Huge percentage of hips aborting

I’m not sure why, but I’m having a huge percentage of hips failing. 1-72-1, Impatient, CalPoly, Julia Child…you name it they are dropping like flies. I’m not sure if it’s been because weather or what. The temps have been up and down so maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s my method. Most of these plants are two years old so I’m baffled. Anybody else have this happen?

Jeff to much nitrogen will cause hip drop, when I go into a big breeding year I do not fertilize in the spring but hang off untill late summer.

Thanks Warren. I do fertilize and was getting ready to add more next week. Maybe I’ll hold off and try another round of crosses.

Jeff, the same thing is happening here and I haven’t fertlized. I think it’s the weather. Hot, cold, windy, dry, foggy with June Gloom, then back to overheated. That’s why I get so manic about boinking every flower that opens on the favorites and using all the pollen I can collect. I think I got smart this year. I have pretty much stopped pollinating. What makes it through harvest is what I’ll plant. Hopefully, I won’t be choked with too much to work with in a few months…

I normally watch the plants and insects when they start to set op then I start, also when the insects start gathering pollen. Sort of silly but they been doing this for a long time.


Humidity on pollen will destroy it.

Many of these have been well underway, then all of a sudden, the peduncle dries up or turns black and the hip falls.

Oh, geez. No wonder I’ve had such a lousy season. (I was gonna say “welcome to my world” when I saw the topic…) Humid air, no rainfall, high temps, and fertilized bushes… Yep. That’s my garden… (I’m not liking this TX weather so far… I miss the days when gardening was easy.)

Something I ‘learned’ a few yrs ago–kind of picked it up by osmosis, do not remember if I read this specifically but I have definitely observed it,; roses are not always “in the mood” to be receptive to pollen, and there is a simple way to test this out. You do not have to ask! If the stamens are somewhat to very moist and a bit sticky, they are much more likely to be successfully pollinated. If they are soft, dry, and feathery, they are much less likely to be successfully pollinated. This is also a measure of what many term as being “receptive”. This is wind, temperature, humidity, and very probably heredity related. What may not be receptive to pollen in the evening may be receptive the next morning, or the next evening or the next morning, etc… This is best checked for about 3 days before giving up on a particular cross. This may be one of the reasons that (in a study sited on another forum topic) pollinating for three consecutive days leads to a much higher seed per hip count. I do not think that it is the 3 days that are the magic ingredient to this high number, but rather the fact that by pollinating repeatedly over a three day period, you are much more likely to be applying pollen at a successful receptivity window. Which may be AM or PM. So I occasionally recheck and repollinate for at least a 2 day cycle, both AM and PM. It seems to work on some crosses, especially when the weather is unusually hot, dry and windy.

Here is the three day link:

Here is the spray the hips link"

Jackie, this is going to be a silly question in reply to your post. When you say that you pollinate over three days, “do you do the same flower” or different ones on the bush.

David–usually it is over a period of two days, because I check both AM and PM, and if the stamens are not dry I will apply pollen again. And only if it was dry, wimpy, and wrung out to start with-like if it was under sun and wind stress. If the stigmas are ‘more receptive’ by being sticky or having more moisture, then I re-apply pollen again and let it go. I am not into checking 5 or 6 times for most crosses but I might if it was something I thought might be critical. Since we have quite a bit of morning fog intermittently during May and June, weather does not often have a large bearing on the roses getting to stressed. But this yr there has been some unusual high temps and lots of wind occasionally so that some of the plants have been a bit stressed. Most of them are located on the crest of a slope at the end of a canyon=lots of wind. But I believe some cultivars are not as pollen ready at 6 or 8 hrs after emasculating, and may require a 24 hr period, or may be more receptive to pollen in the early AM or in the late PM, and this is what may contribute to the stigmas to be dry and not have the pollen ‘stick’ to them. Some varieties are receptive to pollen at any time. These are called good seed producers, or as Kim puts it, shes’ a ‘ho’.

I’ve found 1-72-1 is picky about the pollen offered it, and some crosses abort at near 100%. That is just how it is with this plant. Keep a record of what failed, and avoid repeating it, I would suggest.