way to prevent loss of the plant than limiting the seed production is.

This might make an interesting thread for the RHA Newsletter–so let’s hear about the experiences/practice of others who live in cold climates.

I know you asked about cold Winter climates, but it is an issue in mild Winter climates too. In this area, many varieties don’t go dormant on their own because it doesn’t get cold enough. Some varieties don’t perform well if they don’t have a dormant period. I’ve also heard rosarians say that plants will ‘burn out’ sooner if they don’t get a dormant period.

Some rosarians in the area say that you should stop disbudding in the Fall, and let hips form to to help induce dormancy. Others say that you should manually defoliate rose bushes in the Winter to induce dormancy. I usually defoliate. I’m also letting some plants go to seed this year.

Patrick, you started a very interesting thread!

I cannot comment on cold weather either as I live in Bakersfield, CA, but I think that the roses mostly “decide” on how many hips they will support.

I have tried to pollinate smaller plants with very little (if any) success, and then tried the same plants a year or two later and had great hip set. But, even mature plants, once they are done setting hips, will stop setting more hips until the others mature.

If you look to nature, roses do what they want to do even without us, and that, for the most part - is to reproduce! In my experience, roses left to themselves seem to produce more hips than when I am messing with them and applying the pollens that I choose!

In cold climates, the roses at old cemeteries might offer another look at the answer. Do ones that have survived tend to produce hips or tend not to produce hips??? I don’t know that answer. We would have to get some of the rose rustlers in on this one!

Jim Sproul

As Peter & Jim suggested, this is a very interesting subject/thread for a future Newsletter.

Hopefully more of you will add to this topic.

George Mander