Make a tea from rose hip flesh for seedlings

This past winter I had so many hips from (Heritage X William Baffin) X OP that I did not take the time to clean the flesh away from the seeds. Instead I simply crushed the hips to expose the seeds. The crushed mixture of pulp and seeds received a 3 day soak in an organic enzyme drain cleaner solution. The mixture was then rinsed a number of times with water (the seeds and pulp were in a kitchen sieve and water passed through the sieve until the wash was clear instead of brown). The seeds were then placed on sand in a petri dish (about New Years). The sand was wetted with a Bromelain water mixture. The Petri dishes were kept in a 40-50 degree refrigerator that contained red LEDs. The sand in the Petri dishes turned dark brown from whatever leached out of the pulp. I did not take the time to change to fresh sand. Suddenly, the germinations rate in these “dirty” containers became very rapid. Plus the germinated seedlings seemed to grow much faster than normal.

The same thing has happened with other batches of seeds in the past that I ran through a blender (with blades covered with stainless steel tape) and which were not separated from the “pulp”. Of course there I had the possibility that many seeds were nicked; and the nicking was the cause of the increased germination.

An experiment that I plan on trying next season is to separate the pulp as usual; but instead of throwing the pulp away, I will put the pulp in water to soak for, say, a month (some batches may also have Bromelain in them). Then I will use the water from this “tea” to water the sand in some of my Petri dishes.


Henry, how concentrated is the bromelain solution you use to wet the sand?

I put a 100 mg Bromelain caplet in a plastic squirt bottle that holds what appears to be slightly more than a pint of distilled water. There is residue on the bottom. Whether that residue is just filler or whether it contains some Bromelain that did not dissolve, I cannot say.

I did not run any tests for optimum concentration.


Very interesting, Henry, and very counter-intuitive. Generally (as I am sure you know), fruit flesh has germination inhibiting hormones. I wonder… I know that for things like roses which need a stratification period, the seed has a balance of germination inhibiting hormones – auxins and/or abscic acid, and germination promoting hormones, mostly Gibberilic acid. During the stratification process, the inihbitors break down, allowing the seed to germinate. I wonder if the rose hips have a similar balance of hormones. I’ve never heard of gibberilic acid in fruit flesh, but if it did have some, perhaps your treatment of the hips allows the inhibitors to break down very rapidly, leaving gibberilic acid, and thus promoting germination. I don’t know… that is kind of a stretch. Any other ideas of how it might work?


When I got Henry’s seeds & sprouts, they were in mush. I was wondering how they were processed, but I had an idea because of Henry’s postings about his use of drain cleaner. From a functional perspective, it would appear, the process the seeds went through was similar to what happened to the seeds as they passed through the digestive tract of Enrique’s bird.

A year or so ago, when there were postings about the use of bromelain. I soaked many of my cleaned seeds in a solution containing digestive Bromelain for about two days.(I should have used a sample.)Then I packaged them up as usual in moist coir. I guess I overdid it with the Bromelain. A lot less was required. There were some germinations, but many of the seeds turned to compost. Like anything else, there has to be moderation.

Congratulations Henry on discovering a process that works. This sounds like something that can be used for those bags of hips that that are misplaced & end up dried up.